Now, more than ever before, current events remind us that we are living in the last days.
The events of this past week have pointed to Bible prophecies concerning the progressive lifestyles of sin (2 Timothy 3:1–4) and the oblivion of and disregard for God’s judgment (Matthew 24:37–39).
As we know, Scripture gives us many admonitions for these last days: We are to contend for the faith (Jude 3). To preach the Word (2 Timothy 4:2). To witness to the lost (Matthew 24:14). To be sober–minded (1 Peter 4:7). To watch with prayer (1 Peter 4:8).
But there is one command that many of us forget. This command is expressly given in relation to the last days. And it is specifically stated to be an issue of vital significance. Tragically, it is often neglected. (more…)
As laborers together with God (1 Corinthians 3:9), it is imperative that we, as spiritual leaders, are not simply maintaining the work of God, but that we are building.
At Spiritual Leadership Conference 2015, our theme was from Jesus’ words, “I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18). Each service and session was filled with biblical truth on building in the local church.
Jesus told us in John 15:16 that He has ordained us—set us apart for a purpose—to bring forth fruit that remains.
As pastors and Christian leaders, it’s fair that we occasionally ask ourselves, “Are we making disciples here? Or are we simply developing superficial converts?”
It’s a hard question. But I believe it’s important. The reality is that sometimes we can get people to go through motions without leading them to go deeper in their personal walk with God. Over time, people without a growing walk with the Lord will not remain faithful.
In this Growth Points video, we talk about the process of how new Christians are grounded the Word of God through points of discipleship in local church ministry:
(If you cannot see this video in your RSS reader or email, you can watch it here.)
There’s no question about it: the home is under attack today. And I’m not just talking about subtle attacks that cautiously undermine biblical values. I’m talking about a full on, vicious, satanic attack that is shaking the very definition of the family itself.
How can the local church support Christian families? We must not only support the definition of the family, but we must support actual families as well—the people in our churches.
For twenty-nine years, we’ve labored at Lancaster Baptist Church to help Christian homes. We have opposed every form of legislation or change in society that undermines the family. I’ve preached hundreds of messages from every Bible passage that pertains to developing a strong home. We’ve held annual couples retreats, offered counseling, taught lessons, and published resources for families.
When it comes to Satan’s attacks on families, the church cannot stand back and simply observe the carnage. We must step in and help. (more…)
Over the past few weeks, Striving Together Publications has released several new resources that we believe will be tremendously helpful for Christians and local church ministry.
The resources below will be featured at Spiritual Leadership Conference this week, but for those unable to attend the conference, I’d like to highlight them for you.
Below is a brief description of each resource with a link for more information and availability to purchase from Striving Together.
Continue discipleship curriculum—This project has been in progress for over two years, and we were delighted to release it this spring. Beta tested here at Lancaster Baptist Church and now already being used around the country, we’re getting very positive feedback on this new discipleship curriculum. (I wrote a separate post about it a few weeks ago.)
Order in the Church, 2nd Edition—It’s hard to believe, but this was the very first book published through Striving Together Publications—over ten years ago! Revised and updated this summer, we believe this second edition is even more helpful. It is streamlined and includes additional ministry opportunities we’ve developed over the past ten years. This edition also includes access to online downloads.
Where Only God Could Lead: The Life Story of Don Sisk—If you know Dr. Don Sisk, you know that his biography could be nothing less than inspiring. If you don’t know him, you need to! Written by a gifted communicator, Cary Schmidt, this record of how God molded and directed a life over eighty years and has been expanding and leading a man’s ministry over sixty years will encourage and challenge your faith.
Lessons from the Road: A Study of the Gospel of Mark—This resource was compiled and written by my brother, Pastor Stephen Chappell, from a verse-by-verse series of messages he preached on the Gospel of Mark. It would be tremendously helpful either for personal Bible study or for sermon preparation from Mark.
The Plan B Prayer—In this insightful study of Psalm 90, Pastor Tim Zacharias transparently shares experiences from his life that have given him personal understanding of what it means to walk through difficult times. In these pages, you’ll find encouragement and application that will strengthen your hope and deepen your understanding of God. Thought-provoking questions at the end of each chapter prompt reflection or aid discussion for individual or group study.
Strengthen Your Hands—A compilation of ten practical lessons from the book of Nehemiah, I wrote this minibook to encourage godly leaders to remain strong in the work of the Lord.
Save the Day—This minibook, written by my wife Terrie, draws practical truths from “a wise woman” in 1 Chronicles 20 on applying God’s wisdom to life struggles.
Know that You Know—In this minibook, Evangelist Paul Schwanke leads readers through the the truths of 1 John, examining the sources of doubt, the evidences of salvation, the promises of God, and the assurance available to every believer in Christ.
Securely Woman—Written by Karen Hightower, this book introduces the biblical principle of femininity and suggests simple, practical ideas for embracing Christian womanhood.
Consider Christ curriculum—This thirteen-lesson study is designed to focus students’ thoughts on Christ, resulting in renewed minds and refreshed joy.
Transforming Truths curriculum—This new series by Dr. Jim Schettler explores thirteen loved and well-known verses with an emphasis on practical application.
Stories of Grace, Volume 2 children’s curriculum—The second lesson set in a series featuring Bible stories every child should know, these thirteen lessons focus on the lives of prominent New Testament Bible characters. Also available are supplementary flashcards and a ministry resource download.
Student Planner 2015–16—Featuring month-at-a-glance and week-at-a-glance pages with encouraging Scriptures and motivating quotes, this student planner will help junior high and high school students mange their assignments and schedules. Used in Christian schools across America and as gifts for youth group attendees, this resource makes a great gift from teachers and youth leaders.
We’re praying that the Lord will use each of these to encourage spiritual growth and equip saints for the work of the ministry.