1. What Confirmation Looks Like in a Baptist Church

    April 11, 2015 by Paul Chappell

    decision cards

    If anyone had a valid excuse to drop the ball on “follow up” after an evangelistic event, it was the Apostle Paul.

    Between an itinerant lifestyle and the ongoing pain he must have lived with, Paul had every reason to simply focus on the city he was in, preach the gospel, and move on to the next, leaving the “decision cards” behind him.

    But Paul didn’t do that. He couldn’t do that. For Paul had a passion to see people saved and growing in the Lord.

    And so, hours after he was stoned at Lystra, he got up and, with broken body, went on to Derbe to preach the gospel. From Derbe, he couldn’t forget those who had just been saved in Lystra. So he returned to the very city where he had just been persecuted to follow up on these new converts—to confirm them in the faith. From Lystra, he backtracked again to Iconium, and from Iconium to Antioch.

    And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch, Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.—Acts 14:21–22

    Everybody needs to be confirmed. They need someone to care enough to give them spiritual encouragement, support, instruction, and grounding. (more…)

  2. 11 Characteristics of a Healthy Sunday School Class

    October 9, 2012 by Paul Chappell

    I believe that every adult Sunday school class should be a greenhouse of dynamic spiritual growth.

    Our church recently hosted our annual Open House and saw a large number of people saved. Whenever there is a surge of new Christians it is a great time to put renewed effort into the health of the Sunday school department. Every new Christian needs loving growth and discipleship, and the best way to insure this is happening is to encourage the health of the Sunday school.

    What are the characteristics of a healthy Sunday school class? (more…)

  3. Making Disciples or Making Concessions

    May 23, 2012 by Paul Chappell

    My friend, Pastor Dave Hardy, made a statement at our annual Deacons Retreat that hasn’t left me. It was one of those statements that is powerful the moment you hear it…and is still powerful every time you remember it. It was the kind of statement that you print and put near your desk. Here it is:

    We are either making disciples, or we are making concessions.

    Discipleship is central to Christianity. Christ calls us to be His disciples, and then He commands us to disciple others. This is the core of who we are (disciples), and it is the heart of what we are to do (make disciples). It is our identity and our job description.

    Yet, discipleship and discipling too easily becomes a sideline. Nothing that requires as much effort as being a disciple or making disciples stays on course naturally. By default, it veers, and when it does, our walk with God and our ministries suffer. Without discipleship—true, sold-out-for-God discipleship—we are simply making concessions. (more…)

  4. Cheer for a Crawl

    July 20, 2010 by Paul Chappell

    With a living room full of cheerleaders, my grandson Camden achieved his first crawl this week. For the past several weeks, he’s enjoyed partial mobility by scooting himself along army-style. But with lots of motivating encouragement, he finally learned to tuck his leg under and mustered the strength to push himself forward. And he is currently the family hero.

    As I watched him work on that first crawl with obvious enjoyment for the praise, I wondered—what if every new Christian had a group of godly cheerleaders rooting for his spiritual progress? (more…)