1. Growth Points 53: Why We Strive

    July 21, 2014 by Paul Chappell

    In the previous Growth Points video, we looked at the servant-hearted, synergistic ministry required to fulfill Philippians 1:27.

    …that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;—Philippians 1:27

    It’s important, however, we remember that we are not “striving together” just to be nice or likable or congenial. We are striving for a purpose—for the faith.

    If you’re in full time pastoral ministry and are focusing your energy and effort in any other cause—however good it may be—you have a misplaced understanding of Scripture! Our calling is to strive “for the faith” which has been delivered to the saints (Jude 3).

    In this Growth Points video, I share three specific aspects of what it means to strive for the faith:

    (If you cannot see this video in your RSS reader or email, you can watch it here.)

    Make sure you get all future Growth Points videos by subscribing to the Spiritual Leadership Podcast.

  2. 7 Ways to Develop a Church Staff Team

    July 17, 2014 by Paul Chappell


    One of the great blessings of my life is serving with a team of servant-hearted co-laborers in ministry.

    In a previous post, I wrote on principles for hiring quality staff. But to develop a quality team, it takes wise hiring and continued investment.

    Here are seven ways a senior pastor or a ministry leader can develop a quality staff team:

    1. Pray for them.

    This one should go without saying. Pray for your staff—regularly, specifically, fervently. This requires that you know them and know their needs.

    We pastors like to remember Aaron and Hur holding up Moses’ hands in prayer (Exodus 17:12). And we know that we need our church to uphold us in prayer.

    But Moses wasn’t only the recipient of prayer; he prayed for those under his leadership. In fact, one the most poignant, fervent prayers in all the Bible is a prayer Moses prayed for those he led: (more…)

  3. Growth Points 52: What It Takes to Strive Together

    July 7, 2014 by Paul Chappell

    One of my favorite verses is Philippians 1:27: “Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.”

    When you think about the phrase in that verse “striving together,” you think first of the object of our labor—the gospel message. Why do we strive? For the faith of the gospel!

    But these words “striving together” also highlight the spirit of the work. Not only is what we strive for important, but how we strive makes a difference.

    In this growth points video, I’d like to take a look with you at these two words—striving together—and how they touch on the heart of ministry. What does it take to strive together? And why does it matter?

    (If you cannot see this video in your RSS reader or email, you can watch it here.)

    Make sure you get all future Growth Points videos by subscribing to the Spiritual Leadership Podcast.

  4. Are You a Servant Leader or Simply a Ministry Manager?

    May 15, 2014 by Paul Chappell


    It is all too easy to allow the responsibilities of leadership to morph into the routines of management.

    Management, of course, is necessary for leaders. We manage projects and coordinate efforts to match them. Good leadership includes wise structures of management. But make no mistake about it, leadership is more than management.

    Leadership—especially spiritual leadership—involves shepherding people. It involves connecting hearts with the life-changing truths of God’s Word. This requires a Spirit-filled leader with a heart large enough for people. It requires a leader who sees management as necessary to leadership but not defining of leadership.

    In what ways, then, does a spiritual leader serve through their position as a leader? There are many, but these four are crucial to any work for God: (more…)

  5. Timeless Traits of Effective Ministry: 10 Reasons I’m Grateful for My Independent Baptist Heritage

    April 28, 2014 by Paul Chappell


    I had the privilege to be saved and raised in independent Baptist churches. Having now served as the pastor of an unaffiliated Bible-based Baptist church for twenty-eight years, I’m deeply grateful for my heritage.

    Why? Because even though other groups do good works, the autonomous Baptists have generally believed in and practiced the ten traits below which are clearly emphasized in Scripture and are timeless in their effectiveness in local church ministry.

    1. Compassion for souls

    Independent Baptists believe in a real Heaven and Hell, and they believe the Great Commission is Christ’s primary command for the local church today. Independent Baptist churches have had a fervor for soulwinning for many years. This fervor is evidenced by sustained, organized soulwinning outreach with a definitive strategy to reach their communities with the gospel.

    I’m thankful for the compassion for souls many of my early mentors modeled as they regularly, faithfully, and fervently shared the gospel in personal encounters and scheduled times of soulwinning. My wife, Terrie, was reached with the gospel by a compassionate bus worker who brought her to church. Compassionate, confrontational soulwinning is all but lost in much of Christendom, but it is needed now more than ever. (more…)