1. Doctrine Still Matters: What’s Wrong with Hillsong?

    October 28, 2014 by Paul Chappell

    Bible

    You’ve likely read the news regarding Brian Houston, pastor of Hillsong Church, refusing to answer questions concerning Hillsong’s position on same sex marriage. Although this is not the first time Houston has made similar statements, it is the most recent.

    Does Hillsong’s position matter? After all, even Houston himself made a press release with a follow up statement that he personally believes in the traditional definition of marriage. (In effect, his “clarification” covered his personal belief but reiterated that Hillsong would not take a public position on these matters as a church.)

    Over the years, many have spoken out against Hillsong. The overall assessment I have heard has centered on music issues—specifically their CCM style. Sometimes we critique an area that may be worthy of attention (after all, music is a powerful, important part of worship and worthy of concern), but we can miss the larger picture and the deeper issues. Thus we condemn a ministry for an expression of a deeper issue rather than identifying and separating from the real issue(s).

    Why would I be concerned when a Baptist pastor becomes enamored with a ministry like Hillsong? My fundamental concern is that those enamored with Hillsong’s style will end up compromising Bible doctrine.

    Notice the three points of concern below, and ask yourself if these aren’t substantial issues—issues that would keep you from working with the church in your hometown that believed and practiced in these ways? (more…)


  2. When Godly Leaders Differ

    October 18, 2014 by Paul Chappell

    arms-crossed

    We all know there are plenty of situations in which good people differ. But why do good people differ? And how can we understand and benefit from these differences?

    This is by no means an exhaustive list, but below are five areas which can easily account for many of the differences godly leaders may have with one another—as well as five ways we can benefit and work through these differences.

    Temperamental Differences

    Terrie and I now have six grandchildren—two sets of which are siblings. Even at their young ages, it is amazing to me to watch the temperamental and personality differences already beginning to show. In both of these families, there are two children with the same two parents and surroundings—who each have absolutely different preferences, tastes, and approaches to life.

    The reality is that we do all have different personalities and temperaments. Even within the twelve apostles, we see this clearly. To mention just a few: There were James and John who Jesus called “the sons of thunder.” Apparently they had strong personalities. There was Peter who was impetuous. There was Andrew who seemed to have an ability to relate to others. And there was Philip who apparently had organizational capabilities. And yet, they were all chosen—and used—by Jesus. (more…)


  3. Growth Points 56: Growing through Adversity

    October 15, 2014 by Paul Chappell

    After twenty-nine years in the pastorate, I can tell you I have faced difficulties I never thought I’d face in ministry. (Of course, I’ve also had more blessings than I anticipated too!) When you think about the reality of adversity, we probably should be more perceptive about the fact that it’s going to come. Second Timothy 3:12 tells us, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”

    Whether you are facing financial burdens, ministry trials, family difficulties, or any other kind of adverse circumstances, I’d like to encourage you that God has a purpose and is working. In this growth points video, I share several reasons God allows adversity in our lives as well as five steps to make your season of adversity a time of growth.


    (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. 5 Best Practices for Handling Stress

    September 26, 2014 by Paul Chappell

    stressed-out

    I think the Apostle Paul would laugh at some of our goals of “stress-free living.” Not because he would have had a desire for stress, but because of the lengths we go to avoid it!

    We see stress as an enemy, but in reality, it is part and parcel of life—especially life in the ministry.

    • How can you bear one another’s burden without enduring some stress?
    • How can you love and lead people without demands on your time and energy?
    • How can you be on the front lines of spiritual battle without the tension of spiritual warfare?

    Yes, there is stress involved in ministry.

    But there is a difference between living with stress and living “stressed out.” In contrast to our stressed out living, God offers His peace.

    And let the peace of God rule in your hearts…—Colossians 3:15

    So how can you live with stress and simultaneously walk with the peace of God ruling in your heart? (more…)


  5. An A-B-C for Fruitful Sanity in Busy Times

    September 19, 2014 by Paul Chappell

    dock

    You know those seasons when you are so busy you hardly feel you have time to even look at your to do list? And you consider what would happen to your family if you actually lost your mind?

    We can get so caught up in tasks, that not only do we lose our focus, but we lose our perspective and fruitfulness. Sometimes it helps to pull away from the task mountain in front of you and step back to remember the basics.

    Are you busy today? Here are three basic elements to guard and develop: (more…)