1. Enemies of a Passionate Walk with Christ

    November 17, 2014 by Paul Chappell

    sunrise-path

    What single word best describes your walk with the Lord?

    I think all of us would love for that word to be passion. And not just today, but every day. We’d like consistent passion in our walk with God.

    Yet, if we’re honest, we’d have to admit that our passion for the Lord easily wanes.

    What is it that steals or diminishes our passion?

    It’s not always (or usually) the blatant, outward sins. The enemy is usually more concealed than we anticipate. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but I can suggest four common enemies of a passionate walk with Christ. (more…)


  2. How to Die a Hero

    November 10, 2014 by Paul Chappell

    This post is by my good friend, Dr. R. B. Ouellette. Dr. Ouellette is the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Bridgeport, Michigan, where he has served for over thirty-seven years. The church has grown tremendously under his leadership and sees consistent, lasting fruit through soulwinning and outreach. Dr. Ouellette is also the author of several Christian books.

    sword

    It is a sad, tawdry tale—and one in which the hero isn’t who you might guess it would be.

    The cast?

    • David—The young man of faith who slew Goliath with a mere slingshot and who became God’s chosen king should have been the hero of this story. But he’s not. He’s over fifty now and has grown self-indulgent in many areas.
    • Joab—He’s a crafty, self-serving general who happens to be David’s nephew. He’s fierce but unscrupulous and always looking for an expedient way to increase his power.
    • Bathsheba—For her, the story is especially sad, for she is the victim.
    • Uriah—His name means “Flame of Jehovah.” And as you might have guessed by now, it is Uriah who died a hero.

    You probably know the story, but if you don’t you can read it in 2 Samuel 11. Verses 6–17 specifically deal with Uriah and his heroic death. What can we learn from him? How can we, too, be sure that as our lives end—regardless of circumstances outside our control—we bring honor to our Lord and die heroes? (more…)


  3. Angry Birds

    November 8, 2014 by Paul Chappell

    angry-birds

    There are some social media users for whom the cute little twitter bird logo would be more accurately represented as the cannon-like self-ejecting fowls from the Angry Birds game. Like those birds, they hurl themselves into any situation that they perceive to be threatening or to be being handled differently than they would—which, for such people, turns out to be many situations.

    Actually, I am convinced that there are people who have conditioned themselves to need an issue to stir and a person to fight. Without an inside cause they are restless and frustrated and eventually find an issue to raise. And then they catapult themselves at this newly aroused object of their wrath with incessant tweets, angry status updates, and/or any other mode of instant mass communication.

    The greatest problem with this approach to life is that “gendering strife” is in absolute contradiction to Scripture.

    Paul warned Timothy, “But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes” (2 Timothy 2:23). Frankly, I don’t think Paul’s reference to “foolish and unlearned questions” was limited to the simple examples we sometimes give. It may very well be applied to who went to whose conference. Or why a certain leader used a particular method. Or if… You get the idea. (more…)


  4. Growth Points 57: Causes and Solutions for Trials in Ministry

    November 3, 2014 by Paul Chappell

    Years ago, a friend told me, “It is impossible to follow Jesus without hurts.” Little did I know how prophetic that statement would be. The fact is, there are going to be difficulties in ministry. Jesus plainly said, “In the world ye shall have tribulation,” and thankfully He followed with, “but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33).

    Perhaps you are even now going through a period of difficulties in your life or your ministry. In this Growth Points video, I’d like to share with you some of the reasons we go through difficulty as well as some of the solutions God gives for these heavy seasons.


    (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.


  5. 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…)