1. What to Do When You Need Renewal—Part 2

    July 28, 2014 by Paul Chappell


    In the previous post we looked at three steps to take when you find yourself empty and depleted. By way of a quick recap, here they are:

    1. Retreat—Make time to initiate a renewal process.
    2. Assess—Ask the Holy Spirit to search your heart on every level.
    3. Repent—Respond to the Holy Spirit’s conviction, calling sin what it is.

    Identifying the problem, however—while a great start—isn’t enough. Where do you go from here. I have found two final steps to be needful:

    4. Realign

    It does little good to assess if there is no resulting change. Based on the assessments you made with the help of the Holy Spirit, what do you need to realign moving forward?

    And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.—Psalm 139:24

    For me, the realignment I need is usually in one of these four areas, and so I immediately look for potential adjustments in these: (more…)

  2. What to Do When You Need Renewal—Part 1

    July 24, 2014 by Paul Chappell


    It’s easy to explain why we need renewal because all of us can easily identify with the all-too-familiar sense of depletion.

    But what do we do when we come to this point? How do we renew?

    When I’m aware that I’m running on fumes, I follow this five-step process. (We’ll look at the first three steps in this post and the last two in the next.)

    1. Retreat

    Renewal doesn’t happen on a treadmill. We need time out of the current to regain focus. Jesus Himself is our example in this. Even in busy ministry with people clamoring for His time, Jesus carved out time to spend with the Father.

    And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.—Mark 1:35

    How often should you retreat? Every day—minimum. This is your daily quiet time when you still your heart before the Lord and seek His face. Spend time in His Word, ask Him to search your heart, and evaluate the coming day in light of His priorities for your day. (more…)

  3. 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.

  4. 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…)

  5. 7 Principles for Hiring Quality Church Staff

    July 14, 2014 by Paul Chappell


    When Terrie and I first came to Lancaster, we could do all of the administrative work in the church. That was back when the work consisted of mowing the parking lot (over the terribly cracked cement), cleaning the building, and preparing the weekly bulletin.

    But as the church grew, we needed help. In fact, we got to the place where to not have help was to stunt the continued growth of the church. Over the years, we’ve reached that point many times. And over the years, the Lord has coalesced a team of quality servants of God who are both dedicated and proficient.

    I would hasten to add that Lancaster Baptist Church is not a staff-run church. God gives every member of the local church—not just the paid staff—the privilege of assisting in the work of the ministry.

    And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:—Ephesians 4:11–12

    The staff simply serve as an extension of the pastor in helping to equip the entire church body for the work of the ministry.

    The Apostle Paul had such people who helped him—full-time laborers who served with him as an extension of his ministry. One of these men was Timothy.

    But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state. For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state. For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s.—Philippians 2:19–21

    As we have come to points of growth in our church when I knew I needed to hire another staff member, I’ve tried to hire according to these seven principles: (more…)