1. 10 Christmas Gifts Every Pastor Wants from His Staff

    December 18, 2014 by Paul Chappell

    gifts

    As a pastor, I appreciate every gift or expression of love from those who serve with me on staff. I’m blessed to serve with the world’s greatest staff, and I thank the Lord for them every day.

    Recently, I began thinking of the intangible gifts that staff members give to me on a regular basis, and I came up with a list of ten. (I’m sure there are many times more.)

    So…if you serve on a church staff and have been wondering what you can give your pastor for Christmas, here you go: (more…)


  2. Growth Points 59: Five Areas to Prepare for a Successful New Year

    December 15, 2014 by Paul Chappell

    The early chapters of Nehemiah reveal a burdened man who wanted to be used of God. Nehemiah prayed and fasted, and he saw God open incredible doors. But he didn’t stop there. Before Nehemiah even set foot in Jerusalem with permission to rebuild the walls, he made preparations for the work.

    Moreover I said unto the king, If it please the king, let letters be given me to the governors beyond the river, that they may convey me over till I come into Judah;—Nehemiah 2:7

    Nehemiah prepared for the time and work beyond the immediate moment in which he was living. He had supply lines already in place for the work God called him to do.

    I believe that we, too, need to plan and prepare ahead for the work God places on our hearts. And one of the best times to do that is just before the New Year. Before January 1 even comes, it helps if we already know where we’re headed and how we’re going to get there.

    In this Growth Points video, I share five simple areas to prepare for a fantastic New Year:


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

    The Stewarding Life Planner I mention about halfway through this video is available from Striving Together Publications here.

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


  3. 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…)


  4. 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…)


  5. 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…)