1. 7 Essentials of an Adult Bible Class

    August 26, 2016 by Paul Chappell

    adult-Bible-class

    I believe the key reason for adult Bible classes in the local church is the organization to fulfill the purposes of the church. Dr. Lee Roberson used to say, “The Sunday school is the church organized to fulfill the purpose of the church.”

    Whether you call it Sunday School, Adult Bible Fellowships, Connection Groups, or something else, it is vital that you have clearly defined purposes and processes for this vital area of church ministry.

    At Lancaster Baptist Church, we now have over fifty adult Bible classes, and we work to make sure each class includes these essentials: (more…)


  2. 8 Characteristics of an Effective Discipleship Program

    August 1, 2016 by Paul Chappell

    Wednesday-night-discipleship

    One of the core ministries that God has greatly blessed in our church is the organized discipleship on Wednesday evenings. Not only are there new people continually being enrolled in discipleship and others completing the course, but the biblical grounding and personal mentoring that takes place during the weeks of discipleship continues to bear fruit in people’s lives years after they have finished.

    At our church, we use the Continue discipleship book and have found it both helpful and fruitful.

    But it’s not just having a course or a program that makes a discipleship program effective. It’s much more than that.

    Discipleship, whatever means you may use, is one of the components of the Great Commission (“teaching them to observe all things,” Matthew 28:20). It is the responsibility of the local church to ground new Christians in the faith while teaching them how to grow in a daily walk with God.

    So having an organized discipleship program is a good start, but it’s not enough. What are the characteristics of an effective discipleship program? (more…)


  3. 5 Traits Common to Leaders Who Continue

    July 15, 2016 by Paul Chappell

    The challenges to Christian ministry continue to mount. Between a cultural shift toward intolerance of truth, the decision fatigue of pastors, the opinion overload of society, and a host of other challenges, it’s no wonder that so many pastors and spiritual leaders are falling out of the ministry.

    Although I’m aware of and experience these types of challenges, I want to finish my race still serving the Lord. And I don’t want to stagger across the finish line—depleted and embittered toward the people God has called me to serve—either. I want to finish my race in love with Christ and fully engaged in His work.

    In a previous blog, I shared the Spiritual Leadership Conference session 5 Commitments of Continuing Churches. Our goal, however, is not just to build a ministry that continues, but to personally stay in the race.

    In other words, we cannot help others to continue if we give up.

    One of the characteristics of effective leaders is a practice of personal assessment. In the Wednesday morning session of Spiritual Leadership Conference ’16, we looked at 5 principles of continuing leaders with a challenge to personally assess how we’re doing in each area.


    (watch video | download audio | download notes)

    Each of these five principles were thoroughly developed scripturally, and the lesson included many practical action items. But for an overview of the lesson, here are the five main points: (more…)


  4. 5 Commitments of Continuing Churches

    July 5, 2016 by Paul Chappell

    We have the absolute promise that the church will continue. Jesus plainly declared, “I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18). Thus, we have the advantage of operating from the knowledge that we are on the winning side.

    Even so, you and I both know of churches that have not continued for Christ—churches who have left off aggressively reaching the world with the gospel and dwindled to nothing or have tried to “reinvent” the church and lost their distinction and effectiveness.

    So what is the difference between a local church that continues and a church that doesn’t? What helps a church remain true to its founding doctrine and biblical in its methods?

    In a morning session of Spiritual Leadership Conference ’16, we looked at five commitments of continuing churches.


    (watch video | download audio | download notes)

    Each of these five commitments were thoroughly developed scripturally, and the lesson included many practical action items. But for an overview of the lesson, here are the five commitments: (more…)


  5. Making the Most of Free Resources

    June 23, 2016 by Paul Chappell

    Spiritual-Leadership-Conference-session

    One of the miracles of last week was how the Lord anointed every service of Spiritual Leadership Conference. Because of Chandler’s hospitalization, I wasn’t as able to tend to the details of the conference as normal, yet, God, in His own way, touched this conference for His glory.

    Our theme was Continue from 2 Timothy 3:14, and the emphasis was on continuing with a heart for God and in the work of God with renewed passion and commitment to Christ. I’ve been praying for the conference guests and for each pastor and church represented that the Lord will use the truths and helps from the conference to bear fruit that remains in their churches and communities.

    For the past several years, we have placed as much of the conference as we can online for two groups of people—those who could not attend the conference and those who could.

    I’d like to highlight the online resources available to you and suggest a few ways you might use them. (more…)