1. The Role of the Church in Christian Education

    August 25, 2014 by Paul Chappell


    At 8:00 this morning, Lancaster Baptist School begins its twenty-sixth year of cultivating hearts for God and minds for Christ.

    As I look back over these past twenty-five years, I thank God for the investments we’ve made in the lives of young people, many of which are still serving the Lord and are now raising their children for God.

    I often tell parents, “Christian education doesn’t cost—it pays.” I believe this is true, not only for parents, but also for the local church that invests labor in building the Christian school as a ministry of the church. Truly, the rewards for our efforts over the past twenty-five years have been beyond measure in the lives of our graduates.

    God’s desire for young people is that they would cultivate a heart for Him and develop the mind of Christ. And God instructs parents to invest in their children to that end:

    And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.—Deuteronomy 6:6–7

    The local church also plays a tremendous role in this development as pastors and teachers team with parents to encourage young hearts for God and provide biblical teaching for the home. (more…)

  2. 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.

  3. 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…)

  4. Growth Points 52: What It Takes to Strive Together

    July 7, 2014 by Paul Chappell

    One of my favorite verses is Philippians 1:27: “Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.”

    When you think about the phrase in that verse “striving together,” you think first of the object of our labor—the gospel message. Why do we strive? For the faith of the gospel!

    But these words “striving together” also highlight the spirit of the work. Not only is what we strive for important, but how we strive makes a difference.

    In this growth points video, I’d like to take a look with you at these two words—striving together—and how they touch on the heart of ministry. What does it take to strive together? And why does it matter?

    (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. An Alert to the Pulpit and the Pew

    June 30, 2014 by Paul Chappell

    Do preachers make too much of preaching? Does biblical preaching amount to mere noise of the sort we’re always wanting to lessen in our busy lives?

    In this video, a morning sermon preached during Spiritual Leadership Conference, Dr. Sam Davison powerfully reasons from the Word of God on the importance of preaching and the resulting importance we should give it in sermon preparation, the act of preaching itself, and partaking of messages.

    In a culture that downplays the importance of preaching, writing it off as “foolishness,” this is a much-needed message. God Himself places high value on the action of preaching. If we lightly esteem something that God highly esteems, are we not lightly esteeming God?

    (If you cannot see this video in your RSS reader or email, you can watch it here. If you would like to download an audio mp3 of this message, you can do so here.)

    Note: All messages and videos from Spiritual Leadership Conference 2014 are available here.