1. 3 New Testament Essentials for Nurturing Growth in New Christians

    October 14, 2016 by Paul Chappell


    One of the great joys of an intense season of outreach, such as our church just conducted for Open House Sunday, is following up on new Christians.

    There is nothing more rewarding than to come alongside a new Christian and help ground him in God’s Word, encourage his faith, and guide him in new patterns of Christian living.

    And there is nothing more needed for that young Christian either. Spiritual maturity, like physical maturity, doesn’t take place overnight. Neither does it take place the moment a person is baptized or attends three church services in a row. It takes long-term commitment from spiritual leaders to help someone grow in their faith.

    Young Christians need an atmosphere of acceptance and encouragement. Throughout the New Testament, we see specific ways to nurture growth in young Christians. (more…)

  2. Is Your Motivation Style Demotivating?

    September 15, 2016 by Paul Chappell


    I’m excited to announce a relaunch of the Spiritual Leadership Podcast—beginning with this episode!

    While past episodes were primarily audio leadership lessons that had been recorded in other venues, such as Spiritual Leadership or Striving Together Conferences, the new podcast will include episodes video recorded specifically for this podcast.

    Each monthly episode will focus on practical ministry leadership, with this first one being about biblical motivation. Future episodes will dedicate time to answering questions and addressing topics submitted to qa@lancasterbaptist.org. (Feel free to email your questions!) (more…)

  3. 7 Essentials of an Adult Bible Class

    August 26, 2016 by Paul Chappell


    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…)

  4. 8 Characteristics of an Effective Discipleship Program

    August 1, 2016 by Paul Chappell


    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…)

  5. 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…)