1. Doctrine Still Matters: What’s Wrong with Hillsong?

    October 28, 2014 by Paul Chappell

    Bible

    You’ve likely read the news regarding Brian Houston, pastor of Hillsong Church, refusing to answer questions concerning Hillsong’s position on same sex marriage. Although this is not the first time Houston has made similar statements, it is the most recent.

    Does Hillsong’s position matter? After all, even Houston himself made a press release with a follow up statement that he personally believes in the traditional definition of marriage. (In effect, his “clarification” covered his personal belief but reiterated that Hillsong would not take a public position on these matters as a church.)

    Over the years, many have spoken out against Hillsong. The overall assessment I have heard has centered on music issues—specifically their CCM style. Sometimes we critique an area that may be worthy of attention (after all, music is a powerful, important part of worship and worthy of concern), but we can miss the larger picture and the deeper issues. Thus we condemn a ministry for an expression of a deeper issue rather than identifying and separating from the real issue(s).

    Why would I be concerned when a Baptist pastor becomes enamored with a ministry like Hillsong? My fundamental concern is that those enamored with Hillsong’s style will end up compromising Bible doctrine.

    Notice the three points of concern below, and ask yourself if these aren’t substantial issues—issues that would keep you from working with the church in your hometown that believed and practiced in these ways? (more…)


  2. 5 Helpful Follow Up Methods Every Christian Can Use

    October 13, 2014 by Paul Chappell

    open-house-2014

    The Lord gave us a phenomenal Sunday yesterday, and how we praise Him for it! I preached a message from Luke 16 about the rich man and Lazareth and the need to consider eternity. What a privilege to preach Jesus and lift up the cross! God blessed as scores of people responded during the invitations and trusted Christ as their Saviour.

    After a Sunday of such abundant fruitfulness, I not only feel grateful, I also feel very responsible. I want to follow up on guests and nurture young Christians to grow in Christ.

    I believe that “big days” of ministry must be just the starting point for continued discipleship and training. Aggressive soulwinning must be followed with aggressive discipleship. Second Timothy 2:2 makes it clear that our job is to “teach others also” in the things we have learned.

    So how do we practically do that? Below are five ways to follow up on guests and new Christians after a special Sunday of outreach: (more…)


  3. 5 Ways to Engage Your Community with the Gospel

    October 4, 2014 by Paul Chappell

    city

    When I came to Lancaster, California, I had one goal in mind—reach this community with the gospel of Jesus Christ! Every pastor or leader in ministry that I know has the same goal. You want to reach your community with the gospel.

    So how should you do it? It’s a big task for sure, but the short answer is “in as many ways as you can!”

    In other words, you want to saturate and engage your community with the gospel. The Apostle Paul did that “publickly, and from house to house” (Acts 20:20), and I believe a strategy that involves both is important.

    Here are five ways we have found effective to engage our community with the gospel: (more…)


  4. Growth Points 54: Three Truths for Discipleship

    September 10, 2014 by Paul Chappell

    Those of us who are passionate to see reproduction in local church ministry know that there is a process involved in Christian growth and maturity. This is true whether we are talking about a new Christian developing into a leader within the church or a young man who is called into the ministry developing into the ability to serve as a pastor.

    Philippians 4:9 gives us this necessary process for discipleship: “Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.”

    And yet, too often, we become one-dimensional in how we train new Christians and develop new leaders. If we neglect—or only partially fulfill—any of the process, we end up with only partially-matured Christians.

    In this week’s Growth Points video, I invite you to look with me at the three-fold process the Apostle Paul followed as he discipled others.


    (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. The Role of the Church in Christian Education

    August 25, 2014 by Paul Chappell

    Christian-School

    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…)