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. Thoughts on Presenting the Gospel Gift this Christmas

    December 6, 2014 by Paul Chappell

    the-gift

    One of the blessings of the Christmas season is people’s openness to talk about Jesus. In my experience, it’s one of the best times of the year in terms of tender hearts and responsiveness to gospel invitations in the community.

    Each year, our church choir and orchestra present a Christmas musical production to which we invite our community. It requires thousands of hours of volunteer labor, but it’s beyond worth it. At the musical, I always preach the gospel and invite guests to receive Christ as their Saviour—to receive the gift of salvation.

    This year, our musical is actually titled “The Gift.” As I reflected on this title, it reminded me of three things: (more…)


  4. Why We Must Pray for Laborers

    November 19, 2014 by Paul Chappell

    evening-harvest

    We hear much these days from politicians regarding the size and lifespan of the Baby Boomer (my) generation.

    Consider these facts:

    • Until recently, the Boomers were the largest generation in the United States, with the succeeding Generation X being smaller. (The Millennial generation has recently exceeded the Boomers.)
    • Add to this the greatly expanded life expectancies of the Boomers compared to preceding generations, and the concerns—from an economic angle—involve retirement, workforce replacements, and social security deficits.

    But economics and politics aside, I believe there is an even greater reason these size demographics should be considered.

    That reason is the harvest fields.

    Not only do we have the usual shortage of laborers because of the overwhelmingly needy fields in front of us (7.2 billion people with teeming metropolitan cities void of independent Baptist churches), but we have an impending shortage of laborers because of an aging generation of current laborers with a smaller generation coming behind them.

    What does all this mean? (more…)


  5. 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…)