1. The Challenge of Christmas Curriculum

    October 24, 2014 by Paul Chappell

    A Season to Celebrate

    The last six weeks of every year—from Thanksgiving to Christmas to New Year’s—are full of incredible reminders of God’s presence and goodness.

    But these weeks also tend to be incredibly busy and demanding. It’s easy to spend these weeks pulled from one special ministry event or family celebration to the next with no time to breathe in between. For many the season simply passes by in a blur of activity and hurry.

    Add to that the pressure as a teacher or preacher of preparing holiday-themed lessons or messages—multiple years in a row to the same people—and there is another demand on a full calendar season.

    Yet, for Christians, Thanksgiving and Christmas ought to be two of the most celebrated and reflected upon holidays of the year. And the New Year ought to be approached with renewed dedication to the Lord, not frazzled leftovers from a stressed out month.

    It is for these reasons that I recently wrote a brand new adult Sunday school curriculum—A Season to Celebrate: Experience God’s Grace in the Busyness of the Season. I am so excited about releasing this mini-series, and I pray it will be a help and blessing to teachers and students alike. (more…)


  2. Book Review: Rescuing Ambition

    January 15, 2014 by Paul Chappell

    Rescuing-Ambition-Harvey

    Type As like me rarely need to be encouraged to develop ambition. But we do need to be encouraged to purify our ambition.

    Conversely, Type Bs often need to be encouraged to pursue godly ambition.

    Rescuing Ambition by Dave Harvey addresses both ends of the spectrum. It’s not a book about personality types in the least; it’s about developing and pursuing ambitions that honor and glorify God.

    We live in a culture that loudly and persistently tells us to promote ourselves and satisfy our quest for recognition and accomplishment. As Christians, we are sometimes prone to counter these voices by quenching ambition altogether—by viewing humility and ambition as opposing values. (more…)


  3. Growth Points 46: Better before Bigger

    January 8, 2014 by Paul Chappell

    Before God gives growth, we must remove the obstacles to growth. We see this principle clearly in the Titus 1:5: “…that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting….”

    On our annual vision night at Lancaster Baptist Church last Sunday, I shared with our church family seven critical space needs and seven steps for meeting these needs. I mentioned that our leadership team had taken some time to step back and prayerfully assess the needs and solutions.

    In the Growth Points video below, I describe the process we went through to assess these needs. I actually recorded this right after the retreat although I didn’t post it to this blog immediately.

    If you lead in any type of ministry, I believe that the five steps outlined in this video will help you discern your most pressing obstacles to growth and how you can become better before growing bigger.


    (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.


  4. 7 Commitments for Finishing Well

    January 6, 2014 by Paul Chappell

    boxing-gloves

    No one begins the New Year with aspirations to quit. We want to finish the year well, and we want to finish our life course well.

    I think of the Apostle Paul’s statement in 2 Timothy 4:7: “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” You get the picture of a boxing match with a fighter who stayed in the ring until the end of the fight.

    I want to be that fighter. But it won’t happen by accident.

    I believe many times we’re defeated simply because we’re naïve. We write out our goals or visualize coming progress, but we forget that we are in a real spiritual battle. This is a fight, not an exercise. (more…)


  5. Growth Points 45: The Seed of Hope

    December 24, 2013 by Paul Chappell

    Isn’t it amazing how the news of Jesus, which brings such peace and joy to our hearts, is increasingly troubling to the world in which we minister? This has been the case since the very first Christmas when Herod “and all Jerusalem with him” were troubled at the news of Christ’s arrival.

    In this growth points video, I’d like to remind you that when the seed of hope is planted into the hearts of troubled men, great things spring up for the glory of God.


    (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.