1. Growth Points 55: Five Ways to Have a Positive Influence in the Life of Your Child

    September 17, 2014 by Paul Chappell

    There is no doubt that spiritual formation in the heart of a child begins at an early age. (Moses, Samuel, Timothy, and others from the pages of Scripture testify to this fact.)

    Children are impressionable and easily influenced. Even in the life of a child, a difference can be made and greatness can be cultivated. But it takes a parent, grandparent, or teacher who is intentionally instilling truth into a young heart.

    In this Growth Points video, I share five vital ways to influence your children 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.

  2. 5 Ways Dads Can Redeem the Time

    July 31, 2013 by Paul Chappell


    If you are a father with children at home, you are a blessed man. It seems just yesterday that I snapped the picture above. In reality, it was twenty years ago.

    When it comes to parenting, time flies. And I don’t regret a second of that fleeting time that I invested in my children.

    By obvious implication, Proverbs 4 instructs dads to invest in their children—to prepare them for a successful life.

    Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law.—Proverbs 4:1–2

    Contrast these verses with the epidemic of uncommitted fathers in our nation, and you’ll easily understand why we have so many floundering young people. It’s not that dads don’t care about their kids. It’s just that they miss the opportunities. And they forget how fleeting their time is with their children in the home.

    How can you redeem the time? How can you instill your walk with the Lord and biblical values in the lives of your children? It’s not always as complicated as you might fear. It’s a matter of opening your world to them and intentionally investing in theirs.

    Below are five simple ways you can redeem the time with your kids: (more…)

  3. Everyday Legacy

    June 15, 2013 by Paul Chappell


    I don’t remember that I thought too much about the word legacy—not in a personal sense, anyway—until my first grandchild was born. As parents, we’re so involved in the daily aspects of guiding our children, and we’re so committed to being there for them every step of the way, that we don’t think as much in terms of what legacy we leave for them after we are gone.

    But truthfully, every parent does leave some kind of a legacy. So do grandparents.

    A legacy, however, isn’t something you dream up and write as a pre-eulogy. It’s something you live—every day.

    In other words, what you do today is shaping your legacy of tomorrow.

    Recognizing the value of a legacy and the importance of today in shaping it gives meaning to the mundane. Driving your kids to school, planning a family night, going to ball games, praying with your children before bed—although we do these regularly, we must remember that each instance is meaningful. It has accumulative strength in shaping a child’s heart for God. (more…)

  4. 10 Qualities to Instill in the Hearts of Students

    January 16, 2013 by Paul Chappell


    If repetition is the key to learning, then, when it comes to working with young people, keeping a big picture focus is the key to sanity. It’s so easy to get into a rut in which we tire of the repetition necessary to develop students.

    • If you’re a parent, you perhaps tire of reminding your child to make his bed or eat his broccoli.
    • If you’re a teacher, you perhaps wonder if there will ever be an evening when you don’t have to grade homework.
    • If you’re a pastor, you may fight the frustration that tends to come with continually addressing immature crises in the youth or children’s ministries.

    Sometimes we need to step back and remember the larger goals we have for our students. Our greatest aspirations for them are much larger than that they make their beds, eat their vegetables, complete their homework, or listen to their Sunday school teachers.

    Ultimately, we want our students to enter adulthood with a heart for God and a surrender to His will. As we equip them with the skills to live a faithful Christian life, it is vital that we keep our eyes on the big picture. (more…)

  5. When Your Teen Says ‘No’ (part 2)

    October 25, 2012 by Paul Chappell

    In part one of this post we looked at six spiritual responses for parents when their teen or young adult is rejecting.

    To recap:

    1. Love Christ unconditionally.
    2. Love your child unconditionally.
    3. Pray for wisdom.
    4. Be sure your own walk is real.
    5. Realize it is the nature of young people to question authority.
    6. Remember to be thankful for the good benefits of your pastor and church.

    (If you missed the last post, I’d encourage you to read it before reading this one.) And now we pick up with nine more responses:

    7. Guard your spirit.

    Young people are excellent at pushing your buttons. It’s a pastime for them! And when a parent or teacher responds demonstratively, that provides fuel for their fun. (more…)