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. 10 Diagnostic Questions to Assess Balance and Sustainability, part 2

    September 7, 2016 by Paul Chappell


    In the previous post, we discussed the need to intentionally evaluate our balance and to make adjustments for sustainability along the way. (If you have not yet read that post, I’d encourage you to read it before reading this post.)

    1. Who do I fear?
    2. How is my tempo?
    3. How is my courage?
    4. How is my spiritual discipline?

    In this post, we continue with six more assessment questions.

    5. Am I coming apart?

    We need to adjust the rhythm of our lives. We can’t constantly march to “Onward Christian Soldiers”; occasionally we need to adjust to reflect on “Amazing Grace.

    Jesus told His disciples as much: “And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.” (Mark 6:31).

    This is something I’ve had to learn and still have to work to practice. Part of what makes coming apart difficult is that, even as in Mark 6 when Jesus called His disciples apart, sometimes planned rest gets cancelled for ministry needs. That is simply the nature of ministry. It’s never as easy as it looks on paper, and time apart requires sensitivity to the Holy Spirit as well as a willingness to be flexible.

    That said, it’s not impossible to come apart, and these three questions will help you evaluate how well you’re doing it: (more…)

  4. 10 Diagnostic Questions to Assess Balance and Sustainability, part 1

    September 5, 2016 by Paul Chappell


    We often speak of balance as if it is something you write out on paper and then have attained for life. The truth is, maintaining life balance takes constant adjustment. Like a sailor who is constantly analyzing the wind and adjusting his sails to reach an intended destination, balance for a spiritual leader requires sensitivity to the Holy Spirit and a willingness to make changes.

    Over the years, I’ve learned that, at times, the pace at which I do the work of God can hinder His work in me. But since Jesus tells us that His yoke is easy and His burden is light, I have tried to periodically step back, pray, seek counsel, and adjust for the next leg of the journey.

    These are the kinds of questions I ask myself at these times:

    1. Who do I fear?

    So often, when we evaluate our commitments and balance, we begin by assessing our schedules.

    But an overcrowded schedule may have deeper roots than too many commitments. It may relate to fearing the perception others have of us more than we fear God. (more…)

  5. 4 Ways Courageous Leaders Model Sustained Urgency

    August 29, 2016 by Paul Chappell


    You can’t miss the urgency and passion with which Jesus carried out His ministry. Throughout His ministry, He spoke of musts, such as, “I must work the works of Him that sent me” (John 9:4).

    As spiritual leaders, we know there is urgency to our labor, but we don’t always maintain it. The truth is, urgency is not the default mode; complacency is.

    Strangely enough, it is our very successes in ministry that tend to feed complacency. It works like this: Success builds pride, and pride kills urgency. (more…)