1. 8 Ways to Prepare for a Fall Soulwinning Relaunch

    August 31, 2015 by Paul Chappell

    neighborhood

    I firmly believe that Christ’s last command must be our first priority. I believe that every Christian individually as well as corporately with their church family should be actively engaged in sharing the gospel year round.

    As a pastor, I take seriously our responsibility as a church to share the gospel, and I take seriously the spiritual maturity of our church family in making soulwinning a priority. If soulwinning and outreach times are attended by fewer and fewer people, that reveals a disconnect between what we say we believe and how we behave. Thus, we consistently give attention to keeping our soulwinning program strong.

    And yet, like all priorities in our lives, sometimes we allow what is urgent to take place over what is important. Thus, every spring and fall, we press a restart button on the church soulwinning program, encouraging every member to enlist or reenlist in reaching our community with the gospel.

    So, what do we do to prepare for a soulwinning relaunch? Each year is slightly different in the theming we use, but below are eight basic components:   (more…)


  2. Ephesians 3:20 for Church Planters

    August 28, 2015 by Paul Chappell

     

    church-planters-luncheon

    One of the highlights every year for me at Spiritual Leadership Conference is the pre-conference Church Planter’s Luncheon on Monday afternoon.

    All church planters and their wives are invited for a complimentary meal, great fellowship with other church planters (and pastors who are heavily involved in church planting), a lesson from a veteran church planter, and a Q&A to close.

    This year we had about sixty church planters present. As they went around the room introducing themselves, it was a thrill to me to see so many young men from across America (and foreign fields as well) planting fresh works for God. (more…)


  3. 5 Goals of Effective Staff Training

    August 25, 2015 by Paul Chappell

    Staff-Advance

    Near the end of each summer, our staff pulls away from daily responsibilities for two days of training—usually at an off campus location. I greatly look forward to this time and spend many hours preparing for it. Although we have staff meeting each week, this annual staff orientation is a time when we pause, evaluate, adjust, and move forward as a team with renewed focus and momentum.

    If you are a pastor, I highly recommend planning something similar with your staff. I look forward to sharing the burden God has placed on my heart for our church and ministries, and I know our staff appreciates the time to zero in on catching that vision and planning how to incorporate it in their specific areas of ministry.

    Our staff orientation this year began yesterday. As we are engaged in this time of equipping and training, here are five specific goals I’m praying to see accomplished among our staff: (more…)


  4. Overcoming the Natural Drift toward Apathy

    August 21, 2015 by Paul Chappell

    driftwood

    In the previous post I pointed out seven symptoms of one of the most dangerous spiritual diseases—apathy.

    A diagnose without a cure, however, is unhelpful.

    The direct counsel Christ Himself gave to the church at Laodicea was to humble themselves in repentance and recognize their need for Christ:

    Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.—Revelation 3:17–19

    How can you as a pastor lead a church in applying this counsel to the areas where apathy is beginning to manifest itself?

    The first step is to recognize the need. The second is to humbly cry out to God—for direction as you lead and for His conviction in those you lead.

    From there, here are some practical applications to help combat the natural drift toward apathy that every Christian and church battles. Each of these relates to the symptoms mentioned in the previous post. (more…)


  5. 7 Early Symptoms of Spiritual Apathy

    August 17, 2015 by Paul Chappell

    wilting-flower

    “The nice thing about apathy is you don’t have to exert yourself to show you’re sincere about it.”—Anonymous

    The bad thing about apathy, however—at least, spiritual apathy—is everything.

    There are few things a pastor or spiritual leader fears more than apathy. (And if we’re wise, we fear it creeping into our own hearts as much as we fear it undermining the spiritual growth of those we lead.)

    How do we recognize and diagnose apathy before it’s too late? Below are seven symptoms of spiritual apathy in the local church: (more…)