1. What Do Pastors Do All Week?

    August 9, 2016 by Paul Chappell

     

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    I think one of the most common misconceptions of those who have not served as a senior pastor is that a pastor’s work is only the work of preaching. If you look at it that way, it would seem the pastor hardly works at all—perhaps for an hour two or three times each week.

    Yet, when Paul described the “office of a bishop” (pastor), he specifically called it “work.”

    This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.—1 Timothy 3:1

    It was a joy a few months back to preach the ordination for our youngest son, Matthew, who will be planting Rock Hill Baptist Church in Fontana, California, in a few months. I chose 1 Timothy 3:1 as my text, and in the message, I noted four aspects of the work ministry.

    If you have ever wondered what your pastor does all week, here it is. And if, as a pastor, you’ve ever wondered what aspects of your job you should focus on, here are four core responsibilities. (more…)


  2. 8 Characteristics of an Effective Discipleship Program

    August 1, 2016 by Paul Chappell

    Wednesday-night-discipleship

    One of the core ministries that God has greatly blessed in our church is the organized discipleship on Wednesday evenings. Not only are there new people continually being enrolled in discipleship and others completing the course, but the biblical grounding and personal mentoring that takes place during the weeks of discipleship continues to bear fruit in people’s lives years after they have finished.

    At our church, we use the Continue discipleship book and have found it both helpful and fruitful.

    But it’s not just having a course or a program that makes a discipleship program effective. It’s much more than that.

    Discipleship, whatever means you may use, is one of the components of the Great Commission (“teaching them to observe all things,” Matthew 28:20). It is the responsibility of the local church to ground new Christians in the faith while teaching them how to grow in a daily walk with God.

    So having an organized discipleship program is a good start, but it’s not enough. What are the characteristics of an effective discipleship program? (more…)


  3. 5 Traits Common to Leaders Who Continue

    July 15, 2016 by Paul Chappell

    The challenges to Christian ministry continue to mount. Between a cultural shift toward intolerance of truth, the decision fatigue of pastors, the opinion overload of society, and a host of other challenges, it’s no wonder that so many pastors and spiritual leaders are falling out of the ministry.

    Although I’m aware of and experience these types of challenges, I want to finish my race still serving the Lord. And I don’t want to stagger across the finish line—depleted and embittered toward the people God has called me to serve—either. I want to finish my race in love with Christ and fully engaged in His work.

    In a previous blog, I shared the Spiritual Leadership Conference session 5 Commitments of Continuing Churches. Our goal, however, is not just to build a ministry that continues, but to personally stay in the race.

    In other words, we cannot help others to continue if we give up.

    One of the characteristics of effective leaders is a practice of personal assessment. In the Wednesday morning session of Spiritual Leadership Conference ’16, we looked at 5 principles of continuing leaders with a challenge to personally assess how we’re doing in each area.


    (watch video | download audio | download notes)

    Each of these five principles were thoroughly developed scripturally, and the lesson included many practical action items. But for an overview of the lesson, here are the five main points: (more…)


  4. 5 Commitments of Continuing Churches

    July 5, 2016 by Paul Chappell

    We have the absolute promise that the church will continue. Jesus plainly declared, “I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18). Thus, we have the advantage of operating from the knowledge that we are on the winning side.

    Even so, you and I both know of churches that have not continued for Christ—churches who have left off aggressively reaching the world with the gospel and dwindled to nothing or have tried to “reinvent” the church and lost their distinction and effectiveness.

    So what is the difference between a local church that continues and a church that doesn’t? What helps a church remain true to its founding doctrine and biblical in its methods?

    In a morning session of Spiritual Leadership Conference ’16, we looked at five commitments of continuing churches.


    (watch video | download audio | download notes)

    Each of these five commitments were thoroughly developed scripturally, and the lesson included many practical action items. But for an overview of the lesson, here are the five commitments: (more…)


  5. #SLC16 Live Stream and Conference App

    June 11, 2016 by Paul Chappell

    SLC-logo

    The 2016 Spiritual Leadership Conference begins in less than twenty-four hours. I am praying for the Lord to empower every moment of this conference for His glory and for the encouragement of His servants.

    Our conference theme is one word, taken from 2 Timothy 3:14—Continue.

    But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;—2 Timothy 3:14

    If there has ever been a time when we need to continue, it is now. In addition to the natural tendency of leaders and churches to drift, we’re facing a mounting onslaught of opposition to our faith from unbelievers. For both reasons, we must be intentional about continuing in the gospel. Please pray with us that the Lord will use this conference to challenge, encourage, and equip pastors and Christian servants.

    I wanted to let you know of two conference resources that I hope are a help to you whether or not you are able to be with us here in Lancaster, California, for the conference. (more…)