1. Moving the Arm of God through Social Media

    August 23, 2014 by Paul Chappell


    You know the traction-gaining tool for social media: hashtags. Whether it’s #WeAreN or #icebucketchallenge, people turn to hashtags to use their Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram posts to make a difference.

    Why? We want to use social media to effect change. With or without a hashtag, we post because we have something to say that we want someone else to read—and we hope our words will find a place in their attention, if only for a moment.

    Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t.

    But could I remind you of a form of posting that always works? It’s called prayer, and it is guaranteed to move the arm of God. (more…)

  2. Unselfing Social Media

    December 14, 2013 by Paul Chappell


    Selfie—it’s the Oxford Dictionary’s word of the year for 2013.

    And it says a lot about the influence of social media on American society. But perhaps it says more about the narcissism of American society in general. Because in the end, our social media doesn’t make us who we are; it reveals who we are.

    In my last post, I highlighted potential blessings and pitfalls of social networking. I’d like to follow that up with ten general biblical principles regarding a spiritual leader’s use of social networking. (more…)

  3. Navigating the Minefield of Social Networking

    December 11, 2013 by Paul Chappell


    Do a word search in Scripture for “twitter,” and you’ll find nothing. Make it even broader to include “social media,” and you’ll get the same results.

    Yet every mature Christian understands that God’s Word has much to say regarding social media. It is our responsibility to examine God’s Word and apply its timeless truths to the present reality of our daily lives. For Christians in the twenty-first century, these realities include social networking.

    Early on when I began using Twitter, I listed biblical principles that I saw applied to the social media phenomenon. Later that year, I wrote a booklet, Blessings and Pitfalls of Social Media.

    Reviewing this list of principles years later, I see it as just as applicable as it was when social media was relatively new—or at least newer.

    Perhaps reviewing these principles in light of your social networking would be a blessing to you as it was to me. I’ve split this list into two sections: (more…)

  4. Leadership for the Birds: 5 Thoughts on Twitter and Leadership

    May 10, 2013 by Paul Chappell


    Most of us who use Twitter would like to think of our tweets as resembling eagles—majestic, timeless, strong.

    In reality, we probably sound more like ravens—noisy, incessant, perhaps annoying.

    (If you’ve lived in Southern California, particularly Lancaster, for any length of time, you’ve had plenty of opportunities to observe the common raven. Ravens are rated as the most intelligent birds, but they have a knack for making themselves obnoxious as well.)

    Eagle or raven (or mocking bird, hawk, or vulture), spiritual leaders who use Twitter should be intentional about how this tool relates to their leadership.

    I’ve been using Twitter for about five years now, and I’ve gone through multiple love/hate phases with it. Currently, I enjoy using it to receive updates and interact with friends around the country who are in ministry. But I’ve recently read a couple of disparaging articles regarding Twitter—both which made me pause and consider anew the effect Twitter has in spiritual leadership.

    From a bird’s eye view, here are a few thoughts on Twitter and leadership: (more…)

  5. Texting for Grown-Ups

    May 4, 2012 by Paul Chappell

    Several weeks ago, I was privileged to lead a man to the Lord for whom I had been praying for over six months. That was on a Sunday afternoon. A couple of days later, I was preaching out of state and two time zones away. I woke up early with this man on my mind, and I texted him a Scripture verse.

    Less than two minutes later, I received a response. He and his wife had just been spending time in God’s Word together and were reading that very verse when he received my text.

    Despite all the pitfalls of electronic communication and social networking, this story illustrates one clear benefit: immediate and edifying communication.

    Fifteen years ago, I did not have a tool that would have allowed me to have this kind of immediacy in communication. I could have sent an email with the Scripture verse and let him know I was praying for him, but it is unlikely that he would have received it at the very moment he was reading the same verse.

    When Spirit-filled Christians use the technological communication tools of our day, those tools can become powerful means of encouragement, edification, and spiritual influence. (more…)