All posts tagged local church

Influence vs. Control

Sometimes we get mixed up in ministry. We forget that our responsibility is not control it is influence. God never gave us control of people, their lifestyles, or their choices. He created free will, and gives each individual responsibility for their choices. I fear, out of good intentions, some spiritual leaders cross the line and…

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Skeptics, Spectators, and Servants

In John 11, the amazing story of the raising of Lazarus unfolds. Not long ago, I was studying this passage and it occurred to me that there were three distinct groups of people at this resurrection, and those groups are still pretty much “alive and kicking” in today’s local churches. Picture the scene—Jesus has waited…

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Why Ministry127.com?

Two months ago, we launched a new website—Ministry127.com. It has had a wonderful start. Friends and co-laborers from all over the world have written and expressed appreciation for the site and the resources it contains. Contributors have continually sent in submissions that are practical and helpful. The site has been overwhelmingly received and used in…

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Three Lost Boys and a Local Church

A Story of the Power of Local Church Ministry Opening scene—a young family of five is running late to church on a Sunday morning. Three lost, long-haired, little boys (all younger than seven years) sit quietly in the back seat of the car, while a frustrated mom and dad debate over “why” they are late….

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New Data on Church Drop-Outs

USAToday featured an article today that stated 72% of 18-29 year olds say they are more “spiritual” than religious. You can read the original article here, and it’s filled with plenty of discouraging data. But I wanted to draw out two positives that jumped off the page at me. These two things greatly encouraged my…

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Why Young People Stay Faithful

Have you ever wondered what contributes to young people staying faithful to the things of God, while others wander away? What contributes to two kids in the same local church, hearing the same preaching, ultimately going dramatically different directions? Ultimately, it’s free will—everybody makes their own decisions. But what influences those decisions? One of our…

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The Hidden Values of Preparation

Have you ever conducted an event that was ill-prepared? Have you ever been disorganized or caught off guard in some ministry environment? There’s nothing worse than being thrown off balance by a lack of preparation. I could fill the pages of a book with tough lessons learned through a lack of preparation. Even after years…

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Do Big Events Really Count?

We just completed two huge events in our ministry—Easter weekend and West Coast Baptist Youth Conference. After many months of diligent prayer and preparation by a large team, God gave us a great week of decisions for Christ and personal life-change. Over the course of both events we had at least 200 people trust Christ…

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Re-Igniting Apathetic Teens

Recently, a youth pastor asked about some thoughts on how to respond if the youth group is apathetic. My first thought was, we live in a spiritually apathetic world—apathy toward spiritual things is rampant, even among Christians. It’s nothing new, and as long as we serve in ministry, we will be fighting apathy. It’s what…

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Introducing Ministry127.com

For many years, God has placed a passion on Dr. Paul Chappell’s heart for independent Baptist leaders to strive together for the faith of the Gospel (Philippians 1:27.) In that spirit, our team has been working for months on a new resource website called Ministry127.com (based upon Philippians 1:27.) Just as the annual Spiritual Leadership Conference…

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The Forgotten Side of Submission

Not long ago, my wife and I were faced with a really difficult decision. We were faced with two very important schedule conflicts and there was no way we could fulfill both. For several days we worked the situation over in our minds and in talking together. No matter what we chose, something very important…

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Five Values of Successful Homeschooling

Educating Your Children with a Winning Philosophy Recently I had the privilege of meeting with a wonderful group of families in our church that homeschool their children. I fully believe in the value of traditional, Christian education and schooling, but I also have respect for Christian parents who, out of necessity or by preference, choose…

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Before You Criticize Your Pastor…

Ever noticed that some people relish the criticism of pastors? Like kids and candy—they addict themselves even though it’s rotting something in them. While choosing voluntarily to stay under his leadership, they commit themselves to finding and exploiting every possible imperfection. I’ve never understood this thinking. Selecting a pastor, only to proceed to condemn the…

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Problems with Fun-Focused Youth Ministry

Is your youth ministry Bible-focused or fun-focused? It’s easy to focus more on making the youth group fun than on making it biblical. I’m all for having a good time with students in the right context, but we have a much higher calling. How easy it is to fall into the trap of spending more…

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New Curriculum—Salt and Light!

Striving Together Publications is excited to announce the soon availability (Feb. 12) of this new adult curriculum from Dr. Mark Rasmussen! This 13 lesson series was over two years in development, and I’m extremely happy with the finished product. Dr. Rasmussen is one of the greatest Christian educators alive today, and you will find this…

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New SL Podcast—By His Spirit

The January edition of the Spiritual Leadership Podcast has just posted! Originally taught this past fall at our staff orientation, this lesson is entitled “By His Spirit.” In it, Pastor Chappell challenges you with what can be done if we will submit to the power of God. The Spiritual Leadership podcast is a free resource…

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My Only Sanctuary

This past Sunday, my path intersected with a gracious man who has served the Lord in our church for many years. He’s been steadfast—even through much personal pain and many trials. When asked “How are you doing today?” He promptly replied: “I’d better be doing great! I’m at church! And this is my only sanctuary…

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Thoughts on Effective Youth Ministry

A frequent question: What are some keys for effective youth ministry? While I’m certainly not the authority, here are a few thoughts that I’ve seen the Lord bless (not listed in any particular order)… A Strong Local Church—Jesus died for the church. It is His divine authorized institution for His work on earth. A youth…

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SL Podcast: Opening the Front Door

The audio file above is the newest Spiritual Leadership podcast from Pastor Paul Chappell. This lesson is entitled “Opening the Front Door.” In this session, Pastor Chappell shares some biblical and practical insights on how to welcome more visitors into your church. The Spiritual Leadership podcast is a free resource from Striving Together Publications (a…

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Welcome, Guests—Meet Mystery Babylon

Breaking the church growth rules, the Bible works once again! How would the seeker-sensitive, church growth experts and the leaders of the emergent church movement answer this question: What passages would you not preach on when you have the most first time guests at your church? Certainly, on that short list would be Revelation 17—The…

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