All posts tagged ministry

When God Leads Change…

Note: Please don’t read into this post that people are resisting change at EBC. In fact, they have embraced change, and seen God glorified by that change for the past year. This post is just my effort to help others release the strangle-hold that “SAME” has on their church. If you call a new pastor, you are calling change. I’m not saying things “might change.” I’m not saying “things could change.” I’m saying, he IS change. The new guy IS change. He doesn’t know your context. He doesn’t know “how it used to be,” “how it’s always been,” or what…

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How to Survive a Tough Transition

One year ago, our family began the most difficult transitional challenge of our lives. God called us away from comfort and security, and into a journey of seeing a hurting church revitalized by His grace. We were terrified. In many ways, we still are. But a nearly a year into it, God’s grace has sustained us and taken us on a journey we would not trade for anything. God has been glorified at EBC, and He is moving in people’s hearts and lives. That makes the journey worth every step. Yet, the transition has been pretty tough at times—planting new…

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Unbelieving Believers

Our transition to New England has been nothing short of the most tumultuous upheaval imagineable. It’s been shell-shocking, heart-wrenching, and emotionally chaotic. It’s also been abundantly blessed, amazingly grace-filled, and powerfully revealing of God’s heart and goodness. Name the extreme of emotion—from fantastic highs to lonely lows, and yes, we’re there—sometimes both at once! There are two things that surprised me greatly in our transition. The first was the presence of faith in New Englanders toward the gospel. Everywhere I go, I find people who are open to a church invitation and a gospel presentation. I don’t mean politely tolerant—I…

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Why Should We Care About Excellence?

Why should God’s people and God’s servants care about excellence? From the maintaining of a church facility to the order of hall closet—does it matter if we have a standard of excellence and order in our lives and ministries? For many, this is a “self-image thing.” Excellence can be about self-promotion and personal image before others. But biblically, this is a “God’s image” thing. Biblical excellence is about being God’s image bearer to a lost world and letting His glory be accurately seen through us. Let’s explore some reasons we should value excellence as God’s people: God is excellent in…

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Making it Easy to Make it Right…

Not long ago, God gave us the privilege of helping some young people and their families through difficult trial. Satan had laid a cleverly disguised trap, sin had occurred, and as a result everyone involved was hurting. To make a long story short, God gave a wonderful victory over the period of many weeks. Hearts were softened, Christians responded with grace toward one another, kids and parents were reconciled, and hearts were realigned with God’s direction and purpose. Things broken were healed. Lives out of fellowship were restored. God was good through a very tough situation. The whole experience was…

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Done—Free for the Amazon Kindle!

This post is all about sharing the gospel with friends, family, and co-workers. If you know someone who doesn’t know Christ, read on: Perhaps you are familiar with the little book I wrote several years ago entitled “Done—What Most Religions Don’t Tell You About the Bible.” It’s a small book (about 100 pages) that shares a simple, clear presentation of the gospel. It’s been a tremendous joy to receive emails every week from people around the world who trusted Christ after reading “Done.” I’m happy to report that this little book is now available for free at both Amazon.com and…

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New Podcast: Biblical Vision for Growth

The newest edition of the Spiritual Leadership Podcast from Dr. Paul Chappell is posted. This month the lesson is entitled “Developing a Biblical Vision for Every Stage of Growth.” This lesson discusses the various stages of growth that every church experiences, and how to develop vision for each of those stages. It’s a very practical and challenging lesson. Don’t forget, you can always subscribe to receive the free companion outline if you visit paulchappell.com and click on the Spiritual Leadership Podcast link. This podcast, and it’s previous editions are available on iTunes. Enjoy this month’s lesson!

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Spiritual Weapons for Wayward Kids

What can you do when your grown children begin to stray spiritually? I’ve seen a lot of parents hurt, mystified, and shaken by sudden and radical spiritual changes in the lives of their adult children. I realize, one day I may be one of them—and so could you. In these moments, some parents grasp for control—trying to maintain a mythical strangle-hold of childhood authority. This always escalates a situation to become worse and creates greater distance relationally and spiritually. In a wild swing to the other extreme—some parents abandon their post of parental influence. They mentally, emotionally, and spiritually disconnect with an…

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Repost: 3 Reasons to Get Good Advice

Isn’t it amazing how often people venture into major life-changing decisions without getting any outside, biblical advice. Why do we do this to ourselves? Sometimes we fear that a counselor will have a private agenda and won’t counsel us honestly. At other times, we presume to know what our counselors will say, and rationalize it away without even talking to them. But the most common reason we don’t get advice is because we would rather not hear what we already know. Self deception is a scary thing—we would rather be wrong and fantasize that things will work out, than really…

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SL Podcast – Staying the Course

The most recent Spiritual Leadership Podcast is one you SHOULD NOT miss! It’s entitled “Staying the Course Through Troubled Waters” from Pastor Paul Chappell. This lesson challenges spiritual leaders to stay faithful through difficult times! I promise you it will encourage your life and strengthen you in the ministry. You can listen above, or better yet, subscribe through iTunes. The Spiritual Leadership Podcast is a monthly resource that is offered free from Pastor Chappell. To subscribe to the complimentary outline, click HERE. Submit your email address and you will receive the outline along with a notification that the newest podcast…

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How to Pray for Your Pastor

This is another recent challenge sent to me by Pastor Dick Hester—my friend. It was too great not to share. It’s a reminder of why and how we should all pray for our pastors. I hope these things will become a part of your regular prayers for your pastor. He challenges us in praying for our pastors in the following ways: “Allow me to give some suggestions of things I pray for pastors and leaders:

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United—Fighting for the Next Generation

The contemporary church is seeing a mass exodus of young adults walking away from their faith in their late teens and early twenties. Some studies say the percentage is around 80% while others estimate it to be much higher. The statistic highlights major failures in many contemporary church ministry on a number of levels, but not all churches are seeing this lack of fruit. While we are never content to see even one young life walk away from the faith, God has seen fit to bless biblical principles in the ministry of Lancaster Baptist Church. He has blessed the application…

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Are You a Builder or a Destroyer?

Two profiles of Christian leaders are spotlighted, center-stage in this tale. Both would call themselves servants of God. The Builder One is a giant—in every imaginable way, a joyful, godly, spiritual giant of encouragement and mentorship—a builder. He has spent his life building. He builds everybody he comes into contact with. He loves, he gives, he encourages, he admonishes, he reproves, he exhorts, he emmulates and embodies the very spirit of Christ in a very joyful and practical way. He inspires others to live faithfully. He encourages them to serve Christ. He challenges them to remain faithful to God’s Word….

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An Effective Staff Member Grows

This is part two of a series on an effective staff member. You can read the first article here. The big question we’re answering is simply this: What qualities make an effective staff member? What characteristics produce winning teams? If God has placed you “in the middle” of the organization chart somewhere—welcome! Many of us are called of God to serve on a team. In the first post we discussed commitment—an effective staff member fully commits to the Lord and to the team. Let’s move on to a second quality (and these are in no particular order):

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An Effective Staff Member Commits

I’ve never written a ten part blog series, but here goes! Whether you hang with me for all ten parts, or just read one or two, I hope you will be encouraged. Do you serve on a ministry staff? Are you a member of a team? If so, you are no second-class citizen in the work of Christ. Some men are called to be a “Senior Pastor,” but probably many more are led to serve on a staff under a pastor. While some may believe that only Senior Pastors “have a clue” and everybody else is a second-rate servant, I…

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SL Podcast – Christlikeness in the Church

Don’t miss this month’s Spiritual Leadership Podcast from Pastor Paul Chappell. The topic is “How to Develop Christ-likeness in the Church.” This lesson will challenge you to evaluate the spiritual health and development of your church family. More than that, it will provide some thoughts for measuring progress and evaluating what a “Christ-like church” looks like. It will encourage you to focus on the roots, to make sure that your church family is being nourished and established in the faith. Don’t forget, you can always subscribe to receive the free companion outline if you visit paulchappell.com and click on the…

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Response #1 to The Saddest Letter

Wow! The “Saddest Letter” post provoked a lot of interesting discussion! Since I received it a week ago, I too have been pondering my response, and in many ways, those who commented touched on many of the things that have been on my heart. For reasons of length and direction, I think my response will break down into three posts. The first will be a general response to the broader issues. The second, a response to parents and spiritual authorities. The third, a personal response to the young lady who wrote the letter, and to her generation.

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Saddest Letter I’ve Ever Read

Parents and Pastors—Please Read!! I received this letter from a young lady last week—a Bible college student who grew up in a Christian home and Christian school. I believe it’s the saddest letter I’ve ever read and right on the mark for so detailing the experiences of so many young Christians. I asked her permission to post it. Please read. Her words will greatly challenge you as a parent or pastor: Dear Pastor Schmidt, A few years ago, I read your books Hook, Line, and Sinker, Discover Your Destiny, and Life Quest. I found them to be extremely encouraging and…

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Podcast – Striving Together in Leadership

The newest Spiritual Leadership Podcast from Dr. Paul Chappell is now available (above or through iTunes!) This lesson was taught at our annual staff orientation and is entitled “Striving Together in Spiritual Leadership.” It’s a two part lesson—this is part one and focuses on the spirit of ministry. It’s a challenge to have the right spirit as you serve on and with a team of people in local church ministry. Don’t forget you can receive the free outline by visiting here and submitting your email address! We pray that this month’s lesson from Dr. Chappell will encourage you!

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Developing a LifeTouch Database

Have you ever wondered who you are ministering to well, and who you are missing? Whether it’s a class, a group, or a church family, it’s easy to minister to many but miss some—especially those who are quiet. Some years ago, as our youth group grew larger, we became burdened about who we might be missing in our regular week to week ministry. It occurred to us that we had no reliable way of tracking who was being visited, called, written, or given personal time in ministry. And our heart in ministry is personal relationships—making sure that every student has…

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