Having read quite a few of Paul Chappell’s book, I believe this has been one of his finest. Some of his books are a bit dry, but I found this one to be a compelling, balanced approach to the subject of the Great Commission.
It is often that you find two camps pitted at opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to the Great Commission. There are many churches who teach and preach and practice soul winning, soul winning, soul winning but do a poor job of discipleship (which is just as much a part of the Great Commission). At the other end are churches who are excellent at the discipleship piece of the Great Commission but are not reaching anyone with their evangelistic or soul winning efforts because they basically are not pursuing souls. This book is call for a balanced approach.
Chappell has done a superb job writing a Biblically sound book filled with philosophy and practicality concerning the Great Commission. And from what I can tell, he and his church successfully practice what he teaches in the book. It is no wonder that his church is a very solid, growing (quite young still), balanced work.
There were several things that I really loved about the book. First, the teaching infused throughout the book that we are not the ones that win souls, the Holy Spirit does, was refreshing to me. Yes – He uses us, but He is the one winning them! I loved the emphasis put on the reliance on the Holy Spirit of when to witness and when not to witness. Some teachers/preachers would say that you need to give the gospel to every person, every time you come in contact with them. Chappell teaches that we should be aggressive in our soul winning while at the same time relying on the Holy Spirit to give direction/wisdom on when to pursue the discussion of salvation with a lost soul. Second, the chapter on “The Priority of Discipleship” was pure gold!
Here are a couple of quotes from the chapter on discipleship:
- “What does it require (discipleship)? I believe it requires three biblical components – an atmosphere of growth, a spirit of hospitality, and an equipped church.”
- “Hospitality opens hearts. When you invite someone to your home, you invite them into your life.”
- “Opening your home never happens by accident. (Ask my wife.) It requires time, planning, and genuine care.”
- “Adult Bible classes (which we refer to as Sunday school classes or adult Bible fellowships) should be greenhouses of dynamic spiritual growth.”
- “At Lancaster Baptist Church, the adult Bible classes are the hub of our church.”
This book blessed my heart in a big way! It would be helpful to anyone, not just pastors, who has a heart to reach people with the gospel and grow people with the gospel!