page 2 outreach
Room for Improvement
Rev. Jarvis Ross
On Saturday, May 19, Dr.
Ken Priddy conducted a
workshop for TapestryFellowship, in Charlotte,North Carolina. The work
shop was followed witha debrieng luncheon atAmelie’s French Bakery, the establish
ment of one of Tapestry’s key leaders,Bill Lamb. The workshop was well at
tended with 85% of Tapestry’s core group
in attendance.The title of
Dr. Priddy’s workshop was,G.O.1:
Building Your Church’s GreatCommission Matrix
. The participantswere on the edge of their seats from be
ginning to end, grasping every word that
came from Dr. Priddy
and writing downnotes. It was a very inspirational work
shop, to say the least.One of the things that made it so inspi
rational was that it was very relevantto Tapestry’s mission and vision. Theprinciples of outreach, evangelism, anddiscipleship were caught by the group
there. We also felt a more ardent desire
to reach our neighborhood. Since then,we have walked the neighborhood four
times, talking to residents, and handing
out information about Tapestry.Even as a new church we have gonethrough incline, recline, and decline. Inthe eight weeks since
shop, our attendance has doubled. Thelargest room in the world is the room forimprovement.
I planted the seed, Apollos watered it,but God has been making it grow.
inthians 3:5-6) Soli Dio Gloria.
Te Curch Rvalizaton Lfyce
Ministry capacity of the churchis increasing. Over time, the church is
doing more and more ministry and the
quality of that ministry is better andbetter. Incline is a strong stage featuringhealth, growth and multiplication. Pri
mary identity of the church in this phaseis its vision, or calling from God.
Ministry capacity of the churchlevels off into plateau. Over time, thechurch is doing the same ministry overand over at more or less the same levelof quality. Recline is a tepid, tread water
stage featuring ministry management by
routine, lling in the blanks. Primaryidentity of the church in this phase is itsprograms.
Ministry capacity of the churchis decreasing. Over time, the church
is doing less and less ministry and the
quality of that ministry is more and morecompromised. Decline is a weak stagefeaturing decreases in membership, at
tendance, giving and overall impact in
the community. Primary identity of the
church in this phase is its structure.Churches on the upside of the lifecycle(Incline and early Recline) are facingmoderate revitalization, while churcheson the downside of the lifecycle (fullydeveloped Recline and Decline) are fac
ing a much more severe revitalization
Since vitality decreases over time,church revitalization needs to be an on
going process.It is much better for churches to em
brace revitalization early in the lifecy
cle rather than late, as revitalization ismuch more accessible from a position of strength than a position of weakness.Why don’t churches turn to revitaliza
tion sooner rather than later? It is be
-cause church leaders are reluctant to
tamper with ministry that seems to beworking.
Curch Mblizaton n e ARP
Then a few years later, we discoveredlong-term embezzlement by a trustedchurch member. Within six months,Peachtree Corners Presbyterian Churchwas nancially wiped out, our seniorpastor was called to shepherd anotherchurch, and several young families left
But this was notour biggest problem
—it was what
God had to use to get our attention.
Our problem was that we had fall-en asleep years before
God’s call for His people. We had manygreat events and activities, and our con
gregation was active and loving towardone another. But, we had not seen a pro
-fession of faith in nearly a decade. We
thought we were healthy.
used our nancial devastation to
lead us into obedience. We committed
ourselves to a revitalization process andlaunched a Vision Team under the guid
ance of Outreach North America and Dr.Ken Priddy. Dr. Priddy simply pointed usto Scripture. We saw that Christ’s pri
ority was seeking and saving the lost.Christ and the disciples constantly putthemselves in the path of the lost, andthey gave themselves up for that minis
try. Then Dr. Priddy provided a method
ology where we could assess where wewere, develop strategies to reach thelost, and then implement those strate
gies. We are nearing the end of the pro
cess, but we still have a long way to gobefore we have God’s heart for the lostwoven into the ber of our church. Thegreat news is that God has changed usthrough the process, we now have a newdirection, and we’ve even had an adultprofession of faith!
Charting the Course
White Oak ARP Church
Rev. Tom Shoger
Self-examination is animportant part of life,business, sport, and justabout any activity one
undertakes. We cannot
improve our effective
ness or performance if we do not know what weneed to work on for the future.White Oak’s self-examination beganwith a fall leadership retreat for thechurch elders led by Dr. Ken Priddy. By
the end of the retreat the elders all
knew that yes we were healthy, but, if we wanted to remain so and even im
prove, we needed to evaluate where wewere, where God wants us to go, and,how we are going to get there. We have
a church mission statement, but not a
vision statement and so the Session ap
pointed and empowered a Vision Teamto work with Dr. Priddy in a process of evaluation and planning.The rst step was for each team mem
ber to recruit prayer supporters in thecongregation to uphold him/her and theteam throughout the process. We havefelt that prayer support as the teamhas met several times and has studiedScripture and worked on ve assessmenttools. These tools have helped us thor
oughly analyze where we are and what
some of our challenges are.
Now we are to answer the question, “Sowhat?” So what do we do with the datawe have assembled so we can chart the
course for the future that God desires
for White Oak? Toward this end, Dr. Prid
dy has supplied more questions and as
... r ay, bu, f wan a a v rv, aa r r, r G wan u g,a, ar g g r.
Mobilizing for Church Planting
First Presbyterian Church, Columbia, SC
Rev. Neal Mathias
Over the last sever
al years a signicantgrowth in awarenessof church planting hastaken place in the con
gregation of First Pres
byterian Church. Howhas that come to pass?There are three very tangible contribu
-tors to this fact.
First, the congregation was asked to helpback the effort of starting a new ARPchurch in Leith, Scotland. In the processAthole and Rosalynd Rennie have visitedseveral times to share their vision andbring updates on the ministry of GraceChurch Leith.Second, a number of years ago the ses
sion committed to seeing a new churchstarted in the Columbia area. The con
gregation has followed this process in
cluding seeing 60-70 of our membersleave a year ago to the Northeast areaof Columbia to be part of the start of
Grace Presbyterian. We continue to fol-
low with interest as Grace is outgrowingits initial worship location.Thirdly, it was a little over a year ago
that one of our ministers, Duff James,
along with his family left us to begin anARP church plant, now known as CityChurch, in Asheville, NC.All three of these efforts happening atthe same time have produced a tangible
interest in our congregation for church
planting and an interest in how the Lordis at work through such efforts.
Revitalization & Refocus
Peachtree Corners, Atlanta, GA
Mr. Brian Gray, Vision Team Leader
Peachtree Corners Presbyterian Church
is one of the oldest churches in the ARP.
The congregation moved into its currentlocation about twelve years ago andexperienced some initial interest andgrowth from the community. However,the growth plateaued after a few years.
What is the connection between theBook of Life and numerical churchgrowth by conversion? Simply put, theonly people who will come to Christthrough conversion are those whosenames are written in the Book of Life.Not only do they have the potential tocome to Christ, but they inevitably,providentially must come to Christ byGod’s decree. This is the plentiful har
vest that Jesus identies in Matthew9 and Luke 10. This is the white har
vest of John 4. This perspective should
greatly encourage and increase our
efforts in outreach and evangelism.The harvest is there for the gather
ing; men, women and children whosenames are written in the Lamb’s Bookof Life who have yet to come to Christ.Church growth is not about numbers, it
is about names, the many names that
are written in the Book of Life.
Names Not Numbers: Getting to theHeart of Numerical Growth
, by Ken
Priddy, p 33.
signments for us to utilize. We have anexcellent team, solid support from ourchurch family, and so we are excited tosee what else God will show us in themonths to come, and how He will bless
our obedience to His desires.