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Outreach Newsletter Fall 2012

Outreach Newsletter Fall 2012

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ona
Outreach North America
FALL 2012 • ona-arp.org
Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church
From the Director
Dr. Ken Priddy, Director of Church Renewal
There is a running joke in my family that hasbeen in circulation since 1999. My son, Reid,
rst competed with the US National Volley
-ball Team in the 1999 Pan American Games,
held in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. It wasthe summer between his junior and senior years at LoyolaMarymount University where he was a three-time All-Ameri
-
can. This was the rst of his once-in-a-lifetime opportunities,and his mother and I made the journey to Winnipeg to see himplay. “Who knows,” we thought, “this could be the only timehe ever competes for the USA.”We have recently returned from London, host city for the 2012Summer Olympic Games. This was Reid’s third Olympic Gamesand his total matches wearing U-S-A across his red, white andblue uniform is approaching three hundred. The highlight waswinning the gold medal in Beijing in 2008. This year therewould be no medal as the thrill of victory gave way to theagony of defeat as Team USA lost to Italy in the quarternals,leaving the current “quad” feeling a bit empty. Ah, it’s only a
game – right?
A sublet apartment in London’s East End was our home for theeighteen days we were in London, a fascinating communitythat is lled with people walking the streets morning, noon,
outreach
 
Curch Mblizaton
newsletter
and night. Perhaps the most fascinating aspect is that onewould rarely see anyone of obvious Anglo descent. Passers-byappeared to be Arab/Middle Eastern or Indian/Pakistani, withmany dressed traditionally, including quite a few women inburkas. My rst afternoon there I walked a few blocks eastfrom our apartment and found myself between a local policestation and a crowd of Muslims across the street demonstrat
-
ing for the release of someone in custody. Days later, while rid
-
ing the Tube from London Bridge to Mile End, we were told bya local that most Londoners are not British. To quote the greattheologian Bob Dylan, “the times, they are a-changing.”As we toured the city, we noticed church buildings everywhere,but a vibrant witness to the gospel was difcult to nd. Mar
-
quees outside many church buildings promoted church activi
-
ties that were clearly void of gospel centrality. Many churchbuildings had been converted (get it?) to everything from cof 
-
fee houses to boutiques to pubs. When asked what historic siteI wanted to see, Westminster Abbey was on a short list of one,but when we arrived at Westminster, it seemed more touristattraction than birthplace of orthodox theology. People wereocking to the 5:00 pm service, but that was because admis
-
sion was free during service times. I couldn’t bring myself to
go.What is the American church to learn from the demise of the
church in Europe? Is the lifecycle that leads to decline inevi
-
table? Yes, unless by God’s grace we intentionally break thecycle with the renewal that unwavering commitment to theGreat Commission brings. Today’s East End of London seems tobe dominated by Islam. What do we want for the next genera
-
tion in America? How will you pray? What will you do?
Once in a Lifetime, Again!
 
Westminster Abbey
Mvg  curch utwar n  cuny  mak dicp a    gosel t utp rh curch antg a in nvvn.
 
page 2 outreach
 
fall 2012
page 3
Room for Improvement
Tapestry Fellowship
,
Charlotte, NC
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 debrieng 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
Dr. Priddy
’s work
-
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.
(I Cor
-
inthians 3:5-6) Soli Dio Gloria.
Te Curch Rvalizaton Lfyce 
 
Incline
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.
Recline
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.
Decline
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
treatment.
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.
Curch Mblizaton 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
the congregation.
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
and forgotten
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.
God
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
,
Moreland, GA
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 ay, bu, f  wan  a  a v rv,   aa 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 signicantgrowth 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.
Bo Exc 
 
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 identies 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.
 
W   r ay.
 
Principle: In a fallen world,vitality is lost over time.

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