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Outreach Newsletter Fall 2011

Outreach Newsletter Fall 2011

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Published by: ttaylorarp on Oct 14, 2011
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Inside this Issue...
• Experiencing Church Planting Culture in the RPCNA• First Presbytery
Willing to Explore Opportunities
• Catawba Presbytery
 A Burst of Activity 
• News and Notes from the Field
Outreach North America
Continued on page 2
By Rev. Bob IllmanConnections Presbyterian Church, Madison, AL
The Tennessee-AlabamaPresbytery has an ONA com-mittee that has been blessedwith serving a presbyterywith an attitude. That atti-tude is one of joyful obedi-ence to God’s command tofurther His Kingdom. In otherwords, it is easy to be on achurch planting committeewhen the presbytery wantsto plant churches!After several years of inactivity, we have been awakened tothe delights of seeing God work in ways we would have neverimagined, and it has energized our whole presbytery. Was it agreat strategic plan for planting
number of churches in
num-ber of years? No- it was God’s Spirit working through a unitedpresbytery.This excitement began for us in the spring of 2007, when Iwas beginning the work of establishing Connections PresbyterianChurch in Madison, AL. We are grateful for the work of the ONAAssessment Center. I was vetted by the Assessment Center, giv-
ing our presbytery a condence that we were beginning the rightway. Our presbytery began to nancially support Connections,
and most of our churches began monthly support too. We prayedthat God would help us establish one new work in the presbytery.Was our vision ever limited!As Connections began worship services, we received Rev. SooYong Kim into the presbytery as a church planter. He was as-signed to Connections, and they were soon meeting in the rentedlocation Connections provided. As Hanmaum Church began, thetwo missions met together for the worship service, and then theKoreans were “excused” to meet in an adjoining room for their
own, Korean language sermon. Hanmaum grew, and nally, they
purchased their own property, and were on their way as an inde-pendent mission.Meanwhile, I began holding an exploratory Bible study inMontgomery, AL. Our goal was to establish a mission work inMontgomery. Instead, God gave us a new mission in Prattville,about 10 miles north of Montgomery. Today, Riverside Church,pastored by Rev. Greg Duke, is a thriving mission church meetingin a spacious facility.Connections has now organized and moved into their ownfacility in Madison. We continue to faithfully support Riverside
FALL 2011 • ona-arp.org
Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church
Tennessee-Alabama Presbytery
Church Planting With An Attitude
The purpose of ONA is to
introduce peoplein the United States and Canada to JesusChrist, primarily by helping our presbyter-ies plant new churches and renew existingchurches.
ONA is tasked by Synod with helping our presbyteriesand their churches become increasingly effective in reach-ing people for Christ through evangelism, new church devel-opment, existing church renewal and multi-ethnic ministry.We provide the presbyteries with a variety of resources andtools.ONA does not plant churches; presbyteries plant church-es. ONA does not call church planters; presbyteries callchurch planters. ONA exists to help presbyteries accomplishtheir goals in outreach to their communities with the gospelof Jesus Christ.In this newsletter, we are focusing on presbytery ap-proaches to church planting. Each of our ten ARP presbyter-ies is different. We will look at church planting approaches inthree presbyteries: Tennessee-Alabama, First, and Catawba.We also include an article on the experience an ARP ministerhad in a Reformed Presbyterian Church North America pres-bytery in Indiana. In the state of Indiana, this presbytery hasmultiplied from one church to ten churches through churchplanting.The task of reaching people for Christ is extensive enoughthat it requires a team effort. It requires the work of indi-viduals, local churches, presbyteries, and Synod’s Board of ONA.
From the Director
Dr. Alan J. Avera, Executive Director 
 presbytery approaches to planting churches
Bob and Soo Yong
Andy and Ellie Stager, who areexploring church planting in theRock Hill/ Lake Wylie area of South Carolina, hosted a hymnsing and potluck at their house.
Page 2 Outreach
and Hanmaum both nancially and with
prayer. We keep our eyes out for new lo-cations for mission development and formission developers.The bottom line is that plantingchurches has given our presbytery a new
... attitude
Continued from page 1
Experiencing Church Planting Culture in the RPCNA
By Rev. Bill Vandoodewaard 
During the summer of 2006 my familyand I moved to central Indiana where Itaught at a university. We were ARP’s,and I was a student under care at thetime, but in God’s providence we foundourselves in a state with no ARP church-es, so friends recommended that wevisit Sycamore Reformed Presbyterian(RPCNA) in Kokomo. Warmly welcomed,we soon found ourselves at home in thisvibrant congregation begun as a churchplant years earlier. A year later we foundourselves deeply engaged in the life of the church, as I started interning undertheir pastor, Barry York, in conjunctionwith my ARP Presbytery and our homecongregation; our initial visit turnedinto two years of valuable hands-on min-istry.My wife and I had grown up in old,Christian families; our churches weretypical, well established congregations.This congregation challenged not onlyour preconceived ideas about churchplanting, but also placed us in manysituations that challenged our faith. Weread about Christ eating with prostitutesand thought little of it, but when onewanted to hold our baby at a fellowshiplunch, it put a new perspective on lovingthe unlovely.
This congregation was largely rst-
generation Christians, and almost ev-eryone was new to the Reformed faith;even the pastor had been convertedthrough campus ministry in his collegeyears. This congregation was typicalof the ten other RP congregations and
Rev. Soo Yong Kim
church plants (begun with one in the1960’s) across Indiana in the Great Lakes– Gulf Presbytery. (It basically stretchesfrom Chicago and Michigan down the Mis-sissippi Valley and then out towards theEast Coast; Indiana is really the centralconcentration, and the area of the mostfocused church planting culture.) While
each plant reected their own communi
-ty to a degree, they all had an evangeli-cal heart, confessional Reformed theol-ogy, and Psalm-singing worship.What made these churches evange-listically visionary? How could many of the teenagers in the church deal sociallywith drug addicts better than we could?We had a lot to learn.One characteristic of this churchplanting culture was gracious hospitality.People opened their homes for meals,using their houses as a ministry base toneighbors, co-workers and friends. Sun-day fellowship meals at the church werea weekly occasion where members min-istered to each other as well as the menfrom a local rescue mission. In home andchurch, the congregation loved us wherewe were at. We were not scrutinized, ordesperately welcomed; the members of the church genuinely wanted us to bepart of their lives. They loved people be-cause they knew Christ’s love.This love was combined with humble,gracious discipling and mentorship mod-eled by elders/pastors and woven intocongregants’ lives. Members were activein encouraging others to live by faith inChrist and grow in His grace. Everyone ex-perienced shepherding and discipleship.Pastors and elders maintained meaningful
relationships with the ock. The church
had a general culture of wanting to loveand know each other and newcomers. Atthe same time, they did not ignore or ex-cuse sin. Necessary exhortation, rebuke,and warning took place: there was ironsharpening iron, but in the context of anevident, existing relationship of Christianlove. The combination of evangelismand deliberate, active mentoring wascentral to the culture of church plantingin the presbytery.Another grace evident to us was pa-tient trust. Though the work was oftenhard, the effort was steady, despitedeep disappointments and hard situa-tions. The congregation understood thatGod would bless His Word spoken andlived; it would not return to him void.They knew that if they could be saved,so could anyone else. They ministeredand loved to glorify God, regardless of results. In some ways, God used thedetermined ministry of these frontlinechurches to make them beautiful beforethey saw fruit. While to us the physicallandscape of a depressed central Indi-ana factory town was bleak, the spiri-tual landscape of the church here wasbeautiful. It was not at all perfect, butthe beauty of Christ’s redeeming gracewas clearly evident.Over the two-year internship, welearned one lesson over and over againfrom these Indiana churches: the onething you most need to plant a congre-gation is a love for Christ. A true lovefor the Saviour will express itself in trustin Him, and a love for sinners like Jesushas. If you have this, you do not needmultiple programs, gimmicks, your ownbuilding, or even music with your sing-ing. Obeying the greatest commandmentto love God above all and your neighboras yourself is still a lesson we are learn-ing—something that every congregationdesperately needs its people to know.
Sycamore RP Church
attitude. We can better see how we re-late together as we work to build HisKingdom. Teddy Ray, the chairman of ourONA committee when we began planting,and Steve Weber, the current chairman,both know that when they give their re-
ports on the oor of presbytery, every
ear is open to hear what God is doingnext. The attitude is there- an attitudeof gratitude!
the one thing youmost need to plant acongregation is a love forChrist
Summer 2011 Page 3
To besuccessful, a churchplant must have theLord’s hand upon it.
By Tom Patterson
First Presbytery has utilized a numberof approaches in its church planting ef-forts over the years. Some have workedbetter than others, but there is no onemodel that stands out above the others.All the models have had success, and allthe models have had failures. To be suc-
cessful, a church plant must have theLord’s hand upon it. Humanly speaking,
First Presbytery
Willing to Explore Opportunities
we can do all we know to do, but unlessthe Lord blesses the endeavor, the workwill fail.One approach is to send a mis-sion developer into a location at the re-quest of a group of people who desire toestablish a new church. In this situationthe developer has some people to workwith as he begins his work. He moves
onto the eld with the expectation of 
taking the existing group and expandingit. Covenant Fellowship began this way.We have had several situationswhere a particular congregation will de-cide to establish a daughter church. Themother church supplies a good portion of the funding and usually, but not always,provides some people for the daughtercongregation. Coddle Creek Church hasestablished two daughter churches in thelast 25 years- Lakeside Church on LakeNorman and Christ Church near Denver.Occasionally there will be agroup that has separated from an exist-ing congregation who will petition to beestablished as a mission congregation.
Depending on the size and the nancial
resources of such a group, their time asa mission congregation can be very short.The Reformation Church in Henderson-ville is an example of this model.There has been at least one ex-ample where an existing congregationestablished a second service off-campusand nurtured that second service intoa new congregation. The First GastoniaChurch used this model to birth the Gas-ton Community Church. City Church inGreensboro is considering this approachtoo.A more recent trend is for a groupof churches to come together as a churchplanting community. The churches poolresources and cooperate together in es-tablishing a new congregation. There areconversations of this nature currentlytaking place among the churches in Ire-dell and Alexander Counties with theGreater Hickory area as the targeted lo-cation for a new church. There has alsobeen some interest in a group of church-es from a wider area in the presbytery inpooling their resources to start a churchin Fayetteville.A group of people may begin aBible study, and from that study, theymay decide to establish a new church.The DaySpring Church in Cleveland beganas a Bible study.There have been cases where anARP family has moved to a location thathas no ARP Church, and they indicate adesire to help begin a new congregation.In connecting with friends and acquain-
tances, they often nd other ARP fami
-lies living there who are willing to be apart of the new work. We see this takingplace in Johnson City, TN.One common approach to churchplanting is the parachute drop. A missiondeveloper is placed on location in an areawhose demographics appear to be ripe forchurch planting. The mission developeris charged with networking and makingcontacts within the community and de-veloping a core group from scratch. Someof these are Ambassador in Apex, ChristCommunity in Greensboro, and ChristCoastal in Southport. We anticipate us-ing this model for a new congregation inAsheville.A multi-cultural church plantis yet another model. In such cases, amulti-cultural minister begins a work inhis home. When the congregation out-grows the home, he seeks a church build-ing to share. Once the mission leaves theminister’s home, it is ready to be desig-nated a separate congregation. Almostall of our Korean churches have startedthis way. Bethel Korean, Rodam Korean,and Matthews Korean (all in Charlotte)began in this way.Church plants are not limited toareas within a geographical presbytery.There are churches being planted out-side the bounds of an existing presbyterywith the hope a new presbytery will beformed in the future. This location maybe several states and hundreds of milesaway from the nearest church. The newchurch can also be in a different coun-try. We are currently involved with suchan endeavor in Scotland with the GraceLeith Mission.One of the most unique churchplanting approaches we have seen is thatof establishing a congregation within thewalls of an institution – in this case aprison. That approach did not originatefrom within the presbytery committee. Amission developer had the contacts, sawthe need, and started a work. The Free-dom Bridge Mission in the Scotland Cor-rectional Institute in Laurinburg has seenmuch success.Funding is a component to churchplanting. Usually some funding is pro-vided over a three-year period from Out-reach North America, presbytery, fundsraised by the mission developer, and/orfunds contributed by the core group.There is no one guaranteed suc-cessful model to utilize in planting a newcongregation. Not every church plant isgoing to be successful, but a presbyteryhas to be willing to explore the opportu-nities the Lord sends in order for thosewho do make it to develop into a self-sustaining congregation. All we can do isrely on the Lord of the harvest to providethe opportunities and to develop thesemissions into organized congregations.
Gaston Community Church

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