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FALL 2013 • www.ona-arp.


Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church


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freedom and necessity to be innovative. As the saying goes, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” 2. New churches develop strong, creative, and adventurous leaders for the whole body of Christ. New congregations are full of adventurous people whose list of core values includes creativity, risk, and innovation. These people are usually heavily vision-oriented and attracted to congregations in which they can assist in shaping the vision of the church. Established churches and denominations will benefit greatly from an infusion of vision and energy. 3. New churches challenge established churches to go through the process of self-examination. The numerical and spiritual “success” challenges older congregations to evaluate themselves and their ministries in significant ways. This self-examination often results in a redefinition of vision, values, and identity within the older congregations. 4. New churches function as an “evangelistic feeder school” for the body of Christ. Most people in new churches are within the first five years of their Christian walk. These “new” Christians benefit the body of Christ in a variety of ways. They are passionate about sharing their faith with non-believers. Therefore, they want to be trained to do so. And then, many new church attendees end up in older churches as their life situations change. Therefore, they bring their passion and training into established churches. 5. New churches give the established churches, which support them, a reason to get excited about the advancement of Christ’s kingdom. Established churches get renewed in spiritual excitement when they hear of the work of the Lord in new churches. So, a passionate commitment to planting new churches is the best way to grow the body of Christ, and it results in a renewal of established churches. †
1 Tim Keller, “Why Plant Churches?” http://

Prayer on September 11
Rev. Allen Derrick Union ARP Church, SC The Union Session, following Synod’s suggestion of using September 11 as a time for prayer and focus on the oppressed, extended an invitation to the entire community to join us. So, we did just that. I sent a special invitation to every church in our area. We had the information in the local newspaper. I put up some posters in several places around the community. Since the service was to included the entire community, I carefully chose some others to participate. One speaker was a well-loved retired school teacher. Another was a fire chief who was living right outside New York City on September 11, 2001. He was one of the first responders who rushed into the city that day and lost three of his men. My message from Luke 4:16-21 focused on Jesus reading from Isaiah 61 and announcing his mission to preach the gospel to the poor, heal the broken-hearted, deliverance to the captives, sight to the blind, etc. The message and the prayer included the oppressed, especially Christians who are being persecuted in many places. Rev. David Griffin Greenville ARP Church, SC Our prayer time on September 11 was held in our sanctuary for half an hour and was attended by a small group of members; yet, it was a good time of fervently petitioning our heavenly Father on behalf of our Christian brothers and sisters facing varying degrees of persecution for their faith in Christ. A simple printed guide was provided, one that noted a few details about persecution internationally in Egypt, Syria, and China, as well as recent incidents of the persecution of Christian business owners in the United States. We prayed for these matters and also for our ARP missionaries in Pakistan and Turkey. †

Church Planting Leads to Church Renewal
Rev. Clint Davis Catawba Church Extension Chairman The more I talk about church planting and the ARP Church’s need to be more committed to planting more churches, the more I encounter the question, “Why should we plant more churches when we already have many churches who could use extra members and are in desperate need of renewal?” That is a great question. And, my answer is simple. Church planting leads to church renewal. Tim Keller has written, “The vigorous, continual planting of new congregations is the single most crucial strategy for 1) the numerical growth of the Body of Christ in any city, and 2) the continual corporate renewal and revival of the existing churches in a city. Nothing else… will have the consistent impact of dynamic, extensive church planting.” 1 As you can see, Keller argues that the works (church planting and church renewal) exist in a both/and relationship. It seems to me that a lot of churchmen think of the relationship between the two works in a completely opposite way­— an either/or relationship. That is simply not the case. Let me give you five reasons why I, along with other evangelicals, hold to the conviction that a commitment to church planting leads to church renewal. 1. New churches bring new ideas to the whole body of Christ. The best way to teach established and older congregations to reach new generations and new social groups is to expose them to the skills and methods developed in new church plants. Church plants possess the Keller’s paper on church planting has become a standard resource on the reason for planting churches. My points above are largely structured after his discussion.

fall 2013
4. “Let’s be conscious of the inextricable connection between personal conversion and global mission.” We are not the center of God’s universe. His purpose in saving us is “the nations will know that I am the Lord” (Ez. 36:23). † For more information visit: folks, as everyone picked up/dropped off kids. I heard at least one dinner plan being made. After VBS, all the kids, their parents, and Andy Stager (the Hill City pastor) enjoyed hot dogs in the park. As we were winding down, a lady asked me an interesting question. She asked, “How do you measure success?” I thought for a brief moment before I responded. How do we measure success in our ministry at VBS and at White Oak? Is it some number, whether a number of attendees or a number of children who answer a question regarding their salvation in a particular way? Is it how much we learned? Is it how good we felt doing what we were doing? Is it whether Hill City was encouraged? My response was simple: our trip was successful if the gospel was clearly proclaimed. It doesn’t matter if we saw any immediate fruit (even though it is always nice to see it!). It doesn’t matter how many children came. If one person was confronted with the saving reality of Jesus Christ, we did our job. If we were faithful to the Great Commission, conducted ourselves worthily, and didn’t shrink from the opportunities before us; we have accomplished what I would consider a successful “mission trip.” Think about that next time you’re considering a church event, or the “success” of Sunday morning worship. Are you looking for a number? Are you after a certain “feeling?” May all of our ministries be guided by the simple presentation of the gospel, which, as Paul tells us, “is the power of God for salvation.” May each day of our lives be “mission trips” where we seek to do exactly this same thing. †


Tessa Taylor, ONA Staff I had the privilege of recently attending Engage the South, a church planting conference put on by the Acts 29 Church Planting Network, in Birmingham, Alabama. While it was marketed for church planting, I thought it would be relevant for not only church planters and their core groups, but also pastors and sessions, or anyone interested in making disciples for Christ this day and age. I would definitely encourage more people to attend next year! Ray Ortlund, Bryan Loritts, Matt Chandler, Kevin Smith, and David Platt spoke about the need in this country for churches that embrace theological clarity, churches that plant churches, churches marked by humility and holiness, churches committed to ethnic diversity, and churches serious about evangelism and conversion. Below are some application points from David Platt on how to be intentional, not accidental, about making disciples for Christ. 1. “Profession of faith without transformation of life is not biblical conversion.” We live in a place filled with people who think they are Christians but aren’t. In true conversion, God will “remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh” (Ez. 36:26). As a result, we have radically new wants and entirely new wills. 2. “Pastors, we need to expose the idols of the heart as we expound the Word of God” (Ez. 14). We can’t just manage our behavior because the root of disobedient action (sin) is disbelief in the heart. 3. “We need to equip people to spread the gospel of God to sinners as they trust the power of God to save.” The sovereign grace of God is our sole confidence in evangelism. We need to communicate the gospel and God will save his people.

Teamwork for Summer Missions
This was the second summer that White Oak ARP in Georgia sent a team on a summer mission trip to help Hill City Church in Rock Hill, SC. Rev. Mackay Smith kept a blog for the week if you’d like to read more:

Rev. Mackay Smith, White Oak ARP Partnering with Hill City was a unique mission trip experience. Rather than crossing oceans or vast economic divides, we were a church going to an area very similar to our own, to provide them with labor to carry out a mission in their community that they otherwise would not have had the man power to accomplish. From the outset, I think there was less of a motivation of “Wow, this will be a cool experience that I can post on Facebook.” amongst our team, and more of a “We’re going to help these people” idea. We were able to closely focus on evangelism and personal ministry. This year, we spent our first night with Hill City families, which gave our folks a great chance to get to know them. It allowed them not only to be stretched socially, but gave them more reason to own the mission. We helped Hill City put on a VBS for the week at a local park. I think some of the best moments came when a few families who had been in the outer orbit of Hill City were able to engage and connect with some of the core

If your church is interested in doing a mission trip like this, contact ONA: Tessa Taylor,


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Bethesda Presbyterian Church in Johnson city, TN is actively recruiting a church planter. Interested parties can contact Randy Foster ( or David Corley ( Virginia Presbytery is actively recruiting a church planter for a new mission work in Virginia and will work with the mission developer in identifying a target location. Interested parties can contact the chairman, David Vance, at 540-449-3620 or City Church of Asheville in Asheville, NC has a new website: Pray for the ONA Search Committee as they search for a new director. Donate to ONA online at or mail checks to 1 Cleveland St. Ste. 110, Greenville, SC 29601. Outreach Newsletter for your church! Contact the ONA office if you would like this newsletter to be sent in bulk to your church.

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