The Usual Steps in OPC Church Planting
by John S. Shaw
The Lord Jesus Christ has given great promises to his church. He told Peter: “I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18). He calls his disciples to disciple the nations, and he sends them out with his authority and promises to be with them “always, to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:18–20).
Paul reminds us that the Lord is head over all things, and that he exercises his power on behalf of the church, “which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all” (Eph. 1:19–22). Later in that same letter, we see another big promise: the gospel is preached “so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places” (Eph. 3:10). Read more
Parachute Church Planting
by Eric B. Watkins
Church planters, through one humbling means or another, come to the realization that though God is pleased to use his servants, it is God who ultimately is the church planter, and any success is due to his grace. God alone gets all the credit and the glory. Only by God’s grace are churches planted and eventually become established congregations.
The story of Covenant Presbyterian Church in St. Augustine, Florida, is an unusual one. It does not fit the description of a mother-daughter church plant, nor did it begin with a well-established core group. It is what might be described as something close to a “parachute drop” or a “strategic church plant.” These terms are not frequently used in the OPC, and I certainly do not want to suggest that this paradigm is any better than the others. But I would point out that it is not as unfamiliar as it may seem. Read more
Keeping the Faith in College
by Judith M. Dinsmore
In the film God’s Not Dead, an articulate Christian student spectacularly defends his faith in front of a disbelieving class and a hostile professor. It is no secret that secular colleges and universities, and sometimes even their Christian counterparts, are leading the cultural movement away from faith.
But for some college students, standing against the cultural norm and defending their faith is much less about fireworks in the classroom and much more about quiet persistence in building and maintaining relationships. Read more