How to Plant a Presbyterian Church

The Orthodox Presbyterian Church has a way of starting new churches that seems to be intuitive to the ministers and elders who have embraced and made use of it to start dozens of new congregations among her seventeen presbyteries over the past decade. Simply put, it goes like this: start with a group, provide elder oversight, call an organizing pastor, take time to let the group mature into the body of Christ, organize it as a new congregation, and expect it to take its place among the working, serving and giving churches that helped to begin it. But this crisp, six-stage process needs unpacking to appreciate its biblical conformity, its Presbyterian consistency, its Reformed distinctiveness, and its working simplicity. 1. Start with a group. The apostle Paul used this method in his church-planting ministry. “And Paul went in [to the synagogue] as was his custom...” (Acts 17:2). The Holy Spirit chose to reveal that Paul had a regular plan of approach—to go where God-fearing believers ... Read more

God’s Use of Our Varied Vocations

Early last year, we departed from Indianapolis for a trip to Escanaba, Michigan, to visit Holly’s parents. We drove north on I-65, then headed west on I-80/90. As we approached Chicago, we had some debate about whether to take US 41 or the interstate. Someone in the family thinks that it is a form of recreation to avoid toll roads. The last time we took that same road, however, Someone Else decided that it uses more time and gas to go that way, so that it is wasteful. Someone, however, believes that that assessment is inaccurate. Besides, he thinks the drive on US 41 along Lake Michigan is more interesting. Someone Else was sure that she had persuaded him to go through the city on bigger roads this time. But no! Someone took the exit for US 41, the scenic route. Someone Else was less than thrilled about that, but what could she do? She wasn’t driving. She resorted to working on a crossword puzzle and ignored both the scenery and Someone’s attempts to discuss it. We did move along at a steady pace, ... Read more

Using TESOL to Spread the Gospel

More and more people all over the world want to learn English in order to get ahead in life, whether in the United States or abroad. So teachers of English are highly valued all around the world. Christians who teach English can use it to reach people with the gospel, either in their home church or on the foreign mission field. TESOL (Teaching English as a Second Language) classes are in high demand. Those offering English classes for free have little difficulty attracting students for what is also called ESL (English as a Second Language) or ELL (English Language Learning). Outside of the United States, this field is called EFL (English as a Foreign Language) and is a huge industry. Starting a TESOL Program at Your Church If there is a member in your church who is an English teacher, that person may want to organize a simple conversation class and galvanize others in the church to host it. It is not necessary, however, to be a teacher. Inviting internationals from the community for some practice ... Read more

Missionary Dating

To: JuneMcrea@ustel.com From: rose@hotfone.com Hi Sis, My heart is heavy. I know Kelly has already told you she’s dating an unbeliever, Ryan. Maybe we should have encouraged her to stay home longer and stick with the part-time jobs. I feel like we’ve failed her somehow. What should I do? She doesn’t even want to listen to me. Love, Rose *     *     *     *     * To: rose@hotfone.com From: JuneMcrea@ustel.com Dear Rose, Pray, pray, pray! Get those knees on the floor. Our first instinct as moms is to “do” something, but for now, just pray. This is not about how you failed. All of us could have been better parents. We struggle, we try, we teach them as best we can—and all along God is working both through us and in spite of us. Pray for the Lord to protect and guide Kelly. Pray for Kelly’s church to be faithful in pursuing and reaching out to her. Pray for the ... Read more


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