is pleased to announce that Rod
Entrekin has been
named church planting coordinator.
through Apprenticeships at
|"I had a
growing desire to communicate the Gospel to the lost,
and I knew that planting a church was the most effective
means of evangelism, but I considered myself too young
and inexperienced to plant a church."
That’s how Chris Yadron felt when he was about to
graduate from Covenant Theological Seminary in St.
Louis. Nonetheless, soon after, the Lord enabled him to
lead in planting Faith Community Church in Lemont, IL.
The church is thriving today and, in the first six
months, reached attendance levels of nearly 150. Chris
developed his skills through the Church Planting
Apprenticeship Program, which is proving to be an
effective way to prepare men to be used by God to
produce healthy new churches.
Now in place at several PCA churches, this program
can be duplicated at many other churches. And while the
apprenticeship concept for pastors is as old as the
early church, this program is new in its formalized
format, which ensures that apprentices don’t get
bogged down with miscellaneous staff duties. Instead,
they focus on preparing to plant churches.
Primary developer of the program is Ted Powers,
senior pastor at Christ Presbyterian (CPC) in Downers
Grove, IL. So far, results in the Chicago area have been
extraordinary. In three years, with the participation of
Northern Illinois Presbytery, five men have completed
apprenticeships and are in the process of planting new
churches. In addition, three pastors are now
Over the next five years, in this same area, it is
projected that apprenticing will lead to approximately
twenty new churches. Even more important, through the
power of God, it has launched a church multiplying
movement that is communicating the Gospel and renewing
Here’s how an apprenticeship works: A potential
church planter, who has been qualified by the MNA
Assessment Center, is mentored and trained for
one-to-two years. The church as well as the local
presbytery commit funds, and the apprentice raises a
portion of his own support. Although the apprenticeship
is for two years, the financial commitment is for four
years, covering the first two years of the church plant.
Candidates may be just out of seminary or they may
have several years in pastoral work behind them. Even
experienced pastors who have never led in church
planting can be far more effective with the specialized
training they gain through apprenticing.
Ted Powers had his heart set on church planting more
than twelve years ago when he started apprenticing at
Naperville Presbyterian where Mike Marcey is senior
pastor. Situated in Naperville, IL, a Chicago suburb,
this church had been started in 1984 with the goal of
planting additional churches around Chicago. When Mike
began mentoring and training Ted, it was the first step
in planting a daughter church. "We recognized that
Ted is uniquely gifted for ministry," says Mike,
"and thoroughly dedicated to church planting."
Through working with Mike, Ted realized the advantage
of learning about church planting from one who is
practiced in it and saw the importance of having
relationships with mentoring pastors. He also discovered
the value of training in the area where the church will
be planted, because "it lets you get to know the
community." After less than a year at Naperville,
Ted led in planting CPC in nearby Downers Grove, IL.
While most apprenticeships take place in the area
where the pastor expects to plant a church, they can be
undertaken on a long distance basis as well. Case in
point: Redemption Fellowship in an Atlanta suburb, with
Louis Wilson as senior pastor, was the training ground
for Weldon Williams, who moved to Chicago last July.
Since Weldon is targeting middle-class African Americans
in the suburbs, it made sense for him to work with Louis
where he could be part of a congregation demographically
similar to the Chicago church he will lead in planting.
Another example is Hector Mardy, a Haitian pastor,
who is apprenticing with Haitian movement leader Dony
St. Germain in Miami. Next year, Hector will move to
Chicago to plant a church to reach the area’s growing
The Church Planting Apprenticeship Program is
currently most active in the Midwest. Other churches in
the region employing the apprenticeship model are Zion
Presbyterian Church in Lincoln, NE, pastored by Stu
Kerns; West Hills Community Church in Shawnee, Kansas,
where Jimmy Dodd is pastor; Christ Community Church in
Carmel, IN, led by Tim Kirk; and Northwest Presbyterian
in Dublin, OH, pastored by Larry Allen.
The church Chris Yadron led in planting is a prime
example of the program’s effectiveness. Apprenticing
with Ted Powers at CPC, Chris says he learned to depend
on God and not on himself, and was able to work on
ministry formation. When he started the Lemont church,
several CPC families went with him. This was a major
factor in helping Faith Community have a strong start.
Also important, says Chris, is the ongoing support from
a network of PCA pastors in the area. "I would have
been broken by now without that support."
Ted stresses that churches shouldn’t wait until
they have very large congregations to plant a daughter
church. CPC has about 240 members and still doesn’t
have its own building.
of its many historic churches, the slogan for
Lemont, IL, is "The Village of
Faith." Yet most residents are unchurched.
Last year, PCA pastor Chris Yadron led in
planting Faith Community in this Chicago
suburb. Today, the church is thriving.
Ted Powers, with wife, Ann, and daughter,
Elizabeth, is pastor of Christ Presbyterian in
Downers Grove. He initiated a formalized
apprenticeship program. His motivation:
"As an MNA regional coordinator, I’m
constantly aware of the great need for more
men with the necessary gifts, calling, and
training to plant churches. But still, the
Spirit of God must be at the center of any
church plant…it is only through Him that a
church can be fruitful and change lives."
Pastor Chris Yadron, here with his wife,
Valerie, and children, Samantha and Michael,
apprenticed with Ted Powers before starting a
church in a Chicago suburb.
Recent apprentices at Naperville
Presbyterian, DeWayne Rush, left, and George
Garrison, right, are starting churches in
Plainfield and Arlington Heights,
respectively. At center is Mike Marcey, senior
pastor of Naperville.
Pastors of Northern Illinois Presbytery,
composed of twenty-two churches, work together
to support the expanding church planting
movement in Chicagoland. They often meet for
prayer, planning and fellowship
Williams, with wife, Shelley, apprenticed with
Louis Wilson in metro Atlanta before moving to
Chicago last July to plant a church targeting
suburban African Americans.
Young Ik Cho, right, pastor of Highland
Korean Presbyterian in Vernon Hills near
Chicago, mentored Jae Lee, left, who now leads
an Asian-American church plant in Schaumburg.
Bill James, right, with wife, Kelly, is
apprenticing at Naperville Presbyterian. At
left are Lew and Dottye Luttrell, a founding
family at Naperville, who participated in two
previous PCA church plants.
IL, a rapidly growing suburb west of Chicago,
is typical of the numerous communities that
ring the city. It is home of Naperville
Presbyterian which Mike Marcey led in planting
fifteen years ago. Regular attendance at
Sunday worship is now about 1,000.
As a guide to PCA pastors who wish to adopt an
apprenticeship program, a "how-to" manual is
available. Contact MNA Church Planting at 404-320-3330
or email: email@example.com.
the encouragement of pastors: "The feedback has
been great from the 100 pastors who attended last year’s
PCA Convocation on Revival and Reformation,"
reports Mike Ross, senior pastor of Trinity Presbyterian
in Jackson, MS. The meeting was held at Trinity and will
be held there again, September 21-23, this year.
"Several came with thoughts of giving up
ministry, but left with renewed spirits. A typical
comment: ‘I know the church can be reformed and I’m
going to hang in there.’"
Both practical and inspirational, the 1999
program will focus on ways for pastors to:
1) renew and refresh themselves individually;
2) revitalize their ministries and congregations;
3) work for reformation.
Subjects for study will be worship, covenant
theology, prayer, preaching, and the mission of the
Pastors at all stages of experience benefit
from the meeting. Seminary students may attend free of
charge. Cost is $75 and includes meals and materials.
Lodging is available at nearby hotels, or pastors may
stay in homes of Trinity members without charge.
Presbyterian, Jackson, MS, site of this fall’s PCA
Convocation on Revival and Reformation.
To register, call Trinity
Presbyterian immediately at 601-362-8244, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am today is the result of what the Lord has done for
me through El Shaddai Presbyterian Mission and MNA Urban
& Mercy Ministries."
|Edmonde Fils-Aime, a native
of Haiti, moved to Miami as a teenager and started
attending El Shaddai Presbyterian, led by Dony St.
Germain, a Haitian movement leader for the PCA. While
taking Evangelism Explosion training, she led ten people
to the Lord in one week. That’s
when Edmonde knew God was calling her to work as a
missionary, but she needed help to pay for education.
After working in youth ministry at El Shaddai for a
year, thanks to help from the church and MNA Urban &
Mercy Ministries, she was able to enroll at Columbia
Bible College. When she graduates, Edmonde is
considering working in youth missions in Haiti.
This young woman is
only one example of the fruit of The Thanksgiving
Offering, which benefits Urban & Mercy Ministries.
This fall, gifts will be used to assist a number of
ministries and to meet people’s needs in many
different ways. When you see the Thanksgiving Offering
brochure at your church, please respond by enclosing a
more information, contact
MNA: 404 -320 -3330 or email@example.com.
University Ministries sets a record this fall as it
begins Reformed University Fellowship (RUF) on five
campuses, the most ever started in one year.
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Keith Berger with wife, Paige
Keith was "fill-in" minister at RUF on the
Florida State campus in Tallahassee for a year —
"I fell in love with campus ministry then and knew
that was the call God had for me." LSU has 25,000
students and a reputation for fun. About 15 students at
the local PCA church have been praying for an RUF here.
Pat Roach with wife, Ashley
Although it has a small student body of 4,500, Rice
is nevertheless a leading university. Pat sees both
these factors as major challenges for RUF. "I see
it as a big Mars Hill (see Acts 17)" says Pat. He
plans to bring in speakers and have open forums
targeting both believers and unbelievers.
Tennessee State University
Boone, North Carolina
Fritz Games with wife, Aimee
of the 19,000 students at Middle Tennessee State are
commuters, with only about 3,400 living on campus. Both
Fritz and his wife were converted in college at Delta
State. "God used RUF a lot in our lives, and we
consider it an honor and a privilege to serve where we’ve
Justin Kendrick with wife, Susan
An RUF alum, Justin participated (along with his
wife) in the ministry at Auburn. "I felt God’s
call, but I ran from it for a long time—even started
law school, but dropped out after two months to go to
seminary." A group of students involved with the
local PCA church make up the initial core of the new
David Green with wife, Ruth
David served as a Lehigh campus minister with
Disciple Makers for about ten years and then went to
seminary. After approaching the presbytery last year
about launching an RUF, he began the ministry informally
in the fall of 1998. As a result, David had a solid core
of students to begin RUF in the fall of 1999. "We’re
glad to be able to break new ground," he says.
Mays, left, MNA campus ministries coordinator, with
Justin Kendrick, RUF minister at Appalachian State,
which has about 12,000 students. The school is known
as "a great place to go skiing."
to Invest in Godly Men;
Plant Churches; Renew Lives.
Naperville Presbyterian, mentored Ted Powers
Chris Yadron apprenticed at Christ Presbyterian in
Downers Grove, IL, with Ted Powers who apprenticed with
Mike Marcey at Naperville Presbyterian in Naperville,
IL. Says Chris "While I was apprenticing at Christ
Presbyterian, the congregation grew from 180 to 240.
Since we started the church in Lemont, attendance has
reached about 140. Many lives have been changed."
That describes how the PCA Church Planting
Apprenticeship Program can lead to a multiplying
movement which can bring spiritual renewal to North
America. The program’s purpose is to train men who
have the spiritual gifts and calling to lead in church
The Timothy Fund helps support this program and can
be mightily used of God to extend His Kingdom. If you’d
like to invest in godly men who can plant churches that
result in changed lives, we request your gifts. Contact
Fred Marsh at 404-320-3330, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ask about the MNA Advise and Consult Fund, managed by
the PCA Foundation, which may be used as a channel for
giving to the Timothy Fund.
Christ Presbyterian and mentored Chris Yadron.
planted Faith Community in Lemont, IL
Chaplains Serving in Harm’s Way: During 1999, a
number of PCA chaplains have served overseas in troubled
areas. Several are serving in connection with the Kosovo
operation; others are in Albania and Germany, and a few
are in the Arabian Gulf. One of these, Chaplain Dwight
Horn, is serving with the US Navy. Recently, he reported
his observations — following are excerpts from his
"This is my second six-month deployment to the
Gulf in fourteen months. Needless to say, the strain has
been great on the family. God continues to give us grace
to endure the separation. We are convinced this is where
we are to be in ministry, and we rejoice in the
opportunity to sacrifice for the sake of Christ.
"What little we do give up for the Kingdom of
God is abundantly rewarded by a ministry where sharing
Christ is a daily occurrence. Sometimes the words of
grace bring life and healing. Most of the time, though,
this is not the case. It is frustrating to see the Holy
Spirit work in someone’s life, but then see the person
fail to acknowledge it. Nevertheless, without question,
God is at work."
Please remember to pray for our chaplains. Separated
from their families and deprived of conveniences we take
for granted, they make tremendous sacrifices to take the
message of the Gospel and pastoral ministry to men and
women in the armed services.
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