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Inside this issue:
Apprenticeships Advance
God's Kingdom

The Vital Church
Thanksgiving Offering
Campus Ministries
The Timothy Fund
Gospel in Uniform

 


Throughout the Chicago area, a church multiplying movement is gaining momentum--propelled by a network of dedicated pastors who lead Gospel-driven churches with a Kingdom mind-set.

MNA and you:  Reaching North America for Christ
Fall 1999

MNA is pleased to announce that Rod Entrekin has been named church planting coordinator.


Advancing God’s Kingdom
through Apprenticeships at Gospel-Driven Churches

"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 apprenticing.

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 lives.

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 Haitian population.

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.

 

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Because 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.

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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."

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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.

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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.

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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

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Weldon 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.

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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.

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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.

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Naperville, 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: mna@pcanet.org.


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THE VITAL CHURCH

For 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 local church.

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.

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Trinity 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 trinityjackson@juno.com.

 

 

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"What 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

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. fils-aime.jpg (16438 bytes)

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 gift.

For more information, contact MNA: 404 -320 -3330 or mna@pcanet.org.


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Campus Ministries:
Reaching Tomorrow’s Leaders

Reformed University Ministries sets a record this fall as it begins Reformed University Fellowship (RUF) on five campuses, the most ever started in one year.
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Rice University
Houston, Texas
Minister: Keith Berger with wife, Paige
Presbytery: Southeast Louisiana

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.

Minister: Pat Roach with wife, Ashley
Presbytery: South Texas

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.

Middle Tennessee State University
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Appalachian State University
Boone, North Carolina
Minister: Fritz Games with wife, Aimee
Presbytery: Nashville

Games.jpg (28286 bytes)Most 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 been served."

Minister: Justin Kendrick with wife, Susan
Presbytery: Western Carolina

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 Appalachian RUF.

Lehigh University
Lehigh, Pennsylvania
Minister: David Green with wife, Ruth
Presbytery: Philadelphia

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.

 

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Rod 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."

 

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The Timothy Fund:
An Opportunity to Invest in Godly Men;
Plant Churches; Renew Lives
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Mike Marcey, Naperville Presbyterian, mentored Ted Powersarrow.gif (1051 bytes)

 

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 planting.

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 fmarsh@pcanet.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.

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Ted planted Christ Presbyterian and mentored Chris Yadron.arrow.gif (1051 bytes)

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Chris planted Faith Community in Lemont, IL

 

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Gospel in Uniform

 

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 report.

"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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