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New Horizons

July, 2007: Home Missions

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Contents

Anatomy of a Church Plant

Planting a church is not easy. There are no blueprints for doing it. Because each local church is planted in its own location and consists of a unique group of people, the variables involved in establishing a new body of believers are endless. Church planting is not a science. It is a spiritual undertaking. It is God who establishes new churches. Those who work, lead, and help are only the tools he uses.

But there are principles of church planting that God has set down in his Word. We discuss them with our church planters in the OPC. The church-planting practices of Christ's apostles in the New Testament are important to follow unless there is clear reason to think that those things pertained only to the apostolic age. Among those practices are the following: Read more

The OPC's Chaplaincy Ministry

The Committee on Chaplains and Military Personnel was established by the 64th General Assembly in 1997. The task of the ordained officers on that committee is to represent Orthodox Presbyterian chaplains and other OP interests on the Presbyterian and Reformed Joint Commission on Chaplains and Military Personnel (the Joint Commission). Previously, the General Assembly simply elected men to serve on that interdenominational commission for three-year terms, without any committee standing.

In order for a minister (of any denomination) to serve as a chaplain in the United States Armed Forces, he must first be endorsed (that is, formally approved and accepted for military service) by his sending church. In the case of the OPC, this is done by a minister's presbytery. Then he must be endorsed by an ecclesiastical body that has been approved by the Armed Forces Chaplains Board, an agency of the Department of Defence, to act in that capacity. Chaplains are commissioned by the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force. Navy chaplains also serve with the Marine Corps and the Coast Guard. Read more

Helps for Worship #20: Tithes and Offerings

"Give to the Lord the glory due His name; bring an offering, and come into His courts." (Psalm 96:8)

In both the Old Testament (e.g., Ex. 25:2; 35:5; 1 Chron. 16:29) and the New Testament (e.g., 1 Cor. 16:1–2), offerings are treated as part of the worship of God. While some preachers and churches put an over-emphasis on giving (thus sickening people), others put too little emphasis on the subject, and thus disregard an important part of biblical teaching. Some churches do not even include an offering as part of worship, but prefer to put collection boxes at certain spots in the place used for worship. This eliminates the opportunity for people to give as part of worship—something tithes and offerings are meant to be. Read more

 
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