Planting an Orthodox Presbyterian Church

This manual provides an introduction to church planting in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. It is about what you need to know and do as an organizing pastor, as an overseeing elder, or as a member of a presbytery home missions committee working to establish the permanent ministry of a Presbyterian and Reformed church. View the entire document in PDF or click on individual chapter titles below. Resources cited and illustrative material referenced in this document are listed under the Arabic (e.g., 1, 2, 3) subheadings below. Contents:

Preface [PDF] [HTML]

Introduction [PDF] [HTML]

  1. Why a manual?
  2. This manual will be for establishing Presbyterian and Reformed churches
  3. Other resources (see Manual for Presbytery/CHMCE Partnership)

Chapter 1. Understanding the Work of Church Planting [PDF] [HTML]

  1. The spiritual nature of church planting
  2. Understanding church growth
  3. The distinguishing characteristics of an organized congregation
  4. Establishing the right precedents

Chapter 2. Beginning a Mission Work [PDF] [HTML]

  1. Sound reasons for beginning a mission work
  2. Gathering a core group
  3. Forming a group into a mission work
  4. Finding an organizing pastor

Chapter 3. Overseeing a Mission Work [PDF] [HTML]

  1. The nature of a mission work
  2. The overseeing session of a mission work (resource: see Clerk-of-Session Checklist)
  3. The work of an overseeing session

Chapter 4. Doing the Work of an Organizing Pastor [PDF] [HTML]

  1. Set in order what remains
  2. Care deeply about people
  3. Be concerned for what is believed
  4. Reach out to the unsaved
  5. Be concerned for how things are done. Resources:
    1. Sunday School Review
    2. Electronic keyboard info
    3. Sample bulletin, New Berlin, WI
    4. Sample bulletin, Temecula, CA
    5. Sample bulletin, Yardley, PA 11-17-02
    6. Sample bulletin, Yardley, PA 12-22-02
    7. William Vermeulen, suggested contents for newsletters
    8. Trinity Hymnal Concordance
    9. Chart of revised Trinity Hymnal hymns in Worship with Hymns CD
    10. Explanatory note
    11. Readme file for MIDI files
    12. Cyber Hymnal
    13. Digital Hymnal
  6. Encourage the church to grow
  7. Manage yourself and your family

Chapter 5. Developing a Mission Work into an Organized Congregation [PDF] [HTML]

  1. Governing commitments for the development of a maturing Reformed congregation
  2. Some practical preliminaries
  3. Develop means to promote the spiritual growth of the people. Resources:
    1. For Sunday school materials, adult discipleship studies, church/ministry resources, and teacher/parents resources go to Great Commission Publications, the joint publishing arm of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and the Presbyterian Church in America
    2. For other resources for Sunday School, Bible clubs, and vacation Bible school based on the Catechism for Young Children go to http://www.childministry.com/
    3. An instructional video on catechetical training, prepared by Thomas Tyson, is available for $10 from the Committee on Christian Education
    4. Suggested content for newsletters
    5. Giving: A Biblical Approach
    6. Electronic Newsletters
  4. Develop ministries of outreach and evangelism. Resources:
    1. Philosophic and biblical basis: Biblical Evangelism Today
    2. Outreach programs
      1. Ultimate Questions program
        1. Program overview
        2. Flyer
        3. Prayer sign-up sheet
      2. Community Houses of Prayer
      3. Reformation Day sample press release
    3. Ads
      1. Changeless Truth ad
      2. Fill the Void ad
      3. High-level Government Cover-up ad
      4. Historic Christianity ad (small)
      5. Historic Christianity ad (large)
      6. Opening God's Word ad
      7. Reverent Worship ad
      8. Ring a Bell ad
      9. Some People Want Help to Get Where They're Going ad
      10. There's More to a Name Than Meets the Eye ad
      11. London ad
      12. Mt. Airy ad
      13. Temecula ad
    4. Brochures
      1. Amoskeag brochure
      2. Germantown brochure
      3. New Berlin brochure
    5. Flyers
      1. Amoskeag flyer
      2. London flyer
    6. Tracts
      1. Firm Foundation tract
      2. Hidden Treasure tract
      3. Chapel Library carries a large selection of tracts and booklets by a variety of Reformed authors. A large selection of items by Horatius Bonar and A. W. Pink is available. To view their catalog, click here
  5. Develop ministries of mercy and concern
  6. Develop sound administrative practices and procedures. Resources:
    1. Setup checklist
    2. Checklist for preventing child abuse
    3. Ordering Preventing Child Abuse
    4. A Legal, Tax, and Risk Management Resource
    5. A Guide to the Annual Congregational Meeting [PDF] [RTF]

Chapter 6. Organizing a Mission Work as a New Congregation [PDF] [HTML]

  1. Discerning a mission work’s readiness for organization
  2. The training of office-bearers. Resources:
    1. John Hilbelink, A Training Course for Elders/Deacons, Part I, Part II,
    2. Patrick Ramsey, Officer Training Course
    3. Patrick Ramsey, Qualifications of a Church Officer [PDF] [HTML]
  3. Developing congregational documents, policies, and procedures
  4. The involvement of the presbytery

Chapter 7. Leading the Particular Church into Its Future [PDF] [HTML]

  1. Being part of your denomination
  2. Being part of your presbytery
  3. Think to the future
  4. Move forward in the strength of the Lord

Glossary of Terms [PDF] [HTML]


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