By: Peter Kemeny, pastor of Good News ARP Church in Maryland
That was my response when Jim Corbett, director of Outreach North America back in the 1990s, challenged me to consider church planting.
I objected, “I don’t have one of those never-met-a-stranger” personalities. Jim challenged me to take a risk. After ten years of ministry in the ARP in North Carolina, in 2001, we moved to Frederick, Maryland where I became the mission developer of Good News Presbyterian Church.
I’m glad that I took the risk. Over the past 22 years scores of people have come to Christ. The families and even extended families of some of these new Christians have come to Christ and into our church. We have a Reformed witness in a very secular area.
One of the best parts of being a mission developer is that I didn’t have to deal with “sacred cows” or fight to reform unbiblical practices. From the start, our church was built on a solid foundation of reformed worship, biblical qualifications for church office, and the exercise of church discipline. This foundation has helped our church to enjoy an uncommon degree of harmony over the past 22 years.
A big personality is not indispensable to being an effective church planter. More important is consistency, diligence, love for people, organizational skill, and clear, applicable biblical exposition.
I challenge fellow ARP pastors to consider church planting.
Here’s a church-planting opportunity in the northeast: https://arpchurch.org/job/church-planter-baltimore-d-c-area/
Here’s a self-assessment instrument, “Is Church Planting in a Good Fit for Me?”: https://outreachnorthamerica.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/self-assessment-4.5.2023.pdf