Church Planting with the ARPC
Outreach North America assists Presbyteries to plant churches across North America.
An Unmatched Level of Support
With only around 270 congregations spread across 10 presbyteries in the U.S. and Canada, we’re able to give you the attention and care you deserve. Our ethos as a denomination means that you will always be on our radar and on our hearts; you will be well known and cared for by both your Presbytery and by Outreach North America.
We understand that as a church planter, you will invest your heart and years of ministry into your work. In return, we will invest in you and your family through:
- Prayer support
- National exposure through monthly prayer newsletters
- Assessment for ministry at our expense
- Training and Coaching
- Annual retreats for you and your spouse
- Administrative support
- Financial support
- Connectional leadership
Why Plant With the ARPC?
Testimonials from Current Planters
“Planting with the ARP and ONA has provided funding which has bought us time to provide the means of grace (preaching, prayer, worship) on site where the people are. Additionally, the resources, coaching, and training have allowed me to not make as many uninformed mistakes as I would have made without the support of the presbytery and the ONA committee.”
“ONA has provided River City Reformed with vital support; close relationships with other church planters, solid commitment to ongoing training, access to leading edge demographic tools, financial assistance, and pastoral concern for my well-being as a pastor, husband and father. One core group family remarked, ‘we have been impressed at how deeply involved the ARPC is in this work.’ From the outset they have seen that we are not just a congregation, but a connectional church.”
The Church Planting Process
Our regional Presbyteries have oversight of the mission work within their bounds, as well as the responsibility to call and approve church planters. To plant an ARP church, you will need to initiate contact with the Presbytery where you feel called to plant. ONA can help you determine and make contact with the right Presbytery. Once the Presbytery has decided to take the next step in considering you as a church planter, they will work with ONA in an assessment process to confirm your gifting for the ministry of church planting.
In order to be good stewards of human and financial resources, the Presbytery will work with ONA to assess you and your spouse regarding your gifting for church planting at this time. The assessment will give you feedback that can be helpful for your future ministry, regardless of whether you are recommended for church planting at this time.
As a result of the assessment, you will receive a recommendation either to pursue church planting or to pursue different avenues of ministry. If you are recommended for church planting, you will want to pay attention to the feedback regarding areas you need to strengthen to help you as a church planter. The assessment results also help the Presbytery as they seek to be good stewards of God’s resources.
Approval by Presbytery
Presbytery will want an initial proposal for the church plant before voting to approve the work. Once Presbytery has approved the church plant and once you are recommended through the assessment process, the Presbytery can approve a call to you as the church planter for the new work.
Once assessed and approved, you will want to be oriented by the Presbytery Church Extension Committee and by ONA staff to discuss getting started, funding, training and support opportunities, and other expectations. We will provide integral support so that you are well-equipped to enter your explorer year.
During the explorer year of church planting, you will develop a core group, create a prayer network, and learn the complexities of church planting. As an explorer, you will be expected to research your target area and develop a core group.
With our support and these resources at your disposal, you are expected to come out of your explorer year with a researched and developed church plant proposal to submit to your Presbytery and the ONA Board for approval.
After your proposal has been approved, you’ll officially be on your way to planting a church. You will want to take full advantage of strategic direction, prayer, and accountability provided by the Presbytery and by ONA.
Is Church Planting for You?
Review The ARPC Requirements
First and foremost, ARPC planters must:
- Hold a Masters of Divinity degree (with Greek and Hebrew) from an accredited and approved seminary
- Commit to and clearly articulate Reformed theology
- Be ordained or be willing to become ordained in the ARPC
- Actively participate in our denominational ministries
Beyond the above qualifications, we also ask you to prayerfully consider whether planting a church in the ARP is a good fit for you. Even with ONA’s support, it takes a special level of discipline to persevere through the church planting process. Some questions you may want to ask yourself include:
Do you have a demonstrable record of discerning God’s vision for His church at a particular place and time?
Are you skilled at preaching sermons that are focused, structured, and applicable with conviction and passion?
Are you truly committed to Kingdom advancement through church multiplication?
Do you and your spouse wholeheartedly agree that God has called you to plant a church?
Take the Self Assessment
Do you think the Lord may be leading you to become a church planter? Our self-assessment can assist you in understanding how well your present experience, training, and gifts equip you for planting a church in the ARPC.
Want to Learn More About Church Planting?
If you’ve taken our self-assessment and feel strongly that the Lord is calling you to be a church planter, we’d love to hear from you to discuss next steps.