Church Planting

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Puritan Board Post-Graduate
If you were starting a church plant in an area that did not have a reformed or presbyterian church, would you advertise the plant as presbyterian or reformed?

Just the weird thoughts that were going through my mind today.
Well, I wouldn't hide it.

---------- Post added at 09:19 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:13 PM ----------

Oh wait... it just occurred to me that you might be asking an "either/or" question ("presbyterian or reformed"), rather than a question of whether or not to let the affiliation be openly known.

If that's the case, I'd probably favor the word "presbyterian" over "reformed."
Most successful endeavors of this kind have the support of one or more established churches. These churches also provide important oversight for the church planter. So the question really comes down to which churches, from what denomination, are interested in supporting the work.

Other than that, I think "Presbyterian" probably gives you fewer questioning looks than "Reformed." When I was Reformed I often had to explain it as "like Presbyterian."
Bolivar, here is my experience.

Our town has 3 Presbyterian or Reformed congregations. (2 PCC & 1 ARP, total pop. 145k)

The use of Presbyterian or Reformed as you indicated in you OP pre-supposed that people know what those terms mean. In my context they do not know this. The question assumes that the name will attract people based on their pre-association with the name. This is a false assumption, in my opinion.

We call our church Redeemer Community Church because our first choice was taken. We wanted to be known as Christ the Redeemer, but the Sunday after we voted to adopt this name a (continuing) Anglican church plant launched with that name. We backed up & picked the closest name that we could.

In practice it matters not at all. This past Lords Day we had 15 or so visiters. 10 were first or second time visitors & more than half were non-christians. Not one of them came because of our name. All came because they were invited (often repeatedly) by people that they knew.

If the goal of your church plant is to preach the gospel to the lost, then pick a name that works in your context. If however your goal is to advance a sectarian agenda then chose your name according to the values of your faction. I am not kidding. Some have declined to support us (financialy) or even pray for us(!) because we do not make opposition to the "Federal Vision" or "EP" the focus of our ministry. For sectarians such as these, the purpose of planting a church is to gain votes at GA. If this type of person is the main source of your support, then learn to live on a lot less money, or adapt you mission to a model that they approve of.

In my humble opinion the point of planting a church is to reach the lost with the good news of Jesus Christ, and NOT to add one more vote to "our" side at GA. This may sound like a rabbit trail, but it is an important part of the decision of what to call your church.
In my opinion, "Presbyterian" could mean just about anything, whereas "Reformed" generally means something a little more specific (and most Reformed churches are Presbyterian anyway). If I were looking for a sound church, I would definitely be searching (online, or in the phone book, etc) for a "Reformed" church.

But really, there's no reason you couldn't advertise the church as both, Reformed and Presbyterian.
Thanks for all the replies and good advice.

Other than that, I think "Presbyterian" probably gives you fewer questioning looks than "Reformed." When I was Reformed I often had to explain it as "like Presbyterian."

This was my thinking.
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