Local church plant advice

Discussion in 'Church Order' started by Goodcheer68, Mar 5, 2013.

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  1. Goodcheer68

    Goodcheer68 Puritan Board Freshman

    **** Move this to a different forum if need be I wasn't exactly sure where to start this thread.***********

    I wanted to get some advice on a local church plant and what would be the biblical approach.

    Here is the background:

    A friend of mine has started a home Bibles study with the plans of planting a Reformed church in Twentynine Palms. The Bible study is Sunday night at their home and currently there are four families, including ours, that regularly attend since its inception 2 months ago. As far as Reformed churches go, there is not a Reformed church within an hour drive from Twentynine Palms. The only church remotely close to anything Reformed in this area is an SBC with a Calvinist pastor (this is where I attend). The problem is that this pastor is also a hardcore dispensationalist. Furthermore, the church is 30 minutes away.

    My friend used to be an assistant pastor/elder at a non-denominational church with Calvinistic leanings prior to moving to Twentynine Palms a few years ago. Since that time he has grown in his understanding and now he holds closer to the LBCF - I am still working with him on the Sabbath and 2nd commandment violations.

    I personally subscribe to the 3 Forms of Unity. I have been attending the calvinistic/dispensational church mentioned above for over four years. The thing is that he wants my help to really get this going as the other two families are new to the Reformed faith. I told him that I would support it in anyway I can- the families know where my family stands as far as baptism- but that I am not planning on leaving my other church. The reason is that I hope to be moving to the East Coast by this Fall and it wouldn't make sense to stop going to the other church at this time. I would love to see this grow into a solid Reformed church as this area needs it, and if moving falls through for me, I would probably change churches.

    I talked to my friend and the other families that I am not keen on a "Lone Ranger" type of church and think it would be best to be under some kind of authority that is also Reformed. They all agreed, but I am not sure how we would go about it. I also know that Baptist churches are generally autonomous, so I am wondering what kind of advice would you have for this situation.

    LBCF Ch. 26:8 seems to be relevant, but how does that work in this situation.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2013
  2. Herald

    Herald Administrator Staff Member


    I guess I am a bit confused. Maybe you can clarify a few things. Is the desire to plant a Baptist church or a Presbyterian church? You referenced the 1689 LBC, so I am going to assume for now that you are seeking to plant a Baptist church.

    You are right that Baptist churches are generally autonomous. However, that does not mean a start up cannot have the assistance and guidance of another Baptist church. I suggest contacting Rich Barcellos at Grace Reformed Baptist Church in Palmdale, CA. It is a church plant by Trinity Baptist Church in La Mirada, CA. Here is their website: Grace Reformed Baptist Church. I would prayerfully start there. If you can find another Reformed Baptist church to come along side you in some capacity, I cannot underestimate how helpful it will be.

    Let me know how it goes if you reach out to Rich.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2013
  3. Goodcheer68

    Goodcheer68 Puritan Board Freshman

    My friend is trying to plant the church and he has asked for my help. I hold to the three forms of Unity and he most aligns with the LBCF, and because he is the one who is starting the church out of his home it would be a Reformed Baptist church. He has asked for my help and support ,and I am willing to do as much as I can, as there is nothing remotely Reformed in this area. I will definitely try to contact Rich.

  4. SolaScriptura

    SolaScriptura Puritan Board Doctor

    The Marines, and others, need a solid church. Presently there is nothing. I say work with the planter as much as you can - remembering that the alternative is the decidedly non-reformed churches already present in the area.
  5. Goodcheer68

    Goodcheer68 Puritan Board Freshman

    I know, this area is full of Word of Faith churches. The other churches are either liberal or Rick Warren clones. The SBC pastor in 29 Palms(not the Yucca Valley one) will come out in a costume sometimes for the sermon. When he was preaching through Judges he came out dressed as a Sheriff from an old western movie.
  6. KMK

    KMK Administrator Staff Member

    What about the church this man used to pastor? Why can't they function as the 'sending' church?

    It sounds to me like you are doing the right thing in staying at the church in Yucca Valley while supporting your friend in some way in Palms. When you live in the boondocks (like I do here in Wrightwood), you can't expect to find a church that meets every one of your darling criteria. Its part of the price of living in a small town. In fact, it can be a great blessing to learn how to live in unity with those whom you disagree on minor issues.

    That said, you are more than welcome to come to Wrightwood. We are closer than Bercellos' church and probably about the same as Trinity. :D
  7. Goodcheer68

    Goodcheer68 Puritan Board Freshman

    He was an assistant pastor/elder (I noticed I put pastor/elder I should have added assistant to make it more clear). He still communicates with his old pastor for certain advice, but his Pastor is not Reformed in any sense of the word. His old church would probably most resemble a Calvary Chapel.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2013
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