NAPARC Hears Reports on Home and Foreign Missions
East Point, GA (November 19, 1997)-The North American Presbyterian and Reformed Council (NAPARC) continued its recent tradition of hearing reports regarding missions. The reports have flowed out of "consultations" among the various denominational home and foreign missions officials, which have been held in conjunction with the annual NAPARC meeting.
Keith Magill of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America (RPCNA) reported on the home missions consultation, which had been hosted by Dr. Cortez Cooper, Coordinator of the Mission to North America Committee of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). Mr. Magill stated that there is a "severe shortage of men for church planting." He also said that "goals are being shattered-things are going beyond our expectations." The officials "re-affirmed the Golden Rule comity agreement" and agreed "to work on passing down the word" that any church planting efforts by NAPARC churches should be respectful toward and considerate of other NAPARC congregations in the area. Another emphasis was that of multi-ethnic ministries.
According to Mr. Magill, there has been great profit in sharing potential church planting methods and ideas regarding training. Ideas which were shared last year have been utilized broadly.
He acknowledged the tension between two of the NAPARC denominations, but stated that they have been able to talk things out. These consultations have helped in working things through.
The home missions personnel agreed to meet again next year.
Mark Bube of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church reported on the foreign missions consultation. He stated that all seven NAPARC churches were represented.
He expressed how impressed he was with the strategic use of short-term missionaries. Mission to the World (MTW) of the host PCA brought in eight missionaries from IMPACT (MTW's short-term mission program) who spoke of their experiences.
Other topics included ways in which the foreign mission agencies can co-operate with each other, estate planning, and the issue of sending nationals as part of the foreign missionary team.
On the agenda for next year are at least two topics: the government of teams on mission fields, and how mission agencies evaluate themselves.
[In 1996, the Synod of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church (ARP) protested to the PCA General Assembly regarding an alleged lack of respect for the comity agreement. Since that time, at least one prominent PCA church in the Charlotte, NC, area has aided an ARP mission church by sending people to help it get started.--Ed.]
Keith Magill, Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America
RE Mark Bube, Orthodox Presbyterian Church
PO Box P
Willow Grove, PA 19090