Andrew is the church planter at Corona OPC in Corona, CA. He is a Philadelphia native who attended Wheaton College and Grad School, as well as Westminster Seminary in California. He and his wife, Rebekah, have three young children.
Here are Andrew’s responses to our final 3 questions…
Question: What is a great idea or practice you learned from someone outside the Reformed world (something you learned in pre-Reformed days that you still do or something you’ve picked up from those outside the Reformed world) Doesn’t have to be you personally, could be church practice.
Andrew: I’m a lifelong and multi-generational Presbyterian, but I’ve had plenty of experience in the wider evangelical world. One of the important evangelism and outreach ideas that is consistent between the Reformed world and many of our brothers and sisters in the wider church is that we let the Word do the work. “Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:17) Churches that pursue “outreach” through gimmicks or non-biblical teaching may experience temporary growth, but this is usually a flash in the pan. Any faithful church that is zealous and effective in evangelism will always have strong, gospel-centered preaching and outreach that is always firmly moored to the Word of God.
Question: What is a great idea or practice you learned from someone within the Reformed world?
Andrew: I’m not sure I can trace the origin, and it’s more of a theological encouragement, but I’m thankful for reminders that the Holy Spirit is at work long before you open your mouth to share the gospel, He is at work while you share the gospel, and He will be at work long after you’re done. A biblical example of this is Ananias of Damascus and his faithful witness to Saul/Paul in Acts 9. He was simply obedient, in spite of his fear, and his faithfulness was a crucial chapter in the story of Paul’s conversion—but it was only one chapter! Remembering this truth takes the pressure off in evangelism and outreach. God is at work, we are called to be faithful, but it is Jesus—not us—who will not lose one sheep.
Question: What is the most “successful” outreach thing you’ve done or what has most contributed to your “success?” —not necessarily you personally, could be something you’ve implemented in church life or a collective church practice or approach.
Andrew: Our most successful outreach is the Christmas Lessons & Carols service we’ve held for the past two years. In Southern California the opportunities to go to a traditional Christmas service are … sparse. But nominal Christian or non-Christian families see this as a worthwhile seasonal experience. So we spread the word and invite our neighbors. When they come they hear the redemptive historical storyline of the Bible in the readings, they sing theologically rich hymns that exalt Christ, and they hear a clear gospel presentation. At the end we send them off with more information about the church plant, an invitation to get to know us better, and beautiful Christmas cookies that are professionally decorated by a talented member of the mission work. Our prayer is that this will continue to grow and bear fruit.