Dr. Alan J Avera: Executive Director of Outreach North America

RP Magazine editor Delores McDonald and I were talking recently about some of the good things happening in the ARP Church that most people never see. We either get so focused on our lo- cal church context that we miss the larger picture, or we are so concerned about ongoing controversies that we overlook many good things that are happening. Delores made the comment, “I wish people could sit in my chair and see all the good things that are happening.”

As ONA director, I wish the same thing. I wish that people could sit in my chair and see the impact of church revitalization and church planting. Our memories are fickle. Many people have long memories for church revitalization efforts that do not go well, and people do not quickly for- got church planting failures. From that fickle memory arose the urban legend that 80% of new church plants fail. That is urban legend. The fact is that across all denominations, well over half of new church plants survive, and many thrive. The same has been true in the ARP Church.

ONA has recently produced a video detailing the impact that church renewal and church planting is making. In that video, we learn about a church going through the revitalization pro- cess that has seen the leadership unite around a vision, with a result that the church is now seeing new converts, is increasingly reaching young adults, and is becoming more reflective of its community. We learn about new church plants where people are being converted to Christ and lives are being changed.

We would love to send that video to you free of charge. To request your copy, just call ONA at 864-467-1800, or email us at ona@arpsynod.org