You may have heard of William Carey, the “father of modern missions”; but perhaps you have never heard of his good friend Andrew Fuller. Before leaving for India, Carey famously told Fuller, “I will go down into the pit, if you will hold the ropes.”
Fuller held the ropes by traveling all over the British Isles, raising funds and preaching missions-related sermons. The missionaries in India and other early fields could concentrate on their ministry in the field because they knew Fuller was holding the ropes for them.
William Carey was courageous and faithful to his call, but he would not have been able to go to India and establish his mission work if not for all those “holding the ropes.” Church planting pastors and the seedling churches they plant, like those early missionaries, depend on you to “hold the ropes.”
Are you willing to hold the ropes for your ARP Church plants?
- Will you give of your substance?
- Will you pray for your church planting pastors and their congregations?
- Will you write, visit, and call them to encourage them?
- Will you move to their city and be a part of what they are doing?
Will you hold the ropes? We would ask you to partner with us at River City Reformed Church in Little Rock and join us as a “rope holder.” You can find out more at https://rivercityarp.org/partner-with-us-financially/. We would also encourage you to consider holding the ropes for our other ARP church plants. You can find more info and links to give at https://outreachnorthamerica.org/directory/.
The month of September marked the 60th anniversary of the 1957 integration crisis at Central High School in Little Rock. The courageous action of the Little Rock Nine to enter Central High in September 1957 sparked a nationwide crisis. Arkansas Governor, Orval Faubus, in defiance of a federal court order, called out the Arkansas National Guard to prevent the Nine from entering the school. In response, President Dwight D. Eisenhower federalized the National Guard, sending in units of the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division to escort the Nine into Central High on September 25, 1957.
Though this courageous action of the Little Rock Nine promised to herald a new era of desegregation and racial reconciliation, sixty years later we find Little Rock and, indeed, America more racially and socially divided than ever. Much more is required than the might of the 101st Airborne Division and the courage of the Little Rock Nine to break down the walls of hostility in our culture. Nothing short of divine intervention is sufficient. But the good news — the gospel — is that God has intervened to reconcile men to Himself and one another through Jesus Christ and has given the Church the ministry of reconciliation.
…remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. Ephesians 2:12-16
River City Reformed Church in Little Rock is a confessionally Reformed Church committed to bringing reconciliation to Little Rock by the hope of the Gospel through authentic community, faithful teaching and preaching, biblical worship and meaningful ministry. Here is how you can pray for us as we begin this work.
- For the Lord to bring new families and individuals interested in our vision of planting a Reformed Church committed to ordinary means evangelism, confessionally Reformed worship and family-integrated ministry, worship and discipleship.
- For the expansion and growth of our Thursday morning, Men’s Bible Study, Lessons from Nehemiah, which we pray will be effective in discipleship and outreach to men in our city.
- For wisdom and discernment regarding the process and timeline for transition from Bible Study to Worship in our Lord’s Day gatherings.
- Pray for our families as they exercise their spiritual gifts to engage those in their sphere of influence who are unbelievers, disbelievers or disconnected believers.
- For increased influence in the city of Little Rock for River City Reformed, both “on the ground” and in social media.
- Thanksgiving for the commitment of the Mississippi Valley Presbytery for its careful and attentive prayer and financial support for River City Reformed and Pastor Wheeler.
The horse is made ready for the day of battle,
but the victory belongs to the Lord. Proverbs 21:31
In an age of marketing-driven economics, it is tempting to put our confidence in methodology, strategy and promotion for church planting. While these things are important and we must work diligently to discern methodology, develop strategy and promote effectively, most often the salient points that advance the growth of Christ’s Church are the unplanned and unanticipated Providences of God which church planters could never have orchestrated.
This reminds us that God has given us the ordinary means of grace upon which we are to depend. These are the means we use to “demolish strongholds and to destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God.” As Reformed believers we recognize that God’s sovereignty and human responsibility are never mutually exclusive, but mutually inclusive. We must prepare for battle, but the battle is the Lord’s.
Pray for us in the following ways as we seek to plant River City Reformed in Little Rock.
- Thanks to the Lord for the growing commitment of many in our core group to the vision of planting a Reformed Church committed to ordinary means evangelism, confessionally Reformed worship and family-integrated ministry, worship and discipleship.
- Continued prayer for healing and rehabilitation for Pastor Wheeler’s father in law, David Oates, following a car accident.
- Prayer for expansion of influence through personal contacts, hospitality, pastoral care, wise use of social media, and divine appointments.
- Prayer for the Lord to give us patience and discernment to recognize the unexpected and unanticipated actions of the Holy Spirit that define and refine our methodology, strategy and promotion.