A Big Gospel in Small Places

Posted by Stephen Witmer on April 13th, 2019

I’m excited about the November release of my InterVarsity Press book, A Big Gospel in Small Places: Why Ministry in Forgotten Communities Matters. 

The cover has been designed, endorsements are rolling in, and I’m now waiting for a corrected draft to review. This book has grown out the many years of my life spent living in small towns, but particularly out of the past ten years serving as one of the pastors of Pepperell Christian Fellowship. My hope and prayer is that the book will help and encourage and strengthen and resource laypeople and pastors and seminary students around the world, whether they live in small, medium-sized, or large places.

To see a Table of Contents and the endorsements that have arrived already, click here: A Big Gospel in Small Places.

Upcoming May 17 evening on Christ and the Visual Arts

Posted by Stephen Witmer on March 25th, 2019

We have many visual artists (of all ages) at PCF and, as a church, we want to encourage them as they pursue their art. We want them to see God as the source of their creativity and his honor as the goal of their art. We want to help them consider what it means to be a Christian in the visual arts and to be encouraged that their work really can bring glory to an infinitely creative God who has made them to be creative. Their work can display both the beauty of God and the world he created and also the brokenness of a world that has been diminished and bent by sin. As a church, we want to encourage all our people, including the many of us who do not ourselves produce art, to appreciate works of art and to support our brothers and sisters whom God has gifted and called to work in the visual arts.

On May 17, we’ll have two visual artists in the PCF congregation (Stacy-Ann Searle and Maurice Eastwick) present and discuss examples of their work and then speak about why they’re drawn to the visual arts and how they seek to bring glory to God through their work. Maurice comes from an artistic family (his father worked as a colorist in the days before color printing) and majored in art at London University while training to be a teacher. Art has been a significant part of his life for over 60 years. Stacy-Ann is an award-winning pen and ink landscape artist working exclusively in black and white and has studied art at the Massachusetts College of Art and the University of Lowell. She exhibits her work regularly in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

Stacy-Ann and Maurice will each speak for 20 minutes and then there will be plenty of time for an open discussion with questions and answers. We’d love everyone at PCF as well as guests from the community to come enjoy this evening and grow together.

We’re also inviting other visual artists in our church (including graphic designers) to bring 2-3 pieces of their work to be displayed around the sanctuary during the course of the evening so that there’s an opportunity for everyone to view their work and interact with them. If you’d like to bring your work for display, please contact the PCF church office.

Our March 18 Summit at Gordon-Conwell

Posted by Stephen Witmer on March 25th, 2019

Our recent Small Town Summit at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, on March 18, was an extraordinary day of teaching, conversation, eating, singing, and building a theological vision for small-town/rural ministry. Tim Counts has written an excellent report of the Summit, and that report is on the Gospel Coalition website: ‘Don’t Underestimate Small-Town Ministry.’

The photos below are courtesy of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

Teaching our kids to tell the truth

Posted by Stephen Witmer on March 13th, 2019

I like Sam Crabtree (we’re former colleagues at Bethlehem Baptist Church, and he’s a wonderful guy) and I like this article he’s written on how we can help our kids to grow in telling the truth. I long for this in my own kids and in the kids of our church. Parents, you’ll benefit from this short article: ‘How To Teach Kids to Tell the Truth.’

On repentance

Posted by Stephen Witmer on February 24th, 2019

What exactly is repentance? According to the Bible, this is a very important question. A lot is at stake. In this new piece at Desiring God, I try to dig into the heart of repentance to show that it’s a change both of perception and direction.