Dear friends and supporters,
Thank you for being our co-workers by means of prayer and giving.
This is the eleventh of twelve prayer letters informing you about the progress and prospects of the ministry in Boston. The topic of this letter is the state of the International Baptist Fellowship.
The International Baptist Fellowship (IBF) has a strong but small core of believers, which are augmented by those congregants from the mobile academic community. This means that many of our members leave Boston before they fully understand how to successfully live as Christians. Thankfully, we are able to continue the discipleship process by mean of on-line meeting tools. For instance, this evening we had a Bible study in our living room that included two on-line participants among the eight people attending. As a result, we have a membership that is not only local but also global. On the other hand, as I shared last week, our at-risk group has decreased.
Organizationally, we have been working over the last year with a short temporary constitution. We continue to prepare a longer more comprehensive constitution, which will be ratified later this year when we officially become International Baptist Church. We view ourselves as a biblically defined church that is slowly becoming more organized. It will not be long until we are able to elect deacons.
We have an effective on-going internship program. In fact, two of our interns have remained in Boston in order to serve the Lord vocationally.
We have many on going evangelistic, baptismal, infant discipleship, and small group Bible studies. This means that the discipleship process is multileveled and healthy. Most importantly, God has blessed by allowing us to help non-believers trust in His Son, follow the Lord in believer’s baptism and become His followers. By God’s grace and almighty power a continual stream of disciples are being made in Boston. Many of these disciples are taking the gospel with them as they return home.
The IBF also has weaknesses. First of all, our congregation is small and not yet a self-supporting church. Secondly, the congregation does not mirror the demographic of Boston. God has enabled us to have a healthy ministry to Westerners and Mainland Chinese. But Boston is host to people from, probably, every country of the world. I believe it is God’s command that we make disciples of all nations represented in Boston. Thirdly, we need to more effectively minister to the drunk, the addict, the thief, the emotionally unstable, the poor, the widow, and the orphan.
To summarize, the IBF is making progress. When our church overcomes its weaknesses, we will use our God given strengths to train our global disciples to do the same thing in their city. This is our purpose. Pray for us.
We love you,
Bill and Deb