Courage to Accelerate November 25, 2017
Dear partners in Great Commission Ministry,
I consider this to be a very important step forward in the Boston ministry. Last week Deb and I had the privilege of hosting Dr. Vernon Rosenau, the president of Baptist Mid-Missions. The visit was occasioned by a conversation, which Dr. Rosenau recently initiated. He wondered if we would be willing to assist in a global internship program. My response was to say that such an internship program is only as good as the global vision that inspires it. He asked for an explanation, which resulted in his visit to Boston. The purpose of his visit was to assess and advise concerning our Globalized City Church Planting Plan of which you are well acquainted.
As you know, we consider the globalized city (an internationally connected city of over 1 million) to be a primary way in which our Savior has prepared the world for the building of His church. That is to say, by ministering the gospel to the world in the city (people of the world gathered in globalized cities), and by assisting those who become disciples to be faithful witnesses as they return to their home countries, we can actually do what Jesus commanded us to do—make disciples of all nations. As Dr. Rosenau talked with us, it became clear that the vision, which God had given to Deb and me, was almost identical to the desire God had placed in his heart. He simply emphasized the need to develop a global internship program targeting strategic cities world wide, and the need to effectively minister to inner cities. Both of these needs were already embedded deeply in our hearts.
It is clear that effectively joining our Savior in a globalized city church planning movement must include networking with those of like theological convictions and methodological practice. Dr. Rosenau’s visit and institutional blessing gave us the courage to accelerate our efforts to lead in what we are calling a Globalized City Initiative. Our gracious God communicated a stewardship to Deb and me to obey our Savior’s command by disciplizing globalized cities. Many churches and individual supporters have agreed that this plan is of God and have therefore joined our team. Now, what was once the dream of a few has become a mission wide global initiative.
The Globalized Cities Initiative Plan (GCI)
Today I will briefly review individual aspects of the plan with which many of you are already familiar. In the weeks to come, each part of the plan will be more thoroughly explained. I need to add that we are very aware that all of our plans are dependent upon our God. In fact, our courage comes from our belief that we are simply joining Him in the city doing the work of the Great Commission.
Build the Foundation: The foundation of the Globalized City Initiative (GCI) is the work already in progress in Boston—the International Baptist Church an orthodox Christian association (IBC). The IBC will need to grow and mature into the model from which our disciples can learn how to minister in the globalized city. Interns will learn the basics of relational ministry in Boston, while simultaneously engaging with individuals in Boston from that part of the world to which they will be eventually living and ministering. We are also planning to develop an international village for ministry purposes in Boston. More details will be given in future prayer letters.
Identify Globalized Cities: Much effort and time will need to be invested in doing demographic studies to determine the most strategic cities in the world to reach the world. Having been identified, interns will be recruited and trained to inhabit those cities for the sake of the gospel. One of our interns has already been working on this.
Recruit Interns: Our internship plan will be refined and expanded. The goal of the program will be the training of individuals for globalized city ministry. Interns will need to be identified, recruited and trained in Boston. In fact, next month, we will be traveling to the state of Washington and South Carolina to talk with two potential workers.
Disciple Globalized Disciples: We already have many disciples and interns who have passed through Boston and are inhabiting globalized cities around the world. We need to strengthen our connection with them, helping them do the work of ministry.
Network with the Body of Christ: As has been previously stated, the GCI must not be the work of a few. Rather, if we are to succeed at joining our Savior in the building of the body of Christ in globalized cities, those who are of similar convictions and practice must network together. It will take time to explain the need, discuss how best to work together, and to plan how to implement our thoughts. We have been doing this networking for years, but it will now be taken to a whole new level.
Increase our Support Base: The work of ministry in the globalized city is expensive and doing the work of leading the GCI will be more expensive. Our financial need will give individuals and churches the opportunity to join us in the work of globalized city church planting. Deb and I will be able to give you a more detailed information concerning our financial needs very soon, but, for now, I can tell you that we have monthly need of more than $1,000, and we have several special project needs for which one time gifts would be greatly appreciated.
Praise & Prayer
Thankful for a life of ministry
1. Thank you for praying for our Thanksgiving Dinners. They went well, and, as a result we anticipate opportunities to share the gospel.
2. We believe we have found a house sitter for this spring—thank you for praying.
3. We are working at increasing our support base by more than $1,000.00 per month. We also have an immediate goal of increasing the amount of people to whom we send our prayer letter to 1000 people. We have increased our prayer letter email list from 320 to 430 people thus far.
4. Our deputation calendar is basically full through the spring—thank you for praying.
5. As we asked you to pray, God is giving wisdom and direction for future ministry. Our meeting with Dr Rosenau gave us courage to accelerate in our efforts to lead a Globalized City Initiative to discipline the nations by ministering in special selected strategic cities.
6. Please pray for the health and strength needed to fulfill our calling.
November 26 Speak at Trinity Baptist Church in Concord, NH
November 29-30 Team North America Strategic Planning Meeting Cleveland, Ohio
December 9-10 My brothers and sister will meet together for an Edmondson time of reflection as my sister fights cancer.
December 21 Deb and I leave for Iowa where we will spend several months reporting back to our supporters.
Support Information Press on Support Needs to find more information on how to give. Press on the sub-headings for information on the individual projects.
Please let me know if you are giving to a particular project.
We are inviting individuals and churches to join the mission of Boston and Beyond a globalized cities initiative by means of financial support. Please press the Support Information and Needs & Wants links (above) to find out how to give. Let us know personally if you are giving to a particular project.