The Plan: Launching the Teams
For the last several weeks, we have been reviewing the Boston and Beyond ministry plan. The purpose of this review is to inform our supporters concerning the future goals and activities of the Boston ministry. We hope that an informed support base will be fervent in prayer, sacrificial in giving, and sensitive to God’s leading to perhaps join us.
Launching the Teams is the fifth part of The Plan. In previous installments of this letter, we have covered Building the Church, Evangelizing the Nations, Recruiting the Workers, and Doing the Demographics.
Forming the Teams
As you will remember, it is our desire to help those who become Christians in Boston to be faithful to the Savior and effective in ministry by joining them as they return home to various globalized cities, internationally. We will do this by continuing our on-line video-conferencing ministry, but we also hope to send trained workers with our disciples. Through the years, we have watched our interns learn how to minister to our international visitors. Now we hope to recruit our interns to become vocational missionaries, and existing vocational missionaries to become Boston and Beyond missionaries. These missionaries (trained in Boston) will naturally form relationships which will extend to other continents.
Training the Teams
Boston and Beyond evangelistic and discipleship ministry is in some ways distinctive. We believe it is biblically and theologically important to offer our “not yet Christian” acquaintances authentic friendship as a foundation for gospel witness. This is not a bait and switch approach. Rather, based upon the relationships within the Trinity, in whose image we are made, we seek to model biblical interest and concern for every individual. Based on this relational foundation some friendships go deeper into evangelistic relationships. From these come our disciples. We invite God’s image bearers to friendship first, to our Savior second, and to church third. By skipping step one, we may appear to be salesmen interested only in building up our club. By including step one, we show ourselves to be God’s ambassadors. It is teaching the theology and practice of relationship building and discipleship making that is the main purpose of our internship training.
Releasing the Teams
Releasing may be a better word to use then launching, because releasing catches the organic nature of what we hope to do. Through the years, we have formed many, many discipleship relationships with young converts who have returned home. Anyone who works with the mobile academic community, whether it is here in Boston, or through other ministries, such as Campus Bible Fellowship, knows the bittersweet goodbyes expressed to those we love. This melancholy is caused by the reality of young Christians returning home not adequately prepared for living the Christian life or ministering to others. I dare say, that most of us would gladly accompany these unformed converts to their place of origin to help them get established in their Christian life and ministry. What has always been in our heart will become a reality with Boston and Beyond. Christian workers in Boston will have the mobility to leave Boston, traveling to various globalized cities in order to help our converts be established. The relationship will be formed in Boston and will bear fruit globally.
Hopefully, this detailed explanation of the Plan did not bore you to tears (if it did, no offense taken). At least know this: we have a plan that we think is from God. That is to say, we hope to join our Savior in His work of building His church globally.
Having finished the Boston and Beyond a globalized cities initiative Plan, in the next several weeks, we will describe the People need for B&B, identify the Places (cities) selected for B&B discipleship centers, and discuss the Preparation we provide for B&B workers.