March 31, 2010

Published on 03/31/10

Boston Skyline SON

This Week in Boston

One of our loyal supporters recently asked me about the progress of the various church planting networks. As you know, it is our Spirit-derived goal to help facilitate various networks which will, in turn, facilitate a church planting movement in world-class cities globally. The impetus for this is the belief that God has providentially prepared our cities for just such a movement.

Model Church Plant (A model church in the sense that lessons will be learned from it.)

The International Baptist Fellowship is growing internally. Our young converts are maturing, and we are growing closer together as a fellowship. In addition, we have two new converts that are ready for baptismal studies , as well as one person who is slated to begin evangelistic studies. Our goal this year is to do things better. Our greatest need is the establishment of evangelistic relationships and Bible studies.

Boston (networking with our community)

We have established a good testimony in the community of Malden. The International Baptist Fellowship replaced the carpet on one floor and installed tile on another floor of the Oak Grove Community Building, (the building where we meet). We participate in the planning for the maintenance and improvements of the Oak Grove Community Building. This good testimony helps us in our relationships with Malden residents, in general, and prepares the ground for sharing the life of God with our community. As far as a network of Boston churches goes, this is a much slower process. Although there are many evangelical churches in Boston, very few of them are interested in protecting the gospel from theological error. It appears that in the majority of these churches, the gospel has become less important than other priorities. Their doctrinal statements include the gospel, but one gets the feeling that the gospel is not that important to the mission of their churches. The gospel is there, but it is no longer on the top of the hill. The Boston network will need to be created by starting new churches, and by offering a helping hand to those churches that desire to be gospel-centered. Our greatest need is to be gracious to all, but always principled in choosing our ecclesiastical relationships.

New England

We have a good network of churches across New England. Our greatest need is to establish meetings in these churches on three Sunday evenings a month. The purpose is to help them focus on the potential for global ministry originating in Boston.

Continental

A former intern is moving in June to begin his new life in Boston. At the same time, Bill is teaching an on-line church planting philosophy course at Piedmont Baptist Bible College. These two developments illustrate that a continental network is beginning to form. At this point, the greatest need is to illustrate the potential in the city by developing a successful ministry there. As God moves in the city, the need for organization on a continental level will become obvious.

International

We have many friends around the world to whom we have ministered the gospel. Some of these have become Christians, others have received the gospel, most of them are interested in learning more about God. Our greatest need is to organize follow-up for those leaving Boston, as they go home.

Personal

Our son Rob, his wife Amanda and their two children, Robin and Lola, will be moving to Boston in the middle of April. They are coming to be mentored for ministry. Initially, they will be living with us. This makes finishing the basement a priority. Our home, which we call the ministry home, is already in need of more room. We need the room for our Sunday afternoon fellowships. In order to get the room, we need to finish cementing the floor, painting the ceiling, installing a sump pump etc… Please pray for us.

The SON always shines in Boston,

Bill and Deb Edmondson