Our New Pastor

Published on 11/11/17

sent out September 4, 2017

Dear Partners in Ministry,

On Wednesday evening, May 31, friends from across New England joined our church family as we installed Toby Stevens as the pastor of the International Baptist Church an orthodox Christian association (IBC an OCA). Toby came to Boston as an intern in 2010 and joined Baptist Mid-Missions in 2012. The Stevens family includes Toby, his wife Susan, and their two sons, Curtis and Clayton.

A New Pastor

It has been edifying to watch the work of God preparing Toby and Susan for the ministry to which He has called them. It is difficult to move a family into the interior of the city, which Toby and Susan have done twice. It is not easy to raise the needed funds to function as church planters in the city, but Toby and Susan were able to do so. Nor is it easy to procure a meeting place in the city and lead a church family to follow you there. This they also have accomplished.

The Stevens’ strength may be their prayer life—they trust that God is with them and is able to accomplish what seems humanly impossible. They seem unflappable, as with contented smiles they face obstacle after obstacle, determined and resolute.

Our Team

The installation of a pastor was an extremely important moment in the life of the Boston ministry. This development allows Deb and me to focus on following human relationships made in Boston to other parts of the world, while Toby and Susan focus on building a self-sustaining church in East Cambridge. Both focuses are essential to accomplish God’s will for city church planting globally.

The Stevens and the Edmondsons are two parts of a larger ministry team who have formed for the purpose of doing the will of God in Boston and the world. It is in the DNA of the IBC an OCA to join the Savior in His salvific work of building His global church by building a model church in Boston—a church that can be an example and a launching pad for city church planting globally. We are making slow progress, but there is more that needs to be done.

The IBC an OCA

Deb and I came to Boston for the purpose of using global connections made in Boston to minister to the world outside of Boston. In order to develop disciples who are able to effectively minister in their part of the world, a local church is needed that effectively ministers in Boston. We call this the Model Church—a church plant that can serve as a model for our disciples to copy when they return to their part of the world. The IBC an OCA, has been that in part, but we are hoping that having a pastor who is focused on the church in Boston will help us more fully develop what we need as a model church.

A Model Church

In my thesis on global city church planting, I gave a partial description of what a Model Church should be.

It must be a Boston church. This means that the focus of the church plant is, first of all, on the people of metropolitan Boston, for whom the ministry is intended. Among other things, this means that the church will endeavor to minister to people from all socio-economic strata and ethnicities of the city. The model church plant must not simply be a test case to be analyzed. In fact, unless the model church plant is an example of Christ-like passion for the needs of individuals in Boston, it will not be a biblical model of anything.

It must be a biblically orthodox church. In order to be a genuine blessing from God to needy people, this church plant must operate based upon the life-generating fount of the Word of God—the Bible. This means that the planning and implementation of the ministry plan must flow out of principles and precepts found within the biblical text.

It must be a gospel-centered, missional church. Therefore, this church must endeavor to minister to the ten major civilizations of the world. This means that the church will embrace ethnic and cultural diversity. This diversity is an important element of the model-church-planting plan, since the goal of the church-planting movement is to minister to the major civilizations of the world by discipling those civilizations in Boston and then following the natural relationships of our disciples back to their own civilizations.

It must be a mentoring church. This mentoring must develop disciples who are equipped to extend the church-planting movement to the major civilizations. This goal indicates that the discipleship ministry must provide the opportunity for each disciple to grow from spiritual infancy to the maturity of a tent-maker or vocational church planter.

It must be a model church. As such it will furnish a pattern for other churches to emulate. This indicates that what is done must be based upon established and recorded principles which may be studied by others. This means that a policy and procedure manual should be developed which will provide not only a guide for the model-church plant, but also a template from which the church-planting movement may learn.

We Need You

Although in Boston we have a legitimate opportunity to make disciples that impact many other parts of the world, there is a huge amount of work that remains if we are to do so. In fact, unless God helps us, we know this is humanly impossible. This is why Deb and I are thankful for a couple prepared by God to pastor the IBC, an OCA, and for a church family who shares our burden for the world. But more is needed. We need your sustained intercessory prayer to strengthen the Boston team. We also need qualified individuals and families to join us in this great endeavor. We are asking God to provide both vocational ministers and secular professionals to become part of the IBC, an OCA.

The Edmondson family came, the Stevens family came, and others joined us. What about you?

This is Great Commission ministry,

Bill and Deb