Boston’s Finest

Boston’s Finest

“To build a bridge, you must first break down a wall.” 

 

In the two weeks that I have been in the beautiful city of Boston, these words continuously keep consuming my thoughts. As I sat across the table from a church planter in the area, he uttered this phrase and suddenly it all clicked. I realized one of the reasons that so many church plants take off, only to crash and burn.

When it comes to church planting, so many plants fail because it puts all of its focus on building a bridge between them and their culture. You may hear that, and say, “Jordan, what are you talking about? That is what the church is called to do.” I would definitely agree with that. As the church, we have been commanded to let the gospel be the connecting point between us and the community we are living in.

However, a fruitful church plant does not begin with building this bridge, it begins with tearing down the wall that separates the church and their community. Church plants can put all of their focus and energy on the logistics of a meeting place, the type of music played on Sunday mornings, and dress code; but still miss the most important thing pertaining to their community: the needs of the people that make up that community. 

This is the wall that must be torn down before we can even thinking about bridging the church to its people. We must begin with questions like:

What makes this community click? 

What is the history of this town/city? 

What do these people value most? 

What needs do they have that can be met with the Gospel?

 

When we ask these types of questions, we are more observant of the people that are around us each and every day. It allows us to see that though they seem fine on the outside, they are broken on the inside and are in need of the only person that can truly satisfy them, Jesus Christ. Asking these questions allows the Spirit to mold us into men and women who are “all things to all people.” (1 Corinthians 9.22)

Observing and engaging your culture in this way allows you to be reminded that something comes before knowing what type of fruit to grow. Engaging a community with the gospel begins with knowing what type of soil to lay down to grow fruit on.

If you were wanting to grow a tree wherever you live, you would first need to know what type of soil you would be growing on because that directly relates to what kind of tree would most flourish. If I tried to grow a tropical tree in the city of Boston, I would not see much growth because the soil here is not meant for tropical trees to be grown.

Many believers bring their own preferences into different cultures without knowing what consumes that culture. It is because of this that many believers do not see fruitfulness for the gospel because they are trying to grow fruit in a way that the culture’s soil does not allow.

This is why our team is here this summer.

We are not here to bring the greatness of the south to these northerners. We are not here to do a ton of service projects. We are not here to build a bridge or to grow fruit.

We are here to engage the city of Allston, Massachusetts so that we can tear down the wall that they put up as a culture. This is so that in the future, God will bring a group of faithful people to come into this great city and as a church, they will grow beautiful fruit for the gospel based off the soil that we lay down as a team throughout the next six weeks.

 

This is our prayer for the summer. Will you pray this along with us?

 

-Jordan Nates