Missionary Couple Comes to Serve Boston Planters, Teams

scott_lori

Scott and Lori Jabloski are short-term missionaries in Boston… kinda.

Moving from the Atlanta area to Revere, MA in early June, 2014, the Jablonskis have come for at least the summer to serve church planters by coordinating and assisting with mission teams and events.

And they didn’t waste any time. The week they arrived, they ran point on the Boston Church Planting family picnic in Winthrop with a mission team of 70+ from First Baptist Church Prattville, AL. The next day, the Jablonskis were back at it, setting up for the same team to lead worship for an outdoor Sunday service in Malden, MA.

First to arrive and last to leave. Nothing new for Scott and Lori.

“That’s just how we roll,” said Scott, 40.

It is a new season of ministry. After 19+ years in youth ministry in the local church, the Jablonskis are officially MSC Missionaries with the North American Mission Board, which means 100 percent of their support is raised through partnerships with faithful friends, families, and churches.

If you are a Boston church planter and you have not connected with the Jablonskis please email or call Scott at (404) 788-1240

The following is taken from their profile page on NAMB.net:

Partnering together to equip and encourage Church Planters of Boston!1023666_203144453886

Over the past year, God has continued to burden our hearts for the lost in Boston. It is overwhelming as you consider that less than 3% of people in Boston are evangelical. Currently there are 42 church planters trying to reach over 3.9 million in the greater Boston area. These church planters face many hardships – relocating their families to a new area, engaging a difficult culture, and trying to building a church from the ground up, all the while working a full-time job. So this summer, Lori and I will be traveling up to Boston to work alongside these planters. We are excited about the opportunity to encourage, equip and help with logistics. We invite you to join us in three specific ways:

1. We need prayer partners. Ministry is difficult and spiritual warfare is real. God is moving mightily in Boston. We need people to lift Lori and I up while we are on the ground, as well as lifting up the church planters in prayer. 

2. We need people/teams to come and serve. There is so much to be done in Boston and countless opportunities to serve. Contact me about opportunities.

3. We need financial partners. It is very expensive to live and work in Boston. Housing is one of the biggest expenses. Besides, we will be keeping our apartment in Atlanta. Thankfully Scott’s boss has been gracious enough to give him 8 weeks off to go and serve. However this means we will not have his income during the summer. Please consider how you can help invest into these planters, Boston and eternity. 

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or would like further information about Boston. Scott’s email is pastorjabo@gmail.com. 

Also you can follow Scott’s blog about Boston. Here is the link: pastorjabo.blogspot.com

“The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” Luke 10:2 

Maine Mission Team First Ever to Travel South to Boston

Sometimes it’s actually cool to be first. Just ask the mission team that came recently from Maine – the first-ever mission team to travel south – to serve Boston church planters.

“I love it,” said Pastor Daniel Coleman of Kennebec Community Church in Augusta, ME. “We were a church plant just 10 years ago, and it’s great for us to be able to help other planters right here in our own back yard.”

Their mission indeed was to help planters – plural. Coleman and Missions Pastor Manny Conchinha, with Ron Bansmer, Aaron Manning, Jan Corcoran, and Jonathan Lagasse came over a long weekend June 4, 2014 through June 8, 2014 to help four different church plants with work projects, community service projects, and outreach. 

On Thursday, June 5, 2014, they painted the entire fellowship hall for Todd Burus‘ new plant in Charlestown, MA. The next day, they were with Steve Brown in Stoneham, MA, re-landscaping the front lot of local business.

“It was so rewarding,” said team member Corcoran. “We blessed the planter by really blessing a local sandwich shop owner, who was just blown away by the way the project came out. It was awesome.”

 Friday night, the team was in Saugus helping Joe Souza‘s plant re-organize a cluttered media closet. Then Saturday morning, they served with Brandon Allison in Revere, MA at a local community 5K run, then headed over to Winthrop, MA to man the food line at the Boston church planter family picnic.KCC_2

Finally, Sunday morning, they were off to Souza’s baptism service at a church member’s house, and then over to serve at an outdoor service in a park in Malden, MA.

“It was a whirlwind,” said Conchinha. “We are definitely tired. But it was worth it.”

Amen. Thank you KCC for coming.

mouse over the image above to launch the video

 

Alabama Mission Team Blesses Boston Planters

Boston church planters have been blessed in recent years by dozens of short-term mission teams. But few teams have traveled like First Baptist Church of Prattville, Al: on a charter bus.

With more than 70 folks in tow – mostly the teenage members of the Senior High Choir – they left Alabama June 5, 2014 headed for Philadelphia, PA; Long Island, NY; and finally Boston.

That is where we caught up with them on Saturday, June 7, 2014 at the Boston Church Planting church planter family picnic in Winthrop, MA.  Their mission was to bring music and song, drama, puppets, and the Good News to everyone they encountered.

Special thanks go out to Pastor Mitch Loftin and the team, that also brought along an evangelistic bracelet craft that they used in the park to share the gospel with folks. Alabama_Team2

From Winthrop, MA on Saturday, the tour moved on to an outdoor Sunday service with Celebration Church in Malden, MA – complete with a huge cookout that fed not only their team but the neighborhood passers-by.

Sunday afternoon brought a new adventure as the team headed out to Charlestown, MA to run a VBS at the First Brazilian Baptist Church there.

We are so grateful for everyone who traveled to Boston to help us advance the gospel here. You have our prayers. Keep it up!

Summer Picnic in Saugus a hit with Boston CP families

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Boston Church Planting Summer Picnic

Thank God for our church planting pastors, families and kids as they came out in force this past Saturday, August, 17, 2013 for the Boston Church Planting picnic in Saugus, MA.

Complete with face painting, bouncy houses, snowcones, games and gifts, the highlight of the day may have been the Brazilian steak and chicken prepared by Carlos DeOliveira of Celebration Church. Wow, that was awesome. Thanks Carlos.

A great time was had by all at the beautiful Elk’s Lodge property. Thanks to Ray Allen of the MBA; Steve Nerger of the BCNE and Micah Millican of the NAMB for making our day so great.

Thanks to all of our church planters and their families. We are so blessed to have so many Godly men and women joining us here from every part of the world. Come to Boston. Be a part of it all. Contact Joe Souza.

Click here for the all of our picnic pix on Flickr

Challenges to Planting in Boston: This place is really expensive

Challenges to Planting in Boston: This place is really expensive

Boston is well known for being one of the top-ten most expensive cities in the country. But, when two parking spaces in the Back Bay (pictured above) sell for more than $500,000, one surely scratches one’s head.

Yes, in a city where the average home price is barely less than $500K, the government auction last Thursday was certainly in the news (read the entire story here on the Boston Globe).

What’s really news – and it’s not a new conversation – is that this is a place of excesses and extremes. Greater-Boston in general, and places like the Back Bay specifically are in a state of hyper-cool and hyper-demand. Great news for sellers and landlords. Not-so-great news for church planters, and Regular Joe.

Many have tried and failed to plant in Greater-Boston because they have not counted the cost; both spiritually and financially. To a man, church planters here talk about a disciple-making cycle that is much, much longer and a financial mountain that is much, much higher.

It is an unenviable paradox, from Newburyport in the North Shore, to Boston and down to Plymouth in the South Shore, that the greatest numbers of people – lost people who we desperately want to share Christ with – reside in neighborhoods that our church planters can hardly afford to live in.

Though unenviable, this is a challenge we are facing head-on, by stressing partnerships, informing our planters well in advance of their moves, and helping connect them to resources.

Are you thinking about coming to an area of Boston? Make sure to connect with our catalyst Joe Souza.

 

 

 

NAMB.net: Boston Planter, Dunn, Commissioned at N.C. Annual Meeting

Published on NAMB.net  November, 2012

8294213014_dfa0fc6027_z (1)

NAMB Commissions Missionaries During N.C. Annual Meeting

By Sara Shelton

GREENSBORO, N.C. – The North American Mission Board commissioned 20 missionary units in conjunction with the North Carolina Baptist Convention’s annual meeting. The event took place at the Greensboro Coliseum.

Following the commissioning NAMB President Kevin Ezell preached the convention sermon from Luke 10:2. Ezell also outlined NAMB’s desire to revitalize churches and increase the number of missionaries and church plants.

“Missionaries when I see you and I see the sacrifices you make, the tremendous sacrifice, I think of Acts Chapter 20 and Paul’s farewell to the church at Ephesus. Paul said I consider my life worth nothing to me, but that I might complete the task the Lord Jesus has given to me. I want you to always remember that verse.

“It is not about my conveniences or my preferences, it is about being obedient. And remember the power of one. When the response is slow and you feel all alone … remember the power of one person in obedience to our Lord,” said Ezell.

Milton Hollifield, Executive Director Treasurer of the North Carolina convention, challenged the missionaries to pray.

“Even though we are involved in doing the things of God, we should never say we are too busy to pray,” said Hollifield, addressing the 182nd annual meeting. “Southern Baptist have no hope to see our goals become a reality unless we experience a return to holiness so that God can empower us to accomplish His will.”

Following the commissioning, Woman’s Missionary Union President Debbie Ackerman led a prayer for the missionaries.

8294213558_c4bd7e1281_zChurch planter Charlie Dunn was one of NAMB missionaries commissioned. Dunn’s call into church planting came to him in a unique way.

“I was up at 3 in the morning, just praying and reading through Scripture,” Dunn recalls. “And it seemed like out of nowhere I heard God say, ‘I want you to consider church planting.’”

Having never considered this path of ministry before, Dunn was surprised. Rather than jumping into planting immediately, he and his wife, Abby, opted to spend some time in prayer and study to discern God’s plan for this next step in their lives.

“We prayed, we read everything we could on church planting, and we just asked God to lead us,” Dunn says. “It took almost a year before we could finally express and understand that God was truly leading us into church planting.”

The couple set out to discover where to put down the roots of their future church plant, visiting everywhere from Chicago to Cleveland and even London. It was a trip to Boston in early 2010 and a meeting with an established planter that helped seal the deal.

“We spent a long weekend in Boston in January of 2010 and then made two more trips back to the city throughout the next year. Slowly we began to feel like Boston was the next step.”

With the support of the North American Mission Board, Dunn looks forward to the future of church planting not just for his own work in Boston but in the nation as a whole.

“Being supported by the NAMB community really ties us into a larger family of planters and missionaries like us who want to see more churches started and more souls saved. This network of support means the world to us.”

For missionary Josh Howeth, the road to church planting was one he never planned to walk. While his seminary peers were eager to jump into the future of church planting, Howeth had his own vision for a future serving and revitalizing existing churches. Only a couple of years into serving as worship and family pastor at Grant Avenue Baptist Church in Corvallis, Ore., those plans changed.

“Our leadership at Grant Avenue desired to reach the students on the Oregon State campus,” Howeth says. “It was an area of ministry that just hadn’t clicked yet and some of our leadership approached me with this vision to plant a church on the campus to reach these students.”

Initially resistant to the idea, Howeth and his wife, Elizabeth, committed to praying about the opportunity and, within the year, their hearts were changed.

“What started as the burden of our church and our convention for these college students slowly became the burden of our hearts too.”

Along with a core group of about 30 others, the Howeths planted The Branch on the campus of Oregon State University this year. Only six weeks into weekly Sunday meetings, they are working to build and disciple a community of believers amidst the 26,000 students on campus.

“These kids live in a very secular culture in a very unchurched state,” Howeth explains. “It’s our vision to be accessible as a church not just to the students but to the surrounding community.”

As Howeth and his team at The Branch work diligently to begin putting down gospel roots on the campus of Oregon State, he values now more than ever the support of NAMB and the Southern Baptist Convention as a whole.

“I’m very proud to be a NAMB missionary,” Howeth says. “To feel the support from our convention and to know they really are behind what we’re doing here in Oregon means everything to us. It excites me to keep moving forward and see more churches planted to reach more people for Christ.”

Sara Shelton is a writer for the North American Mission Board. NAMB writer Joe Conway contributed to this story.

Date Created: 12/21/2012 7:51:01 AM

 

Boston mayor, Menino, threatens to blackball Chick-Fil-A

The article below was published
on July 21, 2012 by Denny Burk
at www.dennyburk.com [clear /]

Chick-fil-a and the Irony of the Tolerance Police

by  on JULY 21, 2012 in CHRISTIANITYNEWSPOLITICS [clear /]

The irony of the tolerance police never ceases to amaze me. Perhaps you’ve heard about their latest sting operation aimed at Chick-fil-a. It all began earlier this week when Dan Cathy, the President of Chick-fil-a, told a reporter that the company was pro-family. He did not mention gay marriage. Nor did he say anything specifically about homosexuality. Cathy simply said this:

We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that. We operate as a family business … our restaurants are typically led by families; some are single. We want to do anything we possibly can to strengthen families. We are very much committed to that. We intend to stay the course. We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles.

That doesn’t sound very controversial to me. It just sounds like a Christian businessman answering a question about his faith. Have we really come so far that even these words are intolerable to the tolerance police? Well, apparently the answer is yes. Activists and sympathizers with the gay rights movement are castigating Chick-fil-a and calling for boycotts. Other media outlets have begun digging up past statements by Mr. Cathy, including one from last June about “God’s judgment” on those who wish to redefine marriage. Sensing the rising storm, Chick-fil-a tried to deescalate and released the following clarification:

The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect — regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender. Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.

It doesn’t sound all that radical, does it? Actually, it sounds rather conciliatory to me. But that hasn’t diminished the outrage of the tolerance police one whit. No, they are still out in full force calling for consumers not to tolerate Chick-fil-a’s intolerance. Calls for boycott continue, and now politicians are beginning to weigh-in. The mayor of Boston has even gone so far as to declare a ban on Chick-fil-a’s in Beantown. Mayor Thomas Menino in his own words:

Chick-fil-A doesn’t belong in Boston. You can’t have a business in the city of Boston that discriminates against a population. We’re an open city, we’re a city that’s at the forefront of inclusion. That’s the Freedom Trail. That’s where it all started right here. And we’re not going to have a company, Chick-fil-A or whatever the hell the name is, on our Freedom Trail… If they need licenses in the city, it will be very difficult — unless they open up their policies.

Apparently, Christian business owners are no longer allowed to express religious opinions in Boston if they run crosswise with the Mayor’s views on marriage. If that doesn’t send a chill down your spine, I don’t know what will. Again, the irony appears to be lost on the good mayor, who also fails to recognize that nothing Dan Cathy says indicates that homosexual persons will in any way be discriminated against at Chick-fil-a. In fact, Cathy says this:

We’re a business that serves the public, all people are welcomed into Chick-fil-A, and frankly we do not feel called to weigh in on a lot of social activism that’s taking place as it relates to the definition of the family, but we do definitely want to encourage strong families.

Do you see how this is going? You don’t even have to mention homosexuality or gay marriage. All you have to say is that you are pro-family, and certain municipalities will exile your business. Welcome to the brave new world of tolerance.

———————

Denny Burk is an Associate Professor of Biblical Studies at Boyce College, the undergraduate arm of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY. Please see his post and subsequent comments by clicking here.

BostonChurchPlanting.com has included Denny Burk’s post above seeking comments from our church planters / readers. How do we respond to Mayor Menino’s rant? What do those comments say about the overall Boston / New England culture? Will it only be a matter of time before it is not the Christian business owners being blackballed and banned, but our churches themselves?

Liberty Church Planting Network agrees to formalize partnership

Liberty Church Planting Network agrees to formalize partnership with Boston Church Planting

LYNCHBURG, VA – God is calling men to plant churches in Boston. And whether by convention, association, network, or by blood, sweat and tears, Joe Souza is praying every day for God to deliver also the relationships that result in support for those who are called.

A little more of God’s plan was revealed, and many of Souza’s prayers answered, in Lynchburg, VA Tuesday morning as the Liberty Church Planting Network (LCPN) agreed to move ahead with the process to formalize a partnership with Boston Church Planting.

“These guys are already doing what we want to do,” said LCPN Director Ryan Jones as he introduced Souza to the Board. “So, I wanted Joe to come and tell us how we can work together.”

Asking Souza to talk about his Boston Church Planting team is like asking a dad to talk about his kids. And talk Souza did, describing first the training and mentoring piece Jones was referring to.

“We have a good thing going,” Souza said. “We just want to see more church planters coming to Boston. And we are prepared now, better than ever, to receive them and plug them into our training; to help them figure out what they need to know about the New England culture. Contextualization.

“We hook the guy up to the church plant that most looks like what he is going to do. And in the process he is getting hands-on experience. He builds up his core group, or works together with his team. And we have seen in anywhere from six month to a year he is ready to go and launch publicly. That is the strategy that has paid off.”

It is a strategy for training and supporting church planters in Boston that the LCPN was looking for. Its core activity is assessing, mentoring, training, funding and sending usually first-time church planters. The LCPN employs a formal, three-day trainings plus ongoing, one-on-one mentoring in its established training centers in Raleigh, NC and in Washington, DC.

The Network – which was founded in 1980 by Dr. Jerry Falwell and has funded hundreds of church plants all over the country – already has one seasoned planter in Boston. He is Liberty grad Josh Wyatt of Charles River Church. And the LCPN is planning soon to send another fully-funded planter from Liberty to work with Wyatt and eventually plant out of Charles River Church.

So why not think about about a regional training center in Boston? Exactly.

“You have articulated exactly what our heartbeat is,” said LCPN Board President, Brian Mentzer of Riverdale Baptist Church in Upper Marlboro, MD. “We want to see more hubs and partnerships. I am all in, I think everybody around the table is all in. I think it’s awesome.”

Board Member Larry Lamberth, of Harvest Baptist Church in Burlington, NC, provided maybe the ah-ha moment of the meeting. ‘So you don’t want our money?” he asked.

“No,” exclaimed Souza, speaking as Boston’s North American Mission Board representative and Lead Church Planting Catalyst. “In fact we have money for your guys. We can put funding alongside the funding you are providing. We also have internship money and apprenticeships, and often special funding for certain advertising campaigns and help for outreach events too. We just want to do what works.”

Next, the question everyone had been waiting for: “What about our guys who are not [partnering with the] SBC? Can they still plug into the training center?” asked Lamberth.

Souza responded with a quick and definitive yes. “We are all about reaching the 99 / 98 percent of our neighbors who are dying and going to hell every day. So we are not going to sit around and hang on our differences as much as we are going to try and plug those guys in with a group of guys who can keep them on track and help them succeed, especially when we know they are coming through your assessment, having walked with you guys for five / six months, sometimes a year. That is awesome.

“We will let those guys know what is available, and work with them to make our funds available to them, but be sure, all of our guys have committed to the Baptist Faith & Message 2000 and are contributing at least six percent to the Cooperative Program.”

Finally, as the meeting drew to a close the Board expressed its unanimous approval and even offered a number of ways it would help promote Boston Church Planting to Liberty students and others.

After the meeting, Souza sighed and reflected, “man, God is just awesome. I am so excited about what He is doing. It is so much bigger than you or I can even imagine.”

Souza said the next step is to keep doing what they are already doing to work with the LCPN, and to provide them with a formal covenant which should be reviewed and signed jointly sometime hopefully in June. [clear /]
Contact Boe Ellis of Boston Church Planting at bellis@bostonchurchplanting.com or by phone (919) 671-9871.

Boston CP event at Liberty University February 28

Save the date. Boston Church Planting will be representing in Lynchburg, VA later this month at Liberty University during its Church Planting Emphasis Week.

Event: ** Free food and time to hang with students **

When: Tuesday February 28, 2012 at 6:00 p.m.

Where: Religion Hall 116

Who: James Thomasson from Taunton will be traveling in fact to Josh Wyatt’s alma mater. Josh will be representing and promoting from Boston.

Why: Our purpose in Lynchburg, VA, and at all the seminaries or anywhere else we travel is to promote church planting in Boston for the glory of Christ; to share the need for the gospel in our area and to encourage students and future church planters to pray and to come!

Flyer: [ Click here to download .pdf ] Thank you for promoting this event to anyone you know in that part of the country.

Contact Boe Ellis for info: info@bostonchurchplanting.com, (9 1 9) 6 7 1 – 9 8 7 1.


 

Chewning: overseeing new church, new believers, old doctrines

Matt Chewning is a pastor and a church planter on the North Shore in Beverly.  He is one-of-a-kind for sure. But in many ways Chewning’s journey reflects the journey of all of our planters: with the job description comes a lot of responsibility.

Chewning’s one year-old church has grown. And it has done so in large part because NetCast Church is a body of faithful believers, living out a kind of real, authentic, gospel community that people long for and need.

And as visitors have come and heard the living Word preached from the pulpit, many of these visitors come to life by turning from sin and trusting in Jesus Christ.

And as these new believers learn more about the God and His Word, they have more questions; questions about the Gospel and this new heart they have received. And a lot of people might think the conversation stays right there. It does not.

Our planters are charged with loving and bringing new members of God’s family into the family of the church, into the body of Christ. And with that all pastors must be on-purpose about teaching things like believer’s baptism, the Lord’s Supper, church membership, stewardship, church discipline and so much more. And all this in New England to a group of people who more than likely are confronting these issues for  first time – ever.

So how does a church planter do that?

Every pastor is going to have his own process for teaching his congregation these issues. That teaching will always come first from the Word of God, through discipleship and through simply living these principles out in front of the congregation. But, beyond that, we can learn something from Chewning’s transparency and his fearless in-your-faceness.

  • For those in the worship service, and with titles like “Life & the Gospel,” “Jesus Is,” Christ gone wild,” “Sex: the Naked Truth,” to name a few, Chewning has opted to preach expositionally but inside series that connect folks’ real life questions to the fundamental truths of the Gospel.
  • As an online resource he recently posted a video Q & A Series called “Confessions of a Pastor” where he speaks briefly to questions among others like “Can you trust the Bible?,” and “Why do churches want my money?”
  • More recently, in response to questions about female leadership in the church, Chewning uses his Blog to post Women Leaders and Pastors at NetCast Church, a careful and thorough explanation of an often misunderstood topic.

That’s just Chewning. The question is what is you? How are you using using your platform for Christ to create a healthy church that will eventually multiply, and do the same, and do the same. Let us know what you are thinking. We appreciate your comments.