Thursday, December 3, 2009

What's this all about?

Thanks so much for all of you who have been praying for us!

I wanted to post some more details about what exactly we're trying to do and why we're trying to do it so you can better understand what you're praying for.

Our Goal: We're trying to move to and minister in the NorthEast with the ultimate hope of planting a new church in one of the cities in the region.

Why: In the NorthEast and especially New England only about 2% of the population considers themselves to be Evangelical Christians while over 35% are atheists/agnostics. There are many churches in the region but very few of them preach the Gospel and most have long abandoned the Bible as anything more than mythology and nice stories. The NorthEast is also home to many of the largest and most important cities in the country and is the center of elite education in the country. It's also the wealthiest region of the country but still has pockets of staggering poverty. You could say that New England really is a mission field within the US. In spite of all of this almost nobody is interested in going to Minister in New England. The vast majority of graduates from various Reformed and Evangelical Seminaries in the US are hoping to minister in the SouthEast or the West and even many who are from the NorthEast are leaving for greener pastures. Long story short, the NorthEast desperately needs people to come and preach the Gospel and we believe God is calling us to be some of those people.

What: So what are we doing to get to our goal? I'm currently interviewing for the job of Assistant Pastor at Second Congregational Church in Douglas, MA. The biggest reason I'm really hoping this will work out is because of Bill Broderick, the Senior Pastor. Bill is looking for people who are willing to come minister in the NorthEast and wants to help prepare them for it. If it works out Bill's plan is to mentor/train me for two years in how to minister in the NorthEast and specifically how to revitalize dying or dead churches and restore the Gospel to the region. I'd also be meeting regularly with Al Baker from Christ Community PCA in West Hartford Connecticut and a group of guys who are trying to learn to preach and ultimately reach the region with the Gospel. At the end of two years I'd be free to search for a senior pastor position in the NorthEast or even plan for a church plant if the Lord is leading us in that direction at the time (personally I think I'll need a few more years to prepare for that).

Prayer needs: Here are a few specific needs that we would love you to pray for. Obviously my upcoming interviews need to go well and the congregation needs to like us when we go up to visit. In addition, the church needs to be willing and able to come up with enough money to pay a significant portion of what we'll need to live. Then (unless the Lord provides miraculously on that one) we'll still need to raise about 40-50% of the salary. This means our friends, family and supporting churches will need to be willing and able to support us monthly for the next 2 years minimum with a grand total somewhere around $20-$30K per year. We'll also need at least one new(er) car right away as the chances of mine making it through a NE winter are about zero (if it even makes the trip up) and we're really not sure how long the van will last either. We also need the timing to work out so that we're able to either move by the middle of February at the absolute latest or that we're able to wait until the end of April and still somehow pay our bills once the baby is born until we move.

So there you have it. Please keep praying for us as we wait and learn to trust the Lord to do what is best!

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