EMMANUEL RESEARCH REVIEW
Resources for the urban pastor and community leader
published by Emmanuel Gospel Center, Boston
Issue No. 73 — December 2011
In this issue: Let's Do It! Multiplying Churches in Boston Now
Introduced by Brian Corcoran
Project Director, Emmanuel Gospel Center
Managing Editor, Emmanuel Research Review
In this issue, we feature a new booklet by Ralph A. Kee (a well-seasoned church planter in Boston) called Let’s Do It! Multiplying Churches in Boston Now that seeks to connect 1st century practices with 21st century practices and potentialities for Boston and beyond.
The booklet’s original purpose was to guide and inspire a small group of local leaders regarding apostolic-led, church planting ministry. Ralph asks, “What can happen if the Christian church does the Book of Acts in Boston in 2012?” What if within the year 2012, a small group takes very concrete steps to accelerate the apostolic, to begin or expand church planting movements which will continue well beyond Boston and 2012? Can we carry out the Great Commission in our day? “Can one church start 1,024 churches in 30 years…?” Ralph’s booklet provides a concise and practical read for those exploring the apostolic task.
This issue includes an excerpt from the new booklet by Ralph, which builds on his earlier Emmanuel Research Review article, The Urban Apostolic Task. A link to the full booklet is included at the end of the excerpt.
As always, we welcome your feedback! Contact us using the various methods on the right side of this page.
Let's Do It! Multiplying Churches in Boston Now
By Ralph A. Kee
Since 1971, Rev. Ralph A. Kee has served in Boston, Massachusetts, as a missionary with Missions Door of Denver, Colorado. Though his level of organizational responsibility within Missions Door has varied over the years, his personal engagement in new church plants in Boston, sometimes as the key church planter, has been constant. Over many of those years, he has had a particularly close working relationship with the Emmanuel Gospel Center in Boston. Ralph serves on the Board of Directors of several Christian organizations and is an adjunct professor at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary’s Boston campus, the Center for Urban Ministerial Education. He and his wife Judy live in Boston.
Let's Do It! Multiplying Churches in Boston Now: Contents
Underlying and overriding questions
How can the church in Boston carry out the apostolic task?
Who are today’s apostles in Boston?
Marks of an apostle
Where in Boston to church plant?
Teams of two
Ongoing multiplication through birthing
To lay a firm foundation
The prophetic task
The evangelistic task
Boston’s apostolic discourse community
Brief biography of the author
Let's Do It! Mulitplying Churches in Boston Now: Excerpt
2012 is the year to do it.
Get everyone in Greater Boston into a Jesus community.
God’s intent is that everyone living in Greater Boston be enthusiastically and holistically engaged in a community of vibrant Christian faith. The best way to make that happen evangelistically is by church planting—apostolic-led church planting. That is the story of the Book of Acts and it is the story of Christian history ever since.
The apostolic task is to multiply communities of faith until everyone in Boston is in a Jesus-permeated, Kingdom-of-God-permeated fellowship—a local church—knowing Jesus as their own personal Lord and Savior and living for Him 24/7. This Little Book is about the apostolic task—apostolic-led church planting as the primary way to do the Great Commission in Boston and around the world.
The specific purpose of this Little Book is to inspire and perhaps provide guidance for monthly gatherings of a dozen or so individuals who have the clear apostolic calling and probably have some apostolic history in their resumes, to the end that an ongoing conversation will develop, expand, and result in significantly accelerated apostolic effort and success in Greater Boston in 2012 and beyond. This discourse community must be intergenerational, multiethnic, multi-linguistic, multi-denominational. Lots of new, vital churches planted in Greater Boston in 2012 and beyond is the purpose and goal.
Okay. We’re talking church planting. Perhaps you wonder, “Do we really need to start new churches anyway? Why not just get everybody into existing churches?” Starting a new church can be a way to get people to Jesus. Getting people involved in a church is not necessarily the second step in a two-step process:
they find Jesus;
they get into a church.
It can be the other way around! They can start getting involved a little bit in a vital new church. In that context they find a Jesus-presence. Then they find Jesus Himself for themselves:
they get into a church;
they find Jesus.
Starting new Jesus-communities that attract not-yet-believers is a principal way of evangelizing in today’s Boston. And I believe the only legitimate reason to start a new church is to reach those not already committed to Jesus and not already in a church.
What can happen if the Christian church does the Book of Acts in Boston in 2012? God-things will happen in Boston if we do the Acts of the Apostles in Boston in 2012. Emerging church-planting movements will accelerate in Boston if we practice the Book of Acts. This Little Book seeks to connect Book-of-Acts practices—how they did it then—with Boston potentialities—how we can do it now.
Click to continue reading Let's Do It! Multipling Churches in Boston Now, by Ralph A. Kee (PDF, 295KB).