Hey friends, thank you all for the warm welcome.
@binnyksus11 The shortest way I know to answer your question is to list a few key facets of how we got started.
- City on a Hill church in Brookline, MA has been helping start churches around Boston for about 10 years. Recently they start a “church network” – which in our case simply means that local, independent churches will work together around the city and share the same name (being evangelical Christians around Boston, it took the church a while to develop a good relationship with local leaders; sharing the same name/brand helps create a reputation that we’re weird in only some ways.)
- Like most churches, we have community groups that weekly meet together and are organized primarily through geographical location and/or an agreed mission.
- The founding/primary/occupational pastor and his wife who are spearheading the effort, originally from North Carolina, patiently developed a relationship with City on a Hill Brookline’s pastor. They eventually moved here and worked for the church in parallel as a “church planting resident” and having a specific ministry they’re over (in this case, college ministry). They’ll typically serve in this role for 2-3 years.
- While serving in that role, the pastor is discerning where specifically around Boston to plant. This is done in conjunction with developing relationship with community groups–especially if there are 2-3 community groups in close proximity and a bit further away from Brookline. When having decided on a location, the community groups are asked to pray and discuss about whether they might go with the new church plant. Decisions and sometimes made by individuals or families and sometimes entire community groups decide together. My wife and I would be included in this group. We lived closer to where the plant was decided to be (Brighton), and it would likely have more college students apart of it (Brighton is where Boston College is, and I moved to Boston partially to evangelize college students).
- Prior to moving, that pastor and his wife recruited others from their church context to commit to find jobs and move to Boston where they’ll live for 3+ years to help start the church. These people usually move up about 1-year prior to officially planting the church. They get settled in the area, get plugged into existing life/mission of City on a Hill, and do focused prep for the church plant.
- The church plant typically starts with 2-5 community groups comprised of people who moved here specifically for it or who were already here and have agreed to be apart of it.
- After that, it’s the same as any healthy church–the end of Acts 2 stuff. Focus on knowing Him together, holiness, serving each other, serving those in our communities, and sharing the news as often and with as many who will give us an ear! We of course do more organized stuff like Christianity Explored or Alpha (usually in partnership with the other City on a Hill Churches–together during this Covid time, we’ve even seen 4 people get baptized, 2 of which had 0 church/Christian background!)
- Repeat as community groups grow/multiply and new leaders are available.
That’s obviously not the only way to plant a church, but it’s how ours got started and how we plan to pursue more in the area. IF ANYONE WANTS TO MOVE TO NEWTON, MA IN THE NEXT COUPLE YEARS TO HELP US START A CHURCH, LET ME KNOW! We’ve already unexpectedly got some large community groups here.