Christianity in Boston 2030: What’s the Church’s Vision?
Excerpts from Rudy Mitchell and Steve Daman article will help our readers catch a glimpse into the ongoing story of Emmanuel Gospel Center’s presence in Boston and its role in helping local churches and ministries strategically live out the life and heart of Christ for their city and within its various communities and spheres of influence.
The City of Boston has released “Imagine Boston 2030,” a comprehensive vision to prepare for an expected population surge by the city’s 400th anniversary in 2030. Can the church articulate a similar vision for what the Kingdom of God could look like in Boston 13 years from now?
Rev. Ralph Kee, veteran church planter and animator of the Greater Boston Church Planting Collaborative at EGC, thinks Boston needs dreamers. “God has a big dream,” he says, “and people have dreams. When people start to share their dreams, that builds enthusiasm.”
Imagine Boston 2030 has articulated goals in the social, economic, cultural, and physical realms. Through the Prophet Jeremiah, God instructed exiled Israelites to “seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” Urban Christians can seek the prosperity of our city and the success of these goals, finding ways to join in. At the same time, we have the privilege and mandate to discern together goals and desires God has for our city.
Population growth alone should get our attention. With significant growth in Boston’s population recently and projected into the future, Boston’s churches will need to consider how to expand their outreach and service, as well as replication into new congregations.
“Should we convene Christians to talk about Boston 2030,” Ralph Kee asks, “including bankers, architects, real estate agents, construction executives? Can these leaders get together? The city is going to grow. Even what was Suffolk Downs is going to be a mini city. How are we going to get churches there?”