The Boston Globe on Church Planting in “godless” Massachusetts

Snapshots of Renewal

Yesterday, the Boston Globe published an interesting piece (with a sensationalistic title) on the growing number of evangelical church plants in the Boston area. At the center of the piece is the story of Brandon Allison, planting pastor of True Vine Church, which is set to begin weekly meetings on September 8th in Revere, MA. The story follows Allison and his team as they intentionally transplant themselves from Texas to Massachusetts with the intention of beginning a new church. Here’s author Jonathan D. Fitzgerald:

“Maybe you haven’t noticed, but this sort of thing is happening quite a bit in the Boston area. It’s called “church planting,” when evangelical Christians plant the seed of a new church in some unlikely place — a movie theater, YMCA, or a building abandoned by another denomination — and try to coax it to growth.”

The article takes a friendly approach to the subject at hand (which is less than can be said for the comments section!), refusing to either commend or demonize the broader evangelical church planting movement of which True Vine Church is a part.

One of the encouraging aspects of the article is the author’s attention to the care that these new church planters have taken in learning and loving the culture into which they have moved:

“…though others have tried unsuccessfully to start churches here before, these new transplants are taking the time to understand and integrate themselves into their adopted communities. . . . Brandon and Myke both got jobs working the 4 a.m.-to-noon shift at the Dunkin’ Donuts on the Revere/Malden line, just across the parking lot from the movie theater that would house their church’s Easter Sunday service. That job choice “was strategic,” Miryam says. Even Texans know that Bostonians are crazy about their hometown coffee, so it seemed a natural way to get to know the locals. The same reasoning explains their weekly presence at trivia night at an Uno Chicago Grill in Revere’s Northgate Shopping Center. “That was our vision,” Brandon says. “Get jobs, get into the culture, understand the people, build relationships, and share Christ with them.”

The article is worth a read. It enables you to join in the Allison’s excitement, to be grateful for those who have planted churches in the last decade or so (Bland Mason, David Swaim, Joe Souza, Curtis Cook, Matt Chewning, and Matt Kruse–other Boston area planters–are also mentioned or interviewed in the article), and to give thanks to God for the work that he is doing in New England. It makes you think that, contrary to the article’s title, this place isn’t so “godless” after all. In fact, it would appear just the opposite is becoming increasingly true.