Seeking a Man

Seeking a Man

God is looking for a man.

For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.

2 Chronicles  16:9 (KJV)

God is looking for a man who is willing to take the gospel message to the unchurched cities of the United States. He wants everyone to hear the gospel message and needs some one to take the message to them.

Let’s review the numbers from The Barna Group* found in our previous post, “Unchurched Cities”:

  • Burlington, Vermont- Population**: 214,796- 55% unchurched
  • Plattsburgh, New York- Population: 82,128- 55% unchurched
  • Boston, Massachusetts- Population: 4,628,910- 53% unchurched
  • Manchester, New Hampshire- Population: 2,794,000- 53% unchurched
  • Portland/Auburn Metro area, Maine- Population: 514,098- 52% unchurched
  • Albany/Schenectady/Troy Metro area, New York- Population: 881,830- 50% unchurched
  • New York, New York- 8,537,673- 48% unchurched

Is the Lord speaking to you? Is He asking you to take the gospel to these cities? Maybe you are a young person who thinks someone should do something but don’t think you can. Friend, you cannot do it in your strength, but the Lord desires to show Himself strong in the behalf of you. He wants to show Himself strong in the behalf of one whose heart is perfect toward Him. He desires someone who loves Him and desires nothing more than to be used of Him and make His glory known.

If you would just step out in faith and trust the Lord to provide as you prepare to undertake such a task, the Lord will use you. As He does, we at Vision will provide you with the following:

1) Ministry training and preparation for two years

2) Financing to care for family and ministry expenses

3) Cross-cultural preparation

4) Personal mentoring by veteran church-planters, both in American and foreign fields

5) Collaboration with teams to help evangelize and get started

Jesus told us to pray for laborers. Would you join us in praying for laborers to devote their lives to preaching the good news of Jesus Christ to these cities? Would you devote your life to preaching His good news to these cities?

*http://cities.barna.org/barna-cities-the-top-churchless-metro-areas/ All percentages were taken from this article.

**All population estimates were taken from the National Census Bureau website.

Albany: A Nearby Mission Field   

Albany: A Nearby Mission Field   

Albany: A Nearby Mission Field

Albany, NY is one of many cities seeing the effects of Post-Christianity more than most cities in the country. Churches falling into ruin fill the city. Christianity is becoming a distant memory in the lives of citizens belonging to the Albany Metropolitan area.

The Statistics: Albany-Schenectady-Troy Metro Area

•Population: 870,7161

•Religious Population: 45.25%2

•Baptist Population: 1.2%2

According to a 2012 Gallop Poll, which ranked the top unchurched cities in America, Albany was placed 10th in most unchurched cities in America.3 The poll claims that only 26% of the population are very religious. As as seen above, the Baptist population is only 1.2%, which is lower than 9 foreign countries(including Myanmar, Liberia, Korea, and the Bahamas.)4

There is a great need in the northeast, and especially in the city of Albany. This past weekend my wife and I visited Albany. During a drive through the city we noticed abandoned churches. One church is being used as a gas station, and another used a t-shirt shop. There are very few good, Gospel-preaching churches in the Albany Metropolitan area and its surrounding counties.

So, what can you do? We need men of God who would be willing to step up and dedicate their lives to be church-planters here in the United States and who will work in a city like Albany, NY. The work can be done. The harvest is truly plentiful, but the laborers are few.

Would you consider dedicating your life to plant churches in Albany? Would you be willing to pray and ask God what part you can play in seeing the gospel taken to this needy field?  We are praying that God will send men and families who would be willing to move to the Training Center, train with us, and plant churches in cities like Albany, NY.

______________________

1: https://www.newyorkfed.org/data-and-statistics/regional-data-center/profiles/albany.html

2: http://www.bestplaces.net/religion/city/new_york/albany

3: http://www.gallup.com/poll/161543/provo-orem-utah-religious-metro-area.aspx%20-%20this%20year’s%20poll

4: http://www.adherents.com/largecom/com_bap.html

Church Planting in Boston Massachusetts

Church Planting in Boston Massachusetts

Downtown Boston Massachusettes at Street with Old Buildings

What do you know about Boston Massachusetts?
Maybe you know that its where the Boston Tea Party happened in 1773, which eventually lead to the Revolutionary War in 1776.
Maybe you know that Boston is where Paul Revere took his famous ride to warn the citizens of the approaching British soldiers.
Maybe you even know some lesser known facts such as the fact that Boston was home to the very first Dunkin Donuts.

But what important things do you know about Boston?

Please allow me to share some things about Boston in the following paragraphs.

  1. Downtown Boston is currently home to approximately 655,000 people. But the Boston Metro area boasts a population of just over 4.6 million people. Of these people, nearly half are Caucasian, 22 percent are African-American, 19 percent are Hispanic and 9 percent are Asian. Boston is considered very densely populated with 13,500 people per square mile. The Boston Metro area is now home to just over 4.6 million people with 53% of them being unchurched.   Largest Catholic Church in Boston with 2,000 congregants each service
  2. The average income in Boston in the year 2015 was just over $58k. the average rent in Boston is a little more than $1,400 per month which is considerably more than the national average of $1,000 per month. The cost of living in Boston is very high coming in at 45% more than the national average.
  3. The most common professions for males in Boston are science and technical services and management positions, with the most common for females being healthcare and social services and administrative assistance positions.
  4. Boston is home to about 20 major colleges and universities with most of them having an enrollment of over 5,000 students per semester. A vast majority of these students seek degrees in economics and business.
  5. Church life is the point that I’d really like to look at. Of 4.6 million residents of Boston nearly half (46%) are Roman Catholic. Another 38% of the population of Boston are Atheist or “non-religious”. Of the remaining 16% of Boston, 7% are “Evangelical Protestant”, 3% are “mainline Protestant”, 2% are Orthodox and 4% are “Other”. In that 7% Evangelical, is included Baptist, Non-denominational, Evangelical, Church of God, Assemblies of Christ, Methodist, Pentecostal, and Church of Christ. There are a total of 180 such churches with congregants. Boston is a very needy area, to say the least.

         Largest mosque in the U.S. Northeast, Downtown Boston, 1,500 congregants

The people of Boston are intellectual, educated, liberal and Godless. They need to be reached just like people everywhere else in the world. Of the entire metro area of Boston, 53% are self-proclaimed “unchurched”, which, according to the study done by the Barna group, is defined as “someone having not went to any church in the last 6 months”. Please help us pray here at Vision as we ask God to lend us young men who we can can send to plant churches in Boston Massachusetts.

Unchurched Cities

Unchurched Cities

Here at Vision Baptist Church, we are praying for God to send us some young men for us to train and send to plant churches in several major unchurched cities. These cities are considered to be unchurched according to a new study done by the Barna Group*. At this time we are focusing on the major cities on this list in the eastern part of the U.S. because of the emphasis already on the West. However, we are certainly continuing to pray for the West as well. The cities that we are praying about and focusing on are:

  • Burlington, Vermont- Population*: 214,796- 55% unchurched
  • Plattsburgh, New York- Population: 82,128- 55% unchurched
  • Boston, Massachusetts- Population: 4,628,910- 53% unchurched
  • Manchester, New Hampshire- Population: 2,794,000- 53% unchurched
  • Portland/Auburn Metro area, Maine- Population: 514,098- 52% unchurched
  • Albany/Schenectady/Troy Metro area, New York- Population: 881,830- 50% unchurched
  • New York, New York- 8,537,673- 48% unchurched

  • According to the Barna Group, this would leave:
  • In Burlington: 118,137 people unchurched
  • In Plattsburgh: 45,170 people unchurched
  • In Boston: 2,453,322 people unchurched
  • In Manchester: 1,480,820 people unchurched
  • In the Portland/Auburn Metro area: 267,330 people unchurched
  • In the Albany/Schedectady/Troy area: 440,915 people unchurched
  • In New York City: 4,098,083 people unchurched

According to the Barna Group, an unchurched person is any person who has not been to a church of any kind in the last six months. We will be saying more about these cities and their unchurched populations in the next few days. Please help us pray as we pray for young men who can help us plant churches in these areas.

 

*http://cities.barna.org/barna-cities-the-top-churchless-metro-areas/ All percentages were taken from this article.

** All population estimates were taken from the National Census Bureau website

Unchurched Cities

100th Largest City in the World: Kabul, Afghanistan

An Overview of Kabul

Kabul is on the Kabul River, situated at an elevation of about 1800 m (about 5900 ft) making it one of the highest capital cities in the world. The population is a little over 3 million people. The nation’s chief economic and cultural center, it has long been of strategic importance because of its proximity to the Khyber Pass, an important pass in the mountains between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Tajiks are the predominant population group of Kabul, and Pashtuns are an important minority (source).

Today, Kabul seems to change on an almost daily basis. Swathes of the city have been cleared, and new buildings are quickly thrown. The air is thick with the sound of mobile phones. New restaurants and busy bazaars cater to the nouveau riche Afghans surfing an economic boom and the sizeable international community helping with Afghanistan’s reconstruction. There’s a long way to go before Kabul is restored to its position, with electricity and clean water still a distant aspiration for the majority of the population, which has doubled since the end of 2001 with returning refugees. Plenty of Kabulis still live in bombed-out buildings or worse, and beggars, war widows, and street children further swell the traffic jams that clog the city. Reconstruction for the poorest has been frustratingly slow.

Kabul today is a fascinating snapshot of the birth pangs of a new nation, and a city permanently on the cusp of change. As an introduction to Afghanistan it’s exciting, frustrating, inspiring, and shocking in equal measure (source).

Religion in Kabul & Afghanistan

Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam have each made their mark in various parts and times in the past thousands of years. At present, the main religion is Islam. Surprisingly, there is still a Sikh Temple and one Hindu Temple in Kabul. The Italian Embassy has an official Catholic presence. And up until recently, the last known Jew was still living in Sharenau, Kabul.

Islam is practiced by over 99% of its citizens. Sunni Islam makes up 80-89% of the total population while the remaining 10-19% are Shi’as and about 1% or less practice other religions.

Hinduism is said to have been in Afghanistan since its existence, while Sikhs were brought by the British. A small number of people who practice other religions may also be found in the country (source).

Would you pray that God would send more laborers to this city and country to lift His name high?

Check out bcwe.org!

Unchurched Cities

99th Largest City in the World: Naples, Italy

An Overview of Naples

Naples is the capital of the Campania region. The city is the third most populated municipality (city proper) of Italy, but the second metropolitan area, after Milan. It was founded between the 7th and 6th centuries BC by the Greeks and was named Neapolis, which means new city. Oddly enough with a name that literally means new city, it has one of the biggest historical city centres in the world, and its’ pride are the 448 historical and monumental churches, the highest number in the world for a single city. Its’ territory, particularly the iconic sight of the gulf of Naples (but also Mount Vesuvius, the music, etc. ) is arguably one of the most powerful symbolic images of Italy.
The most widely spoken language in Naples is Italian or a mixture of Italian and Napulitano (Neapolitan). Neapolitan is sometimes described as an Italian dialect, but may be considered a separate and sometimes unintelligible language. Neapolitan does not enjoy any official status, but it does have a rich literary tradition and it is still thriving in Campania and adjacent parts of Lazio, Abruzzo, Basilicata, Molise and Calabria. This said, the official language of Naples (as of all of Italy) is Italian and everyone speaks it. Neapolitan has strong Spanish and French influences originating from their occupation of the area. Therefore, more Spanish and French words are understood by the locals than in other parts of Italy. English is the most commonly spoken foreign language, although the average knowledge of English is far from excellent.

Religion in Italy

Italy is a modern European state that is secular in its government and the traditional power once held by organised religion in Italy is declining. Today, nearly one fifth of the population of Italy profess to be either Atheists or Agnostics, while much of the remainder of people in Italy who do profess a religion do not necessarily follow it that strictly. Nevertheless, in comparison to some other Western European countries, religion is still very much ingrained in the culture of Italy.

Italy is the spiritual and administrative headquarters of the Catholic branch of the Christian religion. It was in Italy that Catholic theology first developed and the Pope, who is the official head of the Catholic religion, resides in the Vatican City in Italy. About 80% of people in Italy identify themselves as followers of the Catholic religion, although regular church attendees represent only between 30-40% of the population of Italy.

While there are other denominations of the Christian religion represented in Italy, these are very small in number. Perhaps the most significant of these religions are the Jehovah’s Witnesses who number approximately half a million people. Other interpretations of the Christian religion in Italy include the Protestants.

Today, the Muslim religion is the second largest religion in Italy. The total number of followers of the Muslim religion in Italy currently stands at about 700,000. However, it should be noted that the majority of followers of the Muslim religion in Italy are either recent immigrants or second generation immigrants to Italy (source).

Would you pray that God would send more laborers to this city and country to lift His name high?

Check out bcwe.org!