New England is now the least-churched, least-reached area of the United States, making it America’s most needy mission field. Yet missional church planters are not flocking here. There are likely some good reasons for that.

And I am loathe to ascribe it to lack of interest, necessarily, because every week I receive emails from men who feel called to minister in New England. Most of these do not believe they are called or gifted to plant churches. (I sympathize, because I am neither called nor gifted to be a church planter either.) So they ask about existing churches needing pastors. Are there churches here in need of pastors?

Yes. There are many dying or dwindling churches, and some just plateaued congregations dawdling around, that are in desperate need of gospel-centered shepherding. My church, for instance, has commissioned 4 of our men to provide pulpit supply for a growing number of churches in our area who are without a preacher. One of our guys was recently asked by two churches in the same town to be their regular preacher each week. And whenever I bring up the need for church planting in New England, I will hear from a few cautioning corners that the “real” need in New England is for pastors to take over existing churches. Just last week at the T4G Conference I received a message from a guy who was told by one of the exhibitors there that New England doesn’t need church planting, but pastors to take over pastorless churches. “Is this true?” he asked me. Well, no. We need both.

This is not an either/or situation. As in all areas of mission, we need the restoration/reinvigoration of existing communities of faith and we need fresh plantings of new communities of faith.

But while not a church planter myself, and while strongly in favor of pastors working in the revitalization of existing congregations, I nonetheless believe church planting may be more viable in New England right now for these reasons:

1. Many of the churches in need of pastors do not want an evangelical in their pulpit in the first place. I’ve seen this happen locally multiple times just in my 2 years here, and I have heard of this difficulty elsewhere. A friend of mine interviewing for churches in another New England state was very much liked for his preaching gifts, his personality, his experience, and his general presence. But he was ultimately rejected for holding to the exclusivity of Christ and the authority and infalliblity of the Scriptures.

It is just not as simple as saying, “Hey, there’s a bunch of churches who need pastors, why don’t you come to one of those?” The reality is that these bunches of churches don’t want the kinds of pastors who would be most likely to replant them in the gospel. Even if a pastor wanted to take one over, he would likely not be hired for his conservative beliefs.

2. Many of the churches in need of replanting would sooner die than change. The notion of replanting is predicated on a church that is eager for someone to lead it into the future of mission and gospel-centrality. But this idea is not only foreign to the theological liberalism and functionally social nature of churches here, it is foreign to the personality of New England, which for all its liberalism is a pretty traditional place. Churches don’t want to change. They want to keep doing what they’re doing but see different results.

Churches are married til death do them part to buildings they can’t afford, to denominational affiliations they don’t understand, and ways of doing church that don’t resonate even with themselves anymore. It’s just the way we’ve always done it, don’t-cha-know? And we are very suspicious of outsiders saying they have a better way. Consequently, it is often easier — which doesn’t mean better, of course — to start a new movement with a community of eager disciples than it is to gain traction in an historic congregation of 10 or 12 old-timers who won’t budge and whose vision is of the past, not the future.

3. Most of the churches in need of being replanted cannot afford to hire a pastor, nor are they able to assist him in the work of ministry. We are not talking about even mid-sized congregations. We are not talking about churches with ample resources just waiting for a great pastor to send in his resume so they can hire him. We are talking about churches that are small even by New England standards — and almost all churches in New England are small by the standards of the “Six Flags Over Jesus” Bible Belt south. They don’t have any money. They cannot pay to move your family here or bring you on full time. You will have to get a job, maybe even a full time job. One guy I know was sent by the North American Mission Board, and he’s having good success revitalizing a church near here in rural Vermont, but he still works on a dairy farm every day. And even if one of these dying/dwindling churches could afford to pay you, they would not have the people resources to come alongside your leadership in cultivating community, discipleship training, evangelism, and the like. You’d have to do it largely alone or recruit a team.

So in that sense, replanting here ends up a lot like planting from scratch. I tell any guy interested in coming to replant an existing church — at least, if he’s coming to my state and other areas in New England like it — that he will likely have to do the work of a church planter in raising financial support and recruiting a team to join him. But most guys who prefer to take over an existing church are not particularly adept at those things. (I know I’m not.)

This is not an effort to dissuade anyone. New England needs both planters and pastors who would like to assume the pastorates of existing congregations. And the ground is available for both. We just have to be honest about the opportunities and about the work involved in both. And keep in mind that there are always exceptional cultures within the ruling culture. Opportunities vary from state to state, and even within states, from rural to urban. So I am broad-brushing here, but I don’t think in an unhelpful way.

I am still committed to helping pastors find churches open to replanting toward gospel-centrality, or even solid evangelical churches already “there” who just need a new pastor. But hopefully the above points explain the emphasis many of us have on church planting.

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37 thoughts on “The Challenges in Church Replanting in New England”

  1. Hal York says:

    This organization is very active in sending pastor into small churches unable to provide salary support. I served with them for 18 years and currently sit on the Canadian board.

    http://www.village-missions.org/

  2. Dave Moser says:

    Jared,
    Thanks for posting this. My wife and I, New England natives, feel that this is the direction God is calling us once I complete seminary. I’ll make sure to take more church planting electives than I originally intended. Any other education/experience/etc you’d recommend?

    1. David says:

      Dave, check out The NETS Institute for Church Planting in VT. Here is a TGC blog post by Wes Pastor, the president of NETS http://tinyurl.com/7ctfdex

      NETS recently partnered with TGC, Sovereign Grace and 9Marks for a regional NE Church Planting conference, Plant New England. plantnewengland.com

      Mark Dever has said that NETS is the best Church Planting model he knows of.

    2. David Morse says:

      I likewise am in the same boat as you Dave. My wife and I are natives of Maine and will be returning after seminary. Where are you going to seminary? We should talk sometime.

      Also David thanks for recommending the NETS. I’ve been trying to work through how we were going to get back to Maine supported.

      1. David says:

        Sure David. Christ Fellowship Church is a NETS plant in Portland, Maine that just bought a Church building and they are holding services as of last week.

        I am not in Seminary, but I work for NETS and will be joining a NETS plant in Providence in a year or two (God willing). My family and I moved here almost a year ago to be a part of NETS and I could not recommend it more highly if you are planning to plant in NE.

  3. Chris P. says:

    This is a good word. My wife and I have a strong desire to minister in the Northeast. I’m originally from NJ, she’s from VA. We live in Louisville now, I’m finishing up at Southern. Are there any Northeast specific organizations which focus on church planting or replanting that you know of?

    1. Jared C. Wilson says:

      Chris, I would direct you to this previous post of mine compiling a directory of New England ministry resources:
      http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/gospeldrivenchurch/2010/10/28/new-england-ministry-resources/

      In particular, you might want to check out NETS (for New England church planting) and the New England Center for Expository Preaching (for the placement of aspiring pastors in pastor-less New England churches).

  4. Bob Wiegers says:

    thanks Jared.

    I’ve been here in Maine for a year now, thanks in no small part to your faithfulness in calling others to come help spread the gospel up here. As I get to know the lay of the land, I’m finding that your three points ring quite true.

  5. David Axberg says:

    Thank you Jared,

    We need help on all fronts especially prayer. God Bless Now!

  6. Andrew says:

    As a young-ish man helping shepherd a church in NH’s largest city (and a life-long NH native), I can vouch for all that Jared has said in this article. To come to New England with any expectation other than the idea this is going to be hard, very hard, is simply misguided and misinformed. Right now, there really is no such thing as “missional” in New England. Right now there really is no such thing as “church planting” and “church revitalization” in New England, at least not like there is outside of New England.

    Just getting people to tithe or give finances in ANY way is a HUGE battle.

    What New England needs are men who want to see a heart transplant happen here. We need men who are not interested necessarily in bringing in their ideas about what’s going to save the people of New England (you know, stuff like “back at my old church we used to…”). We need men who are missionaries, who want to role their sleeves up, do some heavy lifting, get to work, and do more than preach on Sundays and teach a couple of classes or Bible studies. We need men who want to sacrifice creature comforts in order to live missionally among the people of New England, demonstrating the Gospel daily. And, yes, you are likely to have to work a full-time job while doing this, but that should be okay with you because that’s what Paul did and work is not part of the curse. We need men who are willing to become all things to all men so as not to cause New Englanders to stumble and become disillusioned with the Church. We need men who want to disciple other men, see them raised up into leadership in the local church, ordained as elders, and sent out to continue the work of the ministry. We need men who ARE NOT ADDICTED TO PORN and know how to minister to men who are. We need men who have discipled their own children and know how to teach other fathers to do the same. We need men who only fear God, and so fear no one else.

    I could say many of the same things for the ladies, I hope those that read this will know that we need you too. But we do need men. We need real and godly men. Holy mackerel, we need them badly.

    Here is my suggestion: don’t move to New England to plant or revitalize a church. Move to New England to do mission first. Move to New England and get involved in a local, gospel preaching, leader encouraging church. Get to know the mission field BEFORE planting. Do this for a year or two. Get your kids involved with local sports programs and hang out with people in your neighborhood. Invite them to your church. Have them over for dinner. Invite them to your small group. THEN PLANT.

    Not for nothing, but my experience has been that every planter from outside New England that I have had the opportunity to get to know has unfortunately failed. To be certain there were many contributing factors, but one of the major factors was that their expectations were misguided and misinformed. Don’t make the same mistakes.

    Just my two cents.

  7. Out of curiosity, where was the picture of that church taken?

  8. This is an excellent, insightful, and wise article. I find point #2 especially true. Some of the great pastors we have today who have successfully transformed an existing church often sound naive about it and maybe not fully aware of the exceptional advantages they had (such as large populations of educated, young people nearby; their own highly effective communication and leadership abilities). Further, the Lord Jesus stated a principle that seems directly relevant to the difficult task of church transformation: “no one puts new wine into an old wineskin”, etc. So, I believe it is normally, naturally impossible to transform an existing church as the powers-that-be in it will resist the change; they would rather die than change. It would take a miracle, namely the supernatural work of regeneration, to make that happen.

  9. Matt Gladd says:

    Jared,

    Thanks for your post. I’ve grew up in a small town south of Wichita, KS, and have lived in Texas and Oklahoma. Your ‘six flags over Jesus’ analogy definitely rings true for Texas and Oklahoma. I went to seminary at Gordon-Conwell in South Hamilton, MA. South Hamilton is an idyllic location for a seminary in a somewhat woodsy area set on a hill with trees, a pond, and flowers around the campus in addition to nice open fields. Then, you have local churches that are bursting at the seams with Gordon-Conwell students, alums, and professors. It can provide the delusion that New England really isn’t as unchurched as everyone says, and I suppose the same can be said about other parts of the country with a prominent evangelical seminary nearby. However, after moving back west after seminary a couple years ago I was called to a small church in Kittery Point, ME. The church is the oldest Baptist church in the country, and some of the members who left New England in the church’s history went to South Carolina and formed the SBC. So, this church has been around as many New England churches. When interviewing and candidating I was told the church was a Reformed Baptist church simply in need of a new pastor. Upon arriving, I found the church library full of end times books and arminian theology. I discovered that the reality of the church is that the church has been struggling for some time and has been primarily trying to survive as opposed to transforming lives and communities with the Gospel.

    The church has seen major splits and divisions, and seen it’s share of poor pastors and leaders. Not to mention the Gospel has not been preached in this church for some time, but ‘moralistic therapeutic deism.’ The church seemed very fundamentalist and extremely conservative. This was a shock because the surrounding communities were entirely different. Kittery, York, and Portsmouth are the local communities and all of them have a New Age/pluralism vibe. It’s a very beach oriented, touristy scene where Pres. Obama is the new George Washington, most people have ‘coexist’ and ‘equality’ bumper stickers, and people only use the word Republican when they are cracking a joke or insulting someone. The church I’m at is the opposite: Fox News loving, reading more conservative political books than the Bible, doesn’t care nearly as much for the environment, and very traditional, conservative Bush and Reagan loving Baptists.

    I noticed that the church had been pushed to the fringe of culture and both the church and the communities seemed to be perfectly okay with that. So, when I moved up here and learned more about the area, I found that my role was part traditional church pastor and part church replanter. I picked up Darrin Patrick’s book on church planting, and started reading more on the missional church. I decided to spend much of my time in public places such as coffee shops, and eat out when I can just to know the people in the community and build relationships with people outside the church. This requires more effort than it sounds. It means getting to intentionally know your neighbors and inviting people over for dinner or going out to eat, etc. Then, with the traditional pastor role, I’ve been told repeatedly not to make big changes upon starting at a church, so I haven’t with the exception of the Gospel being preached every Sunday, every Bible study, and even when talking to people. I’ve found that being intentional and getting to know people and listen to people is the most effective way to break through some of the barriers that New Englanders can put up.

    A couple things that I’ve done that have shown to make a difference in a short time: 1) Be comfortable reading your Bible in public, maybe even doing a short devotional in a coffee shop. I don’t usually do my devotionals in a coffee shop, but I was in a coffee shop craving God’s Word and broke out my Good Book Company Explore devotional and one of the questions as I was reading bits of Galatians was “How would you explain the Gospel to a child?” I was thinking about this when a regular customer to the coffee shop came in and sat down across from me and asked me what I was reading and after I told him about the question I was thinking about, he asked me to share the Gospel with him and told me he genuinely didn’t know it. 2) I befriended a barista and her husband at a coffee shop, and invited them over for dinner. Then, we talked about faith, Christianity, theology, and other issues as well. They were both atheists. We have an ongoing friendship and hangout on occasion and talk about deep issues. Usually they test me with a question on a difficult subject, but when they hear a gracious response it’s as though another barrier has been removed for them to the Gospel. They aren’t yet at the place where they will go to a church, but they sent their parents who haven’t attended church my way for Easter.

    I just wanted to encourage any New Englanders reading this post and also provide an idea of some things that are being done in a New England church replant. blessings

    1. David Axberg says:

      We have a farm and are “Longing for what has been lost” in more then one way. God has bestowed much grace upon us we have new people coming daily. We share what the Lord is doing and what they in turn should do, in the words of the Blues Brothers, “They need to be wise and go to church.” At this point 18 months into it. I have seen over 20 individules pop in and out of services. We need to encourage hospitality more and more for there is little to none happening in the church or out of it. God Bless Now! I am not a pastor but love to minister under our local shepherds.

  10. I wouldn’t just limit this to the Northeast. This also describes the Northwest pretty accurately. Trust me on that.

  11. I have lived in Maine my entire life and my dad before me and his dad before him. It seems like the best option is to plant a gospel centered church and let the dead bury the dead. I know that sounds harsh but those with life will come to the gospel centered church when they see God moving there. Then we can focus on evangelism and discipleship and win N. England for Christ. Only God can raise the dead. It is sad to see good pastors labor in vain in churches that are largely in rebellion against God.

  12. Eric Farley says:

    Wow. I think our congregation fits solidly into section number 2. And we are looking for a new pastor. Our current Pastor is gone by summers end.

    However there is a medium sized group of solid gospel loving believers here, some on the elder board, some will be on the search committee.

    Check us out men! Millgrove Bible Church, in Alden New York (about 35 minutes east of Buffalo).

    I would love to have a pastor that loves Christ. See Paul David Tripp’s article here at T4G called : the-recipe-for-creating-a-successful-pastor. I loved that one and would love for such a man to be shepherding our flock. And I know I am not alone.

    Eric Farley

  13. roger ferrell says:

    Jared,

    We replanted a church in Portland, Maine in 1997 (moved there on $800/month!) and planted in Augusta, Maine in 2002. Both churches are doing well and have planted others. It is a hard but wonderful place to serve. Praying for all of you guys in New England.

    Bob, where in Maine?

    1. Bob Wiegers says:

      roger,
      I’m in Portland, at Christ the Redeemer PCA, which was planted about 10 years ago, and which also planted Free Grace in Lewiston a few years ago. I am being trained (while I keep my day job) to plant elsewhere in Maine or northern New England in the years to come, Lord willing.

  14. Joe Roof says:

    Been involved in church planting/revitalization here in Albany, NY for 20 years. It is one of the top 13 most unreached metro areas in the country.

    God has provided, guided, and blessed in many ways. If I can answer questions or encourage you in the working for the Lord in the Northeast, let me know.

    1. Sean says:

      Hi Joe,
      I live/serve in the Capital Region as well. Don’t know you but would love to connect. The churches in our area have been a part of planting 15 new churches in eastern NY in the last decade or so. If you’d like to connect, feel free to email me at seanpierce at hbany dot net.

  15. As a Pastor in Massachusetts, I can affirm what the article states. However I think people will resist change unless they can be gently persuaded otherwise, which has been the case in my congregation. As for pay, it is a good place for people like me–retired military–whose retired pay allows me to serve full-time. Liberalism abounds here, but I find people are looking for truth and wanting to understand the Bible. Still, we’re fighting the culture war and it is an uphill battle. A recent visit to Jonathan Edwards’ Northampton confirmed that–the epicenter of liberalism in New England. When I came here from Germany, I considered myself a missionary. But I’m not alone; I have the resources of Gordon-Conwell Seminary and the fellowship of other pastors in my denomination, the Conservative Congregational Christian Conference.

  16. Danny says:

    “If it’s not Catholic…it’s a cult” -That was my native Bostonian mentality until I was converted.
    If you are anywhere, or go anywhere, meet with Christ…then go meet people. Love people, serve people. listen a lot! Begin to open a Bible (7 days a week) and feed them Jesus in word and deed, perhaps through an eyedropper at first…

    I am involved with the people of my community at large, and a 329 yr old continuing congregation. at first meeting these folks, i was particularly attracted to the official church documents like these: (crafted in 1682!)

    Statement of Faith:
    “This Church acknowledges as its sole Head, Jesus Christ, and holds as truth the doctrine of the Trinity: God as Father and Creator, Jesus as the Son and Savior, and the Holy Spirit as Guide and Comforter. It further acknowledges as kindred in Christ all who share this confession. It adheres to the Word of God in Scriptures and in the direction of the Holy Spirit to prosper its redemptive mission in the world. It claims as its own the faith of the historic Church expressed in the ancient creeds and reclaimed in the basic insights of the Protestant Reformers. It accepts the responsibility to make this faith its own in the reality of worship and in the expression of its mission and ministry locally and into the world. In accordance with the teachings of Jesus, it recognizes two sacraments: Baptism and Holy Communion. Its very existence is to serve God by providing all people an opportunity for Christian worship, education, fellowship, pastoral care and mission within the spirit of Christian love.”

    and

    Membership Covenant:
    “In the presence of God, angels and men, you do now solemnly avouch the Lord Jehovah, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, to be your God, the object of your supreme love and your portion forever. You cordially acknowledge the Lord Jesus Christ in all his mediatorial offices, as Prophet, Priest and King, to be your only Saviour; and the Holy Ghost to be your only sanctifier, comforter and guide. You humbly and cheerfully devote yourself to God in the everlasting covenant of his grace, consecrating all your powers and faculties, with all that you possess, to his service; promising through the assistance of his Spirit, that you will give diligent attendance on his word and ordinances, seek the honor and interest of his kingdom, and, henceforth, denying all ungodliness and every worldly lust, live soberly, righteously and godly in the world.”
    You also cordially join yourself to this church, as a true church of Christ, engaging to submit to its government and discipline, to strive earnestly for its purity, peace and enlargement, and to walk with its members in all charity, faithfulness and circumspection.
    We, then, the members of this Church, receive you affectionately to our communion, promising you our prayers, our christian sympathy and our love; engaging on our part also to walk with you in all becoming watchfulness, kindness and fidelity; hoping that you and we shall become more and more conformed to the example of our divine Master, till we come at last to the perfection of holiness in the kingdom of his glory. AMEN.”

    This kind of dynamite, hidden under the cultural rubble of decades of Gospel neglect.

    I’ve simply been holding this up to them and engaging with them about what they thought of their own stuff. After a 50 year relationship with the UCC, they voted out! In just over a years time, we are working through the “Grand Storyline of the Bible”, Mike Horton & Gordon Isaac helped us last fall to “Put Amazing Back Into Grace” and we are increasingly loving and serving one another through many avenues, like our monthly Ham & Bean Suppers”, and hosting Art Workshops, AA meetings and Girl Scout Troops! This is what people in a community do…

    This is an amazing group of folks, who have not been loved and taught nor modeled Our Jesus!
    Come, and join in the event called LIFE, with us here in New England, or wherever you may be!

    We are experiencing “AMAZING GRACE”…and Treasuring Jesus more and more!

  17. I’m at least encouraged that this discussion is being had in general. I live in the Bible belt and we have intersections where there are churches on 3 of the 4 corners and I restrain an inner scream each time I hear someone say “Oh there is a new church plant moving into town…” Like we don’t already have 5000000000000…so I’m encouraged that there is attention being focused on the NE!

  18. Jonathan says:

    As a native New Englander who grew up southern VT, left and then returned to NE to got to GCTS, and now pastor outside Boston, I have to say that Jared paints this picture with great accuracy.

    I pastor a church that fits into categories one and two. They have at least thirty years of Universalism before me, and they are not sure they want to change. However, when facing death, they took a standard last ditch path, “lets hire a young guy- they will get families, and they are cheap”.

    Change has been slow in coming. Many days I’ve said, it’s time to go plant. I’ve been beaten to a pulp, but God is faithful, and new life is coming. We have seen new births and baptism’s, and made membership stricter (now, to join you have to read Driscoll’s book “Doctrine”, as well as Stott’s “Basic Christianity”, and meet with the deacons and be able to expalin the gospel and give testimony to faith in Christ). My deacons and I have begun to put together a new missions statement (that board was the first thing I worked to fix), and we are beginning to look towards the future, instead of living in the past. But it’s slow. 4 years and counting. Its also included some fights. I agree with Robert when he says they “will resist change unless they can be gently persuaded otherwise”, but I have found that conflict has helped get things done that otherwise never would have been done.

    I want to commend (with Danny) getting to know your history. My wife (a history major) urged me to go to the historical society, and I found gold! I ended up preaching through the covenant (and showing them the old one from the 1800′s), and I found that that some of the founders of my Baptist church started it because an Arminian pastor took over at the town church (this is 1750′s). It opened the door to say, “hey, this Gospel centered reformed stuff has been in the DNA of the church from day one, I’m just re-introducing it”.

    I’ve often thought of bolting. My church is not out of the woods. I keep preaching the gospel and praying. There is glimmer. I Often think church planting is the way to go. But if God calls you to an existing NE liberal church, go! Run to it! But know that you will know Christ and Him crucified through the process.

  19. Joe F. says:

    Just wanted to let everyone know that there are a few solid church plants up the I-91 corridor from Hartford, CT to Amherst, MA. I would agree that Northampton, MA is one of the hearts of liberalism. There have been quite a few church plants there and they have all died. Here is a list of solid church plants off of 91.

    Redeemer Hill Church – Hartford, CT http://www.redeemerhill.org
    The City Church – Springfield, MA http://www.thecitywithin.org
    Vita Nova – Amherst, MA http://vitanovachurch.com/

  20. Sean says:

    I’m highly GRATEFUL for the conversation about New England and even the larger northeast. Having lived in CT, ME, VT, and NY, north and south of I-90 and on both sides of the New York/New England border which appear to be the major dividing lines culturally and regionally . . . you guys are on target at all counts. The northeast’s future rests with sound missiological principles whereby transplanted ministry leaders must have cross-cultural giftings who raise up a generation of natives that get it and can carry it forward. It’s the same endgame as internationally.

    Cross-cultural agility is required because the culture sucker punches those who aren’t from here, more in my opinion when one goes overseas. We expect to run into cultural issues when in other countries but the northeast culture (if I can speak of it as a mono-culture when it really isn’t) is close enough to the south east that the cultural antennae goes down for the unaware transplant. Consequently a lot of misunderstanding and miscues occur that hinder Gospel impact and make it seem even harder, colder, and lonelier than it really is. I personally loathe the idea of ministering in the southeast with all the dynamics mentioned above.

    I think the northeast slid from being the original Bible belt because we failed to see the immigrants coming to our shore as a mission field and it fell pray to liberalism in higher education spheres. In some ways that’s occurring again but that’s another conversation. I think we’re trying to overcome 150 years of missions neglect and that doesn’t come easy. I’m also convinced the tide has turned in the northeast. According to David Olson, the evangelical church is now growing the fastest in the northeast and is in decline the most in the southeast. Anecdotally, that’s what I’m sensing as well with all of the wonderful planting/revitalization that’s occurring in the region.

    So the way I survive and help church planters and pastors is a resolute conviction that victory is possible and guaranteed coupled with a stiff dose of reality and obstacles. I’ve read that’s how Churchill approached his challenges. Confidence without reality leads to pipe-dreams that go nowhere and ultimately fail. Reality without confidence in a God who is bigger than all this and seeing the victories that are occurring leads to discouragement and giving up.

    BTW – 17 of the 20 most unreached/least evangelical cities in the US are in the northeast. Every northeast state has one except NH – though it’s just as needy as everywhere else. We’re all in this together.

    Sean Pierce
    Albany, NY

  21. As Christians, we have to keep the work up. We are living in a society and world that is doing all it can to close the church doors. Every Christian needs to be involved in encouraging and helping churches to keep the work going.

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  23. Pastor Jeff Jeffers says:

    My wife Laura and I came to New England to do a cold start plant church 30 years ago, because of an illness of one of our sons, we couldn’t continue on a cold start.

    Our calling has always been bi-vocational so we started working on the the churches that needed a second pastor but could not afford one, ones that needed to be re-built both physically and spiritually and now have been give a chance to mentor new pastors and their families coming on the New England field.

    So far we have worked in 6 “home” churches with building programs and helped another 20 in setting up pastor search committees, filling pulpits for short term vacation and longer term Sabbaticals.

    I agree with everything said, there is a need for a support system for new pastors and existing churches as well as church planting.

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Jared C. Wilson


Jared C. Wilson is the pastor of Middletown Springs Community Church in Middletown Springs, Vermont. You can follow him on Twitter.

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