Recently hailed as one of the best cities in America, Boston serves as the home to leaders of one of Movement Day’s global city partners. We recently spoke with Boston resident, MDGC champion, and director of Applied Research & Consulting at the Emmanuel Gospel Center, Nika Elugardo. She shared about the current state of the gospel movement in her city.
Nika has been an integral part of the team designing one of the MDGC afternoon tracks entitled Researching Your City for Ministry Impact. This session is devoted to unpacking how “research can make ministry more effective and even more Christ-centered.” Nika’s own research and experience in Boston reveals that the church in this city is experiencing growth. According to Nika, “the number of churches in Boston has doubled in the last 50 years, with around 600 churches” operating at present to serve a population of approximately 670,000 residents. In addition, “a growing diversity of Christian organizations and ministries, ranging from public-private partnerships in education, to rehab programs, to street outreaches, to end-of-life planning and care” has emerged as an extension of the Christian community in Boston. Nika reflects, “Boston’s churches are vibrant and diverse, with many dozens of languages, nationalities and ethnic groups represented.” She also notes that “Anecdotal evidence suggests that most of the major cities across New England are experiencing similar vitality in churches and Christian communities and organizations.”
Nika reflects on the leadership-centric nature of Boston, reporting that “part of the excitement of being a Christ-centered believer in Boston, is that there are dozens of solid gospel movements, churches and organizations providing leadership to God’s works of salvation and justice across the city.” A city shaped by its “renegade” history, Bostonians apply this same “cutting edge” to their approach to ministry. She notes, “Boston’s Christians are radical in the best way. The political and cultural environment in the Northeast can be as frigid toward Christianity as a midwinter blizzard. This seems to produce a high level of commitment and dedication in people of faith.”
This cutting edge approach and sense of dedication is accompanied by a commitment to unity in an age where collaboration and togetherness is more important than ever. Nika reports that this commitment to unity has manifested itself in the way that “many of Boston’s denominational and church leaders are passionate about unity and are sharing life and discipleship across orthodox, pentecostal, catholic and evangelical congregations. In fact, many churches blend the best from various church traditions. This is a trend that is taking traction in other cities, and Boston will surely provide fascinating models for unity.”
Indeed, this past May, 100 people from over 24 New England cities gathered together for a time of collaboration, networking, and prayer at the New England City Forum which was connected to the Go Conference, and co-sponsored by the Emmanuel Gospel Center, Vision New England, Greater Things for Greater Boston, and the Luis Palau Association. Representatives from the cities of Worcester, Hartford, Cambridge and Manchester took time to share about how “God was at work in their setting” and where they see God at work within their own respective cities and spheres. Nika reports that there is a strong desire to make this an annual event, with plans already in the works to bring New England leaders together again in February 2017.
Will you join us in lifting up the city of Boston and all those working to advance gospel movement in prayer?
In the area? Our partners at Emmanuel Gospel Center have invited members of the Movement Day community to reach out or even give them a visit! Learn more about how to connect more by clicking this link!