The story of our new church in Quincy is, from beginning to end, the story of the collaborative, Kingdom-minded investment of other churches.
It was the pastor of a Brazilian Presbyterian Church (Christ the King Quincy) that first challenged me to consider planting in Quincy. I had been serving as the Assistant Pastor of Christ the King Somerville (now Seven Hills Presbyterian Church). As my wife, Naomi, and I considered church planting, we determined we did not want to go anywhere outside of greater Boston. While still in Somerville, I would occasionally take the red line down from Somerville to Quincy to meet with pastors who were already serving in Quincy. I wanted to get a feel for what church planting would be like there, but I also wanted to get a sense of whether there was a possibility for Kingdom-minded collaboration. Everyone with whom I met during this time said some version of, “We need more gospel-centered churches in Quincy.” I remember hearing, “Until there are 95 gospel-proclaiming churches of 1,000 members, we will need more churches” (there are about 95,000 people in Quincy). I certainly did not want to come to Quincy with the attitude some church planters seem to have: that their new church is the only faithful church in the city. We should be grateful that many good, gospel-centered churches have been planted in greater Boston, and that many have existed here for generations. The days of saying, “There are no good churches in Boston,” are long gone (and that has always been untrue). The fact that there are so many good churches doesn’t change the reality that we need more good churches; but it must change our approach to church planting. We must be intentional about Kingdom-minded collaboration. We must recognize that the Lord uses many different kinds of churches to reach many different kinds of people with the good news of Jesus. So, when we arrived in Quincy, I was glad to work together and learn from other churches (in several languages) already faithfully serving our city.
What we found when we moved to Quincy in the summer of 2018, knowing very few people in Quincy or on the South Shore of Boston, was that there was still plenty of need and opportunity, even in our own neighborhood. We have found it true what we had heard of our neighborhood, that it is, “the kind of place where it takes you an hour to walk around the block because everyone stops and talks to each other.” Shortly after we moved in, there was a neighborhood block party, at which we met several people who have become friends. The week following the block party, one older woman Naomi had spoken with came by our house to drop off a map of our neighborhood, which included the names of the majority of the people who lived in our immediate neighborhood, their children’s names and even their dogs names (in parentheses). For what purpose this woman gave us this map, I can’t say. But for us, it was a clear indication of the mission the Lord had set before us, a clear indication that the Lord had not only led us to Quincy, but to our specific street. The map represented, over a long period of time, the people God had called us to love and serve. It was as if the Lord was saying, “Here, you have no excuse not to pray for your neighbors.” Even with many good churches in Quincy already, there is still plenty of need for gospel ministry, both in word and in deed.
Shortly after my family and I moved to Quincy, a group of five or six pastors, all from different churches/denominations began to pray together for our city and our church’s ministries. To this day, we continue to meet together to pray and talk about how we can care for one another, and love and serve the city together. We have celebrated one another’s successes, and grieved together over difficulties.
This past November, I received a text message from the Lead Pastor of Life Community Church in Quincy, asking me to come and share about our church plant at their worship services. The purpose, he said, was because they had decided to give one half of their special Advent offering to support our church plant (and the other half to support another local church plant). Rather than seeing other churches as competitors, Life Community and many other churches in Quincy have embraced us as partners in the work of gospel ministry.
As we launch the new church, it has been so encouraging to know that the Church, the community of believers from all denominations and walks of life, has our back. We continue to receive help from believers from other congregations in order to help us get off the ground in Quincy.
I believe we must see more of this in our city. We gain nothing by being territorial. We have so much to gain by working together. Aaron Cavin, the Pastor of Life Community in Quincy, recently said that if the church in Boston is going to see revival, we need to be faithful to the Great Commission, the Great Commandment (Matthew 22:37-39) and (what he called) the Great Collaboration. If we want to see people experience the love of Christ, they need to see it lived out between Christians. They need to see the unity Jesus prayed for in John 17.
Pastor Matt Owens offers three ways in which other Christians can support the launch of Christ the Redeemer Quincy:
1. Pray– We greatly appreciate your prayers for my family, for our core group, and for all of those who are coming who are checking out church for the first time in a while (or ever).
2. Invite– If you know anyone in the Quincy or the area, please let them know about the new church (I am attaching an advertisement/invitation that you can send them)…and if they’re interested, consider coming with them to our launch on March 1st!
3. Come– We would love to have you join and celebrate the launch with us! But if you can’t come on March 1st, we would also love to have you join us anytime after. Our thinking on this is, “the more, the merrier.” When my neighbors show up, they’re probably far less likely to return if there’s 25 people there than if there’s 75. So we are looking to the larger Church body for help us in getting off the ground by sending some people to simply be present (and friendly). If you are able, or people from your congregation are able, we would love for people to come not just on launch Sunday, but multiple times over the first few months.
There are also two positions we are looking to fill:
1. Worship Leader / Musicians- We are looking for a part-time (6-8 hours / week) Worship Leader to regularly lead our congregation in worship through song. Currently, we have a team of gifted musicians, but no one to lead on a weekly basis. We also have a few music leaders from other congregations that are coming to lead us when they can, but this is not sustainable long-term. If you know musicians who might be interested in leading us weekly, or any who would be able to help us out less frequently, just as we get going, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for the job description.
2. Children’s Ministry Director- We are also looking for a part-time (4-6 hours / week) Children’s Ministry Director. My wife (Naomi) is currently serving in this role as an Interim Children’s Ministry Director. But, this is not sustainable for her after this summer. If you know anyone who might be interested, please email me at email@example.com for the job description.