Several years ago, as a missionary in Eastern Europe, I led a Bible study for Iranians in our apartment. Although they were Muslims, these men wanted to learn about Jesus. Once a week, we enjoyed refreshments and conversation before sitting down to study the Gospels. Gradually, our friendships deepened and their understanding about Jesus increased.
Approximately 50% of BCNE churches in Greater Boston are ethnic churches. And God is at work among them. In fact, some of the largest churches in Boston happen to be Asian, African-American and Haitian! Very impressively, most of the pioneers who planted these churches did so without the benefits of special training, financial support or church partnerships that many church planters receive today. Ethnic churches in Greater Boston are robust, and continue to multiply. I love attending the worship gatherings and enjoy having fellowship with the gifted pastors who lead these churches. Yet there is a unique, life-or-death challenge that virtually every ethnic church pastor faces: the challenge of reaching second-generation Americans.
For 10 years I served as the pastor of a church in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. It was an historic church, located in an affluent neighborhood where military families and federal employees lived. And it was almost completely Caucasian. The neighborhood, however, gradually changed. Different ethnic groups moved in and church attendance began to decline.