As a native New Englander, God has burdened my heart for the folks that live in this region of the world. Several years ago God gave me a personal mission statement: Embrace the Lost, Engage the Seeker and Edify the Saint.

Embrace the Lost

There are plenty of lost souls in a region that is 97% unreached. While many see this as horrific, I see it as an opportunity. More than nine out of every ten people we encounter do not have a relationship with Jesus. Let’s get the folks in our network of churches trained and equipped to share their faith! It’s a beautiful thing when a life becomes transformed by the power of the Gospel – chains fall off and healing occurs.

Engage the Seeker

People are looking for a safe place to feel welcome and appreciated. Understanding people’s hearts and inviting them to use their talents is essential in helping people to experience the joy of Jesus through serving. Mentoring new believers and connecting them with others is another great way to keep them growing in their faith and becoming better disciples. We have resources to equip churches that want to build up small groups or organize mission trip experiences that will strengthen all participants.

Edify the Saint

Sharing the wisdom God has given each of us with the next generation is critical for the preservation of God’s Church.  Seminary courses, Disaster Relief training, chaplaincy training, leadership development and getting involved with a church plant or revitalization are just a few of the ways strong believers can continue to grow disciples and serve God in an impactful way. We cannot quit; the harvest is waiting on us!

If you serve in a Vermont Baptist church, you are well aware of the hardened hearts and the difficulties we face in spreading the Gospel. Ministry here is very challenging, and attempting to do it on your own is difficult and frustrating. But by working together and sharing our blessings from God, we become interdependent, and God gets all the glory. 

As the Vermont regional coordinator, my desire is to meet with every BCNE pastor and leader in Vermont for prayer and encouragement. God has blessed our association of churches with an amazing array of gifts and talents for the purpose of bringing Him glory in our region. Let’s become a state that embraces Acts 2:42-47 as we strive to link arms in partnership, serve our Lord, and grow the Kingdom for future generations.

Portrait of Russ Rathier, the regional coordinator for the Baptist Convention of New England churches in Vermont

Russ Rathier, Vermont Regional Coordinator
Baptist Convention of New England

Support Mission Work in Vermont

You can support future ministry and mission projects in Vermont by making a donation to the Baptist Foundation of New England’s Vermont special projects fund using the secure link below.