The Emmanuel Research Review is a publication of the Emmanuel Gospel Center, and features articles, papers, resources, and information that we believe are helpful and relevant to urban pastors, leaders, and community members in their efforts to serve their communities effectively.
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Issue No. 95 — March 2014 — 'Knowing Your Neighborhood: An Update of Boston’s South End Churches'
This issue of the Review was prompted by a recent effort by the Emmanuel Gospel Center to reassess the status of churches in our own neighborhood, Boston’s South End. Hopefully our understanding of how the Kingdom of God is at work in our immediate community has been enlarged. But we also know this work is never complete. Still, experience shows that some detective work in surveying churches in a neighborhood or city can help us see what God has done, how and where he is at work, what’s new in the Church, and how the Christian landscape has changed over time. This issue includes a brief look at the history of South End churches from the 1800s to today, as well as a few preliminary facts gleaned from our current profile of South End churches.
Issue No. 94 — December 2013 - January 2014 — 'Understanding Boston’s Quiet Revival'
What is the Quiet Revival? Nearly 50 years ago, a wave of church planting quietly started in Boston and continues today. As a result of this unprecedented move of God, the number of churches within the city limits of Boston has nearly doubled since 1965. Starting with that one piece of evidence, Steve Daman, EGC’s senior writer, offers a definition and analysis of what the Quiet Revival may mean. It is our hope that launching out from this discussion and the questions Steve raises, more people can grow toward shared understanding and enter into meaningful dialog about this amazing work of God.
Issue No. 93 — October-November 2013 — 'Mapping A Systemic Understanding of Homelessness for Effective Church Engagement'
In this issue of the Emmanuel Research Review, Mapping A Systemic Understanding of Homelessness for Effective Church Engagement, Starlight Ministries of the Emmanuel Gospel Center shares a "homelessness system" map and related suggestions as to how churches can more effectively observe, engage, and impact homelessness in their community. In Section One: Mapping A Systemic Understanding of the Experience of Homelessness and Street Involved Individuals, Starlight Ministries asks four guiding questions in order to identify various interrelated components of a complex and seemingly chaotic social system. Surprisingly, what emerges is a systemic map which can be used as a tool to better understand the experience of homelessness and street involved individuals. In Section Two: Engaging the Homelessness System for System-wide Impact, Starlight provides some analysis of their "homelessness system" map in order to more effectively train, equip, and engage the church for long-term, systemic impact that also aligns with the relational/redemptive process of the gospel.
Issue No. 92 — September 2013 — 'Why Cities Matter' and 'Reaching for the New Jerusalem' Books by Boston Area Authors
In this issue of the Emmanuel Research Review, we feature two new books by Boston area authors. The first book is, Why Cities Matter: To God, the Culture, and the Church, by Stephen T. Um & Justin Buzzard, which "...provides a comprehensive analysis of urban life that informs, instructs, inspires, and answers questions including: (1) Why Cities are so important, (2) What the Bible says about cities, and (3) How to overcome common isues and develop a plan for living missionally in the city." The Second book is, Reaching for the New Jerusalem: A Biblical and Theological Framework for the City, edited by Seong Hyun Park, Aída Besançon Spencer, & William David Spencer which examines "...the biblical and theological meaning of the city and our mission within it."
Issue No. 91 — July-August 2013 — 'Grove Hall Neighborhood Study'
The Grove Hall Neighborhod Study, Second Edition offers both story and statistics on many facets of life in this one Boston neighborhood. Following a brief history of the immediate area, the study offers data on racial trends; facts about the current population including, for example, the breakdown of ages of the residents and how they compare with other areas; and facts about the economy, housing, and education. There are also updated, annotated directories of the neighborhood’s churches, schools, and agencies including those agencies particularly concerned with violence prevention and public safety. Fourteen tables, nine new graphs designed by Jonathan Parker, four maps, over a dozen images, and an extensive bibliography help tell the story. In this issue of the Emmanuel Research Review, we offer excerpts from the Grove Hall study with bullet points and graphics. The complete report can be viewed or downloaded as a pdf file.
Issue No. 90 — June 2013 — 'Hidden Treasures of the Kingdom Uncovered. Celebrating Ministries to the Nations: A Manual for Organizing and Planning An Event in Your City'
In this issue, Hidden Treasures of the Kingdom Uncovered. Celebrating Ministries to the Nations: A Manual for Organizing and Planning An Event in Your City by Rev. Dr. Gregg Detwiler (Director of Intercultural Ministries, Emmanuel Gospel Center) and Dr. Bianca Duemling (Assistant director of Intercultural Ministries, Emmanuel Gospel Center) was writtten after the Hidden Treasures event as a manual to tell the story of the event, share what was learned, and provide a practical guide to encourage, inspire, and inform churches how to do the same in their city. Following the introduction in Section 1, the manual's four main parts are Sections 2 through 5, which describe the context of the event, provide a glimpse of the team's experience of the event, share what was learned about building an intercultural ministry team, and offer practical steps for people whose intent is to organize a similar event. The manual ends with a brief conclusion in Section 6.
Issue No. 89 — May 2013 — '2013 Emmanuel Applied Research Award: Student Recipients'
In this issue of the Emmanuel Research Review, we would like to congratulate, Megan Footit as the 2013 Emmanuel Applied Research Award Winner, as well as Bobby Murrieta, Hyounsoo Kim, and Sharyn Halliday, whose papers were chosen for Special Recognition. We also applaud all of the students in this academic year's Inner City Ministry MC621/622 course at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary's Center for Urban Ministerial Education for their hard work and contribution to urban ministry through Applied Research. We have provided an Abstract and Executive Summary for all four student papers and the 'Community Analysis' and 'Description of Proposed Ministry' sections from The 2013 Emmanuel Applied Research Award paper, "Cambridge City-Wide Church Collaborative Cooperates to Meet Community Needs," by Megan Footit in this May 2013 issue of the Emmanuel Research Review.
Issue No. 88 — April 2013 — 'Perspectives on Boston Church Statistics: Is Boston Really Only 2% Evangelical?'
In this issue of the Emmanuel Research Review, Perspectives on Boston Church Statitics: Is Boston Really Only 2% Evangelical?, Rudy Mitchell, Senior Researcher of the Emmanuel Gospel Center, evaluates the sources, accuracy, limitations, and weaknesss of some commonly used church statistics, especially with regard to their application in Boston. Wanting to encourage a more apropriate use of church statistics generally and in Boston, Rudy considers some of the more popular sources we encounter on the internet or in the news media, such as:
The U. S. Religious Census and the Association of Religious Data Archives,
The Barna Research Group, and
Gallup Polls on Religion.
Throughout this issue, Rudy offers some quick and practical advice for those who are tempted to grab-and-go with the numbers, as if they were "gospel" to their next sermon, strategic planning meeting, church planting support fundraiser, or denominational report. As convenient and convincing as statistics are, beware! They also can be easily misunderstood, misapplied, and generate misinformation.
Issue No. 87 — March 2013 — 'Christian Engagement with Muslims in the United States'
In this issue of the Emmanuel Research Review, Gregg Detwiler, Director of Intercultural Ministries at the Emmanuel Gospel Center, hosts a video conversation on the important topic of Christian Engagement with Muslims in the U.S., which he hopes "will encourage many to reach out to our Muslim neighbors." The panel was comprised of Dave Kimball, Minister-at-Large for Christian–Muslim Relations at Emmanuel Gospel Center; Nathan Elmore, Program Coordinator & Consultant for Christian-Muslim Relations, Peace Catalyst International; and Paul Biswas, Pastor, International Community Church – Boston. In the first half of the conversation, panelists address "Positive Christian Interactions with Muslims," which include questions regarding motivation, personal experience, peace-making, and transparency. In the second half of the conversation, panelists address "Objections and Challenges to Christian Engagement with Muslims," where they touch on militant Islam, "normative" Islam, "Chrislamism," interfaith dialogue, and how a local church congregation might respond to a nearby mosque. We have provided a link and brief description of each of the ten videos, which were produced by Brandt Gillespie of PrayTV & Covenant for New England in a studio located at Congregation Lion of Judah in Boston. At the end of this issue, we have included a short list of resources suggested by the Intercultural Ministries team of the Emmauel Gospel Center.
Issue No. 86 — February 2013 — 'The Vital Signs of a Living System Ministry' by Douglas A. Hall
In this issue of the Emmanuel Research Review, The Vital Signs of a Living Sytem Ministry, Dr. Douglas A. Hall, President of the Emmanuel Gospel Center and author of The Cat and the Toaster: Living System Ministry in a Technological Age, shares about how Living System Ministry priniciples serve as vital signs which can guide our understanding and practice of leadership within urban ministry. At the end we have provided a short list of related resources by Rudy Mitchell, Senior Researcher, Emmanuel Gospel Center.
Issue No. 85 — December 2012-January 2013 — 'Toward A More Adequate Mission Speak' and Other Resources by Ralph Kee
In this issue of the Emmanuel Research Review, we feature Toward A More Adequate Mission Speak and four other booklets by Boston-based Church Planter and Animator of the Greater Boston Church Planting Collaborative Ralph Kee. Ralph's insight flows from 40 years of urban ministry that has been well fueled by many cups of black coffee, good pie, decades of collaborative learning, and deep prayer for the Church. In this issue we have included the Introduction and a downloadable version of Ralph's latest booklet along with links to four other booklets by Ralph Kee.
Issue No. 84 — November 2012 — 'The Boston Education Collaborative's Partnership with Boston Public Schools'
In this issue of the Emmanuel Research Review, The Boston Education Collaborative's Partnership with Boston Public Schools, we briefly retrace the history and highlight the recent collaboration between the Emmauel Gospel Center's Boston Education Collaborative (BEC) and the Boston Public Schools Faith-Based Partnerships as developed by the Office of Community Engagement and Circle of Promise (CECoP). As an increasing number of congregations and faith-based organizations are thinking about how they can assist public schools and various aspects of educational justice, the BEC's story provides a model which can inform the church broadly when navigating the complexity in collaboration between private, faith based organizations and an urban, public school system. This issue contains an article by Lydia Johnson Reynolds on the exciting new partnership with the Boston Public Schools, "Circle of Promise" initiative, and the BEC's "Reflection and Learning Sessions" that provide tools, encouragement, networking, and support for people from churches and non-profits working with students. We've also included a video interview with Ruth Wong, Director of the Boston Education Collaborative and a downloadable version of the Guidebook for Boston Public Schools Faith-Based Partnerships.
Issue No. 83 — October 2012 — 'Churches in Boston's Neighborhood of Mattapan'
In this issue of the Emmanuel Research Review, we include a report on the 65 churches in Boston's dynamic and diverse neighborhood of Mattapan by Erik Nordbye, Research Associate of the Emmanuel Gospel Center. Over the years, Native Americans, Puritans, Irish, Jewish, African Americans, West Indian, Latino, and many other peoples have made their unique contributions to this community and the various expressions of the Church we have identified. Today, Mattapan has over 37,000 residents within a 3.8 square mile area. There are approximately 17 churches per square mile in Mattapan with many of them located along Blue Hill Avenue - including two of Boston's largest protestant congregations.
Issue No. 82 — September 2012 — 'Christian Churches in Somerville, MA'
In this issue of the Emmanuel Research Review, we include a 'Progress Report on the Churches in the City of Somerville, MA' (located in the heart of Metro Boston) made possible by preliminary internet and field-based research conducted by the Emmanuel Gospel Center staff with great assistance from interns, volunteers, church leaders, and congregants in a partial 'crowdsourcing' research approach. The Emmanuel Gospel Center began street-by-street research of all Christian churches in Boston in the late 1960's and has since added the cities of Cambridge and Brookline to our database and online directory. The Somerville Progress Report and process began as a practical response to local church leaders and congregants requests to include their communities in our Church Directory Project. In this issue we've included a downloadable version of the progress report with 46 church profiles as an example for other communities and as an invitation for increased partnership with local churches to correct and complete the Somerville Church Directory Report.
Issue No. 81 — August 2012 — 'Christian Churches in North Dorchester of Boston, MA'
In this issue of the Emmanuel Research Review, we include a report by Hanno van der Bijl, Research Assocate at EGC, on the diverse and vital expressions of the Christian Church in the North Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, MA. Ever wonder what God is doing in the other churches in your neighborhood? After many hours of neighborhood-based field research and visiting Pentecostal, mainline, and Catholic worship services, Hanno reports that "the churches in North Dorchester have many challenges to face," and "their love for the Lord Jesus Christ and each other is palpable in the energy and vibrancy of their worship services." Hanno's research and report identified 21 Christian churches in North Dorchester which reflect the ethnic diversity of the residents. The report also documents the slow growth in the number of churches over the last 25 years.
Issue No. 80 — July 2012 — 'Developing Safe Environments for Learning and Transformation'
In this issue of the Emmanuel Research Review, we feature Developing Safe Environments for Learning and Transformation, an article by Gregg Detwiler, Director of Intercultural Ministries, Emmanuel Gospel Center. Gregg shares from decades of practical urban ministry experience regarding "a model for personal and organizational transformation" while underscoring the importance and "process of creating and reproducing a safe environment," which he sees as essential for the vitality and agency of biblical transformation.
Issue No. 79 — June 2012 — 'Emmanuel Applied Research Award: Student Recipients'
In this issue of the Emmanuel Research Review, we have included one complete paper from the 2011-2012 Inner City Ministry course. We would like to congratulate Jim Hartman, the 2012 Emmanuel Applied Research Award Winner, as well as Jae Kon Moon, John Scott, and Abraham Lincoln, whose papers we have chosen for special recognition. We also applaud all of the students in this year's Inner City Ministry course for their hard work and contribution to urban ministry through applied research. The 2012 Emmanuel Applied Research Award paper, "Miriam's House Ministries and The Melville Park Micro-enterprise Experiment," by Jim Hartman, is being presented in its entirety in this May 2012 issue of the Emmanuel Research Review.
Issue No. 78 — May 2012 — 'The Rise of the Global South: The Decline of Western Christendom and the Rise of Majority World Christianity' by Elijah J. F. Kim
In this issue of the Emmanuel Research Review, we feature The Rise of the Global South a new book by Elijah J. F. Kim, former Director of the Vitality Project of the Emmanuel Gospel Center, Boston, MA. Dr. Kim's research and analysis examines the historic transition whereby the "center of gravity of the Christian faith has shifted from the West to the non-West," and considers what implications this transition and the underlying dynamics have regarding the Great Commission within the contemporary global village of Christianity. Among many insights Kim suggests, North America has a unique middle-ground condition having both elements of decline found in Europe and the revival fire of Majority World Christianity evidenced by its contribution to the growth of global Christianity through diaspora connections, multicultural dynamics, globalization, and ongoing missionary endeavors. In this issue we've included Dr. Kim's Introduction to The Rise of the Global South along with a brief book description and endorsements.
Issue No. 77 — April 2012 — 'The Black Church and Hip Hop Culture' & 'Under One Steeple' Books by Boston Area Authors
In this issue of the Emmanuel Research Review, we feature two new books by Boston area authors. First, The Black Church and Hip Hop Culture: Toward Bridging the Generational Divide, edited by Emmett G. Price III, which "both initiates conversation and generates a powerful rally call which 'challenges the [divided] generations to come back to the table to settle differences and move forward together.'" The Second, Under One Steeple: Multiple Congregations Sharing More Than Just Space, by Lorraine Cleaves Anderson, "illustrates 20 basic principles with real-life stories from her pastoral leadership of International Community Church (American Baptist) in Allston (neighborhood of Boston, MA), which has shared its building with dozens of groups representing a variety of ethnicities over the years." In addition to the reviews, we have also included a brief excerpt from each title.
Issue No. 76 — March 2012 — Hartford Survey Project: Understanding Service Needs and Opportunities
In this issue of the Emmanuel Research Review, Jessica Sanderson of Urban Alliance shares about the purpose, process, analysis, findings and application of the, Hartford Survey Project: Understanding Needs and Service Opportunities. The, Hartford Survey Project, explores twelve areas of community needs, related assets, and the opportunity for collaborative care to inform the effective and enthusiastic development of existing and new services. This issue includes a project overview, part one summary, part two summary, conclusion, and a link to a downloadable copy of the complete report.
Issue No. 75 — February 2012 — Behind the Scenes: Setting the Stage for Conversation about the Church in New England
In this issue, we feature a new video series from Brandt Gillespie of PrayTV (Salem, MA), and Dr. Roberto Miranda of Lion of Judah (Boston, MA) that engages local leaders in conversations about their insights and experience regarding the church in New England.
In the videos, Brandt and Roberto invite local leaders for conversations around topics including unity, diversity, revival, partnering, America, and urban ministry. We've included an interview with Brandt in which he outlines the purpose and vision of this video ministry, gives a glimpse of the ministry's new studio, and provides links to recent programs.
Issue No. 74 — January 2012 — Shared Worship Space - an Urban Challenge and a Kingdom Opportunity
One body, one building? Being neighbors is one thing, but when churches gather under the same roof, much deeper and intricate conditions emerge that remind us of the character, nature, calling and Kingdom purpose of the Church in a diverse urban environment. In this issue, Dr. Bianca Duemling (Assistant Director of Emmanuel Gospel Center's Intercultural Ministries) begins to outline the multiple challenges and opportunities that present themselves when multiple congregations consider sharing the buildings they use for worship.
Issue No. 73 — December 2011 — Let's Do It! Multiplying Churches in Boston Now
In this issue, we feature a new booklet by Ralph A. Kee (a well-seasoned church planter in Boston) called Let’s Do It! Multiplying Churches in Boston Now that seeks to connect 1st century practices with 21st century practices and potentialities for Boston and beyond. This issue includes an excerpt from the new booklet by Ralph, which builds on his earlier Emmanuel Research Review article, The Urban Apostolic Task. A link to the full booklet also included.
Issue No. 72 — November 2011 — Crossing Beyond the Organization Threshold
Dr. Douglas Hall, President of the Emmanuel Gospel Center, shares two articles entitled “Crossing Beyond the Organization Threshold” and “Implanting Organization.” In the first article, Doug considers “the limitations of organization and the danger of having it become the focus in our ministries.” In the second article, he underscores "how we can use organization and technology appropriately to benefit a living system." Both articles are part of an ongoing conversation about Living System Ministry.
Issue No. 71 — October 2011 — Human Trafficking: The Abolitionist Network
In this issue, we look at the development of the Abolionist Network, an emerging ministry of the Emmanuel Gospel Center that addresses the topic of human trafficking using a Living System Ministry approach. This issue includes three sections: (1) Helping to Create a Network of Modern-Day Abolitionists, (2) The Abolitionist Network: Learning, Connecting, Equipping, and Refreshing, and (3) Getting Involved: "I want to be involved, but I don't know what to do!", all by Farrell Lindemann, an Emmanuel Gospel Center Development Volunteer. Within each section Sarah Durfey, Director of The Abolitionist Network, retraces her investigation into the messy reality of human trafficking and how a living systems approach is helping her and her ministry partners see the big picture and develop a strategic and redemptive response to end human trafficking.
Issue No. 70 — September 2011 — Urban Ministry Training in Metro Boston
It takes a village to raise a child, and it takes an entire Metro Region to train urban ministry leaders. The Quiet Revival in Boston has been nurtured by a diverse spectrum of urban ministry training centers and programs in the region working together as an ensemble to train leaders. Seminaries, Bible colleges, Christian colleges, Bible institutes, parachurch training programs, and church-based leadership programs, along with one of the world's largest collegiate communities, contribute to the overall capacity of the city and metro region to train church leaders in Metro Boston.
In this issue, Hanno van der Bijl (Research Assocate at the Emmanuel Gospel Center) includes a brief project introduction on urban ministry taining in Metro Boston, the most recent version of the Urban Ministry Training Directory, a brief analysis, and a list of related resources.
Issue No. 69 — August 2011 — The Diverse Leadership Project
In this issue, we are featuring a report update from The Diverse Leadership Project, which seeks to better understand leadership development, styles, and priorities within various ethnic church communities in order to increase intercultural competency and collaboration amongst diverse church leaders and congregations broadly.
This issue begins with a section by Dr. Bianca Duemling, Assistant Director of Intercultural Ministries at Emmanuel Gospel Center, that provides some quick facts, trends, and context regarding the diversification of Christianity, the reality of segregation in the church, the biblical and social basis for diverse church partnerships, and a brief project overview of The Diverse Leadership Project. The second and main section of this issue includes in-depth interviews with six New England church leaders in five different ethnic contexts. Each interview highlights their personal story and journey as a Christian leader.
Issue No. 68 — July 2011 — Metro Boston Collegiate Ministry Project: Focus Group/Learning Team Report
This issue features an excerpt from The Metro Boston Collegiate Ministry Project: Focus Group/Learning Team Report, which tells the story of how the collaborative project began, outlines the initial group assumptions, and retraces the "hexagoning" exercise that engaged approximately 50 local leaders in a shared learning process. The purpose of the Metro Boston Collegiate Ministry Project, the Focus Group/Learning Team, and this article is to nurture the development of a systemic and practical approach that can help inform and guide the development of church-based, para-church, denominationally associated collegiate ministry, and the church broadly as it endeavors to engage the collegiate community in a redemptive process within the broader context and complexities of the metro region.
Issue No. 67 — June 2011 — Metro Boston Collegiate Ministry Project: Student Enrollment Report
This issue features The Metro Boston Collegiate Ministry Project, Student Enrollment Report, which provides a series of student enrollment profiles for each of the 35 schools located in the heart of Metro Boston, in the cities of Boston, Brookline, and Cambridge. The purpose of the report is to provide practical information regarding the collegiate community in a simple format that can help inform and guide the development of church-based, para-church, denominationally associated collegiate ministry, and the church broadly as it endeavors to engage the collegiate community.
Issue No. 66 — May 2011 — Emmanuel Applied Research Award: Student Recipients
In this issue of the Emmanuel Research Review, we have included one complete paper from the 2010-2011 Inner City Ministry course. We would like to congratulate Stephen Ko, the 2011 Emmanuel Applied Research Award Winner, as well as Mike Olejarz, Jesse Sudirgo, and Rob Surratt, whose papers we have chosen for special recognition. We also applaud all of the students in this year's Inner City Ministry course for their hard work and contribution to urban ministry through applied research. The 2011 Emmanuel Applied Research Award paper, "Faith-Based Healthcare for the Underserved of Lawrence, MA: A Pilot Project," by Stephen Ko, is being presented in its entirety in this May 2011 issue of the Emmanuel Research Review.
Issue No. 65 — April 2011 — Boston Education Collaborative Church Survey Report
In this issue of the Emmanuel Research Review, we present The Boston Education Collaborative Church Survey Report, which provides a preliminary investigation and overview of how Boston-area churches are currently engaged in education, what areas of programming they are interested in further developing, and what resources are needed for them to become more involved in education.
Issue No. 64 — March 2011 — Connecting the Disconnected: A Survey of Youth and Young Adults in Grove Hall
In this issue, we provide Connecting the Disconnected: A Survey of Youth and Young Adults in Grove Hall, a report published in April 2010 that includes a survey, report and analysis of out-of-work and out-of-school young adults ages 16-24 in the Grove Hall area of Boston. We also include an accompanying interview with Ra’Shaun Nalls and Martin Booth of Project R.I.G.H.T., who share the story behind the study.
Issue No. 63 — February 2011 — Youth Violence Systems Project Special Edition Review
In this issue, we present the Youth Violence Systems Project's recently published Special Edition Review, which gives an overview of the community-based process that is at the heart of the Youth Violence Systems Project (YVSP). In addition, the story of the YVSP process is further told in three related articles: The YVSP Strategy Lab, The Reason Why We Haven’t Solved the Gang Violence Problem, and What We Are Learning.
In this issue, Rev. Ralph Kee, a well-seasoned church planter in Boston, illuminates the vision, practical instruction, and urgency of an apostolic ministry that engages the entire church in new-world building movements within contemporary cities. We've also included a few suggestions from Ralph's bookshelf for resources and further reading.
Issue No. 61 — December 2010 — Re-thinking the Way We Think About Church Buildings
In this issue, we have included content and resources shared on November 13, 2010 at the Boston Preservation Alliance workshop on the preservation and maintenance of religious buildings hosted at Roxbury Presbyterian Church. This issue features a transcription and audio file of the encouraging presentation made by Rev. Hurmon Hamilton, Senior Pastor of Roxbury Presbyterian Church, who shared the inspiring story and practical lessons learned by his own congregation. We’ve also included a brief resource section, agenda, speaker biographies, and acknowledgements prepared by the Boston Preservation Alliance.
Issue No. 60 — November 2010 — There's Gold in the City
In this issue, Rev. Dr. Gregg Detwiler, Director of Intercultural Ministries at the Emmanuel Gospel Center reflects on how our thinking and theology can better align with God’s perspective, vision, and value regarding cities.
Issue No. 59 — September/October 2010 — A New Kind of Learning: Contextualized Theological Education Models
The challenge of dealing well with the different cultures in our modern cities is the most significant and overwhelming challenge facing theological schools today, according to Dr. Alvin Padilla, Dean of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary’s Center for Urban Ministerial Education. In this issue, he begins to unravel the problem by offering several perspectives to help us move from being bewildered to better understanding what God might be doing in our cities today.
Issue No. 58 — August 2010 — Understanding Boston's Neighborhoods: The Greater Dudley Area of Roxbury
In this issue, we present a community study on the Greater Dudley Area within the Boston neighborhood of Roxbury. Neighborhood studies reveal dynamics and principles which are unique to a given place and at times, common to many other urban communities. Furthermore, as we are discerning common demographic information, neighborhood-specific histories, heroes, and innovations can help complement, interrelate, and animate data in ways that inform and inspire the development of current community organizations and urban ministries.
Issue No. 57 — July 2010 — Understanding Boston's Neighborhoods: Morton-Norfolk Area of Mattapan
In this issue, we look at a community study of the Morton-Norfolk area in Mattapan, a neighborhood of Boston. This document looks at changes in this urban area over four hundred years, as well as neighborhood demographics and trends, assets, and public safety concerns. Understanding the history, systems, and stories of a community deepens our knowledge about communities and helps us understand the context in which our ministry is taking place so we can help nurture the vitality of urban churches, ministries, and communities. This community study and approach explores the dynamics of change common to many urban communities while also providing practical information that can shape urban ministry and neighborhood development.
Issue No. 56 — June 2010 — Christian Preschools and Early Education in Metro Boston: Child's Play Network
In this issue, we look at some recent research into the landscape of Christian Preschools and Early Education Centers in the Boston area. This research was done by the Emmanuel Gospel Center and the Child’s Play Network, which is a developing network of educators dedicated to high-quality, Christian early education. The research includes an effort to identify existing Christian preschools, as well as a series of individual interviews and focus group discussions with local teachers, directors, and other early educators. The principle finding has been the surprisingly low number of Christian preschools in the Boston area, particularly those coming from Protestant traditions: approximately 9 in Boston, Cambridge, and Brookline; 11 more if you extend the examined range out to Rt. 128; and finally 45 more if you extend that range all the way out to Rt. 495.
Issue No. 55 — May 2010 — Emmanuel Applied Research Award recipients
In this issue, we have included three papers from the 2009-2010 Inner City Ministry course. We would like to congratulate Matt O’Brien, the 2010 Emmanuel Applied Research Award Winner, as well as Mary Chen and Albert Whitaker, whose papers we have chosen for special recognition. We also applaud all of the students in this year's Inner City Ministry course for their hard work and contribution to urban ministry through applied research.
Issue No. 54 — March/April 2010 — Crossing the Perception Threshold
In this issue, Douglas A. Hall, President of Emmanuel Gospel Center, shares an article, “Crossing the Perception Threshold,” on the social-spiritual complexity of urban ministry, which is also related to his recent book, The Cat & the Toaster: Living System Ministry in a Technological Age.
Issue No. 53 — February 2010 — The Cat & the Toaster: Living System Ministry in a Technological Age
In this issue, we offer a brief introduction to the themes covered throughout the six parts of The Cat & the Toaster: Living System Ministry in a Technological Age, a new book by Doug Hall, president of Emmanuel Gospel Center. We've also included links to the book’s website, where you can learn more about the concepts in the book and order the book, as well as a selected bibliography from Dr. Hall’s book.
Issue No. 52 — January 2010 — High Risk Girls and Gender-Specific Programming
The Girls’ Initiative Report on High Risk Girls and Gender-Specific Programming “illustrates how girls tend to differ from boys and why gender-specific approaches are important for girls’ success.” Kalya Hamlett Murray, Project Director of The Girls’ Initiative of the Black Ministerial Alliance of Greater Boston, shares, “We hope that the report will be utilized by state, community and faith-based agencies who service high risk and system-involved girls to promote positive outcomes and reduce recidivism rates for this population.” In this issue, we have included a downloadable version of the full report, an introduction by Kayla Hamlett Murray entitled “Why Girls?”, and links to a concise Prologue and Executive Summary to provide a brief overview of the 112-page full report.
Issue No. 51 — December 2009 — Assessment of Christian Counseling Needs in Boston
The Assessment of Christian Counseling Needs in Metro Boston: A Preliminary Report shares the results of a recent survey conducted in the Metro Boston area during November of 2009 regarding Christian counseling. The survey allows us to hear from local church leaders about their perceived needs regarding Christian counseling in the Boston area. This investigation provides preliminary findings to assist churches, ministries, and counseling agencies in strategically addressing counseling needs. When do church leaders refer counseling to others? What are the most common counseling issues in Boston? What role should the church have in the counseling process? What are the barriers in obtaining Christian counseling? How might churches and counseling ministries collaborate to address counseling needs? As a preliminary survey and report, this is an initial investigation that begins to address a much larger realm of questions on the topic that could and should be expanded and refined in the future.
Issue No. 50 — November 2009 —
The Youth Violence Systems Project: The Community Process and Neighborhood Research of Upham’s Corner in Boston
In this issue, Paul Bothwell, Community Liaison of the Youth Violence Systems Project (YVSP), shares briefly about the community process and neighborhood research of the Project. As Paul mentions, communities with high levels of violence need to learn and lead the way in reducing violence and rebuilding healthy youth and vibrant community. The Upham’s Corner Neighborhood Briefing Document is an example of practical neighborhood-specific research that has informed and inspired community residents engaged in the process of reducing youth violence while also contributing to the broader process of building shared vision, collaborative design, providing insight, experimentation, and public reflection toward building vital communities.
Issue No. 49 — October 2009 — The Youth Violence Systems Project
The goal of the Youth Violence Systems Project (YVSP) is to create a system dynamics model of youth violence in Boston which reflects reality, has predictive and analytical value, and incorporates input and feedback from community stakeholders. This computer model is being developed as an effective tool to help community, academic, political, and institutional stakeholders develop more effective strategies to reduce youth violence. The Project is ongoing, but the community effort has begun to bear fruit already, and can be regarded as a resource for those in Boston-area ministry. In this issue, Brian Corcoran, Managing Editor of the Emmanuel Research Review, interviews Khary Bridgewater, YVSP Project Manager, for an overview and update on the work of the Youth Violence Systems Project. The article also contains background information on the Project.
Issue No. 48 — September 2009 — Serving, Nurturing & Developing Spiritual Leaders within Music Ministry: BCMMP (Black Church Music Ministry Project)
In this issue, Emmett G. Price III, Ph.D., president and founder of BCMMP (Black Church Music Ministry Project), shares where the Black Church Music Ministry Project has been since the ministry’s conception. Three years ago, while taking a class at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary’s Center for Urban Ministerial Education (CUME), Emmett caught a vision for a ministry that would develop spiritual leaders within music ministry. Since then, the BCMMP has been serving the church in Boston and beyond with practical, spiritual, quality, training and resources for leaders. Their vision is to see music ministry leaders fulfill the Great Commission (Matthew 28: 18-20) through the ministry of music in local churches.
Issue No. 47 — August 2009 — Care and Counsel as Mission: Christian Counseling’s New Global Look
As the Christian counseling movement of the 1960s and holistic mission thinking converge, there is an opportunity to study and develop a fresh expression, deeper understanding, and expanding practice of care and counsel as integral to a transformational, “whole gospel” perspective. This consideration of care and counsel makes greater use of indigenous Christian theological reflection and captures a “breadth of multidisciplinary practitioners beyond traditional counseling to include: church and community-based ministries, emergency response to traumatic events, and educational outreach programs focused on marriage and family life.” In this issue, Boston-area psychologist Dr. Bradford M. Smith writes about “the broader role that Christian counseling and psychology is having around the world in serving the poor and underserved in Jesus’ name,” as well as how Christian caregivers from around the world in the fields of counseling, pastoral ministry, psychology, psychiatry, social work, and theology are joining together to consider the possibilities of “Care and Counsel as Mission.”
Issue No. 46 — July 2009 — Human Trafficking: Modern Day Slavery
As more information is being shared about the global challenge of human trafficking, an opportunity is also emerging for the church to engage in the local and international, practical and spiritual, dimension of the this problem. In this issue of the Emmanuel Research Review we have included: an introduction to the topic of human trafficking by Sarah Durfey, Massachusetts Co-Director of “Not For Sale”; a profile of “Break the Chains” as a model of a denominationally initiated ministry directed by Barbara Anderson of American Baptist Women’s Ministries; an introduction and overview of the 2009 Trafficking in Persons report released June 2009; and a practical resource list on the issue of human trafficking.
Issue No. 45 — May/June 2009 — 2009 Emmanuel Applied Research Award: Winning Papers
In this issue of the Emmanuel Research Review, we have included two papers from the 2008-2009 Inner City Ministry course deserving special recognition. Our congratulations to Deb Beatty Mel and Frederick Kitonga, the 2009 Emmanuel Applied Research Award winners, and to all the students in this year’s course for their hard work and contribution to urban ministry through applied research. The 2009 Emmanuel Applied Research Award papers are being presented in their entirety in this issue.
Issue No. 42 — November/December 2008 — The Process of the Gospel: Building healthy relationships with those we serve in ministry
In this issue, Dr. Douglas Hall, President of the Emmanuel Gospel Center, draws from decades of practical urban ministry experience to explain and illustrate the redemptive activity of what he calls “The Process of the Gospel,” especially with regard to the impact and value it has upon building personal relationships and a broader application to churches, cities, and other larger living systems.
Issue No. 41 — September/October 2008 — Urban Youth Mentoring
In this issue, Rudy Mitchell, Senior Researcher of the Emmanuel Gospel Center, summarizes his research findings regarding various practical aspects on mentoring youth in an urban context. Rudy’s research draws from both secular and faith-based sources regarding preparation, planning, recruiting, screening, training, matching, support, monitoring, closure, and evaluation of youth mentoring programs. Also included is a selected resource list that provides additional information and examples.
Issue No. 40 — August 2008 — The Vital Role Religion Plays in Shaping the American Life
In this issue, we continue in our consideration of the findings within the 2008 U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, especially as it pertains to religious beliefs and practices and their influence upon social and political views. The information presented within this issue selectively draws from and highlights content from the June 2008 U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, Religious Beliefs and Practices: Diverse and Politically Relevantreport in order to introduce and underscore aspects of the study relevant to urban ministry practitioners.
Issue No. 39 — June/July 2008 — Religious Affiliation in America
In this issue, we share some facts to ponder regarding religious affiliation from the 2008 U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, look at how this study complements past religious research and local Boston findings, and identify the need for more ongoing research on religion in America.
Issue No. 38 — May 2008 — The Future of Operation Make A Difference and the Centre for Formation and Development
Featuring the winning paper for the 2008 Inner City Ministry Applied Research Award. In his winning paper, Emmanuel (Manny) Daphnis discusses ways to address common challenges of working with the youth in urban churches and youth ministries, particularly in the current context of the Haitian Christian community in Boston. Manny outlines the history and future development of Operation Make A Difference and the Centre for Formation and Development, ministries that have served growing Haitian churches and community in Greater Boston with large annual youth congresses and other services. He also explores how the ministries can have a greater impact and engage youth in light of the needs, desires, and perceptions of today's Haitian American youth.
Issue No. 37 — April 2008 — Wolfgang Simson on "Simple Church"
Last month, Wolfgang Simson, author of Houses That Change the World (1999), and soon to be released, The Starfish Vision (2008), was in Boston speaking on what he and others call “House Church” or “Simple Church” and the nature of apostolic ministry. In this issue of theEmmanuel Research Review we have grouped three articles that restate the essence of Wolf’s talk last month: “Progressive Revelation in Mission,” Wolf’s reflection on the history of the western church from 1945 to present; “15 Theses,” from Houses That Change the World; and “Spider or Starfish,” an article suggesting a new organizational approach for the church.
Issue No. 36 — March 2008 — Emerging Marriage Trends in Indian Christian Community
Thomas Idiculla, PhD, and Leslie Verghese, LCSW share the results of a recent study on Emerging Trends in Marriage in the Indian Christian Community within the broader context of marriage trends in the United States. “Amidst this chaotic environment, Indian Christians in North America have been facing some unprecedented challenges in balancing the contemporary trends, traditions held on to for many years, and their deep rooted Christian faith,” they report. And while the study focuses on the Indian Christian Community, it identifies issues common to many others in the church and society, while offering practical data and recommendations that inform, inspire, and strengthen marriages according to God’s design.
Issue No. 35 — February 2008 — Cambodian Christians in New England
Cambodians, like other immigrant groups, settled where there was economic access to start their lives, as well as a potential sense of community. The Greater Boston area became such a place for them since the 80s and has the second largest Cambodian population outside Cambodia. However, there are merely a handful of Christians. Thus the Cambodian community is a mission field, in desperate need of enabled, equipped, and supported workers. In this issue, we take a look at Cambodian Christians in Metro Boston, particularly Lowell, Massachusetts, as a way to better understand what God is doing among Cambodian Christians across New England.
Issue No. 34 — January 2008 — Greater Boston’s African American Churches
The story of the African American church in Greater Boston begins with the arrival of “perpetual servants” in the early 1600’s. In this issue, Rudy Mitchell, Senior Researcher of the Emmanuel Gospel Center, traces the history of the African American church through the streets of Boston. Along the way, Rudy notes key personalities, events and churches which established the foundation for the present day expression of the African American church, its contribution to the Quiet Revival, and the ongoing transformation of our entire community.
Issue No. 33 — December 2007 — International Student Ministry in Boston
With over 65 postsecondary institutions and a student population of between 250,000-300,000, the Greater Boston area continues to attract people from around the world to its colleges and universities. In this issue of the Emmanuel Research Review, veteran campus minister Michael Dean provides us with a report outlining the opportunity and activity of ministry among international students in the metro-Boston area, its local contribution to the Quiet Revival, and reminds us of the future global impact as international students who have found Christ return to their homelands.
Issue No. 32 — November 2007 — New England’s Native Americans
Most conversations today using the words “Native Americans” and “Massachusetts” in the same sentence are centered on casino gambling, a hot topic in New England. In this issue of The Review, we consider a more important conversation, the historic and present relationship between New England’s Native Americans and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Rudy Mitchell, Senior Researcher at Emmanuel Gospel Center, offers a brief, historical summary of how Protestant Europeans, Native Americans, and the Gospel message have interacted over the last 400 years. We believe it is important for Christians of other cultures living in New England to recognize the active Christian presence and witness among the region's Native American peoples, who, as an arm of the church, are a part of what God is doing in our region today and tomorrow.
Issue No. 31 — September-October 2007 — Introducing New England’s Book of Acts
EGC research staff have been busy compiling a 250-page report called New England’s Book of Acts. People from many countries of the world have come to Boston after being refined by the fires of persecution, conflict, famine, and hardship in their home countries. They have brought a vitality of faith and have planted hundreds of new churches in the area. Many of God's servants have come from countries like Nigeria, Korea, and Brazil with a missionary vision to bring revival, to call America to repentance from idolatry, and to plant churches to reach people of all nations who now live in New England. The articles in New England’s Book of Acts give an overview of the many and varied ways that God has worked through the lives of his people in New England. We cannot hope to have covered everything, but we have collected and written samples of the very diverse cultural elements of the growing edge of God's kingdom in New England. Now it is your turn. After reviewing this book, please send your comments about this publication to our staff, as well as some of the stories of the New England churches that we have missed. The book is available free online, and in a printed format by purchase from Emmanuel Gospel Center.
Issue No. 30 — August 2007 — New England’s Newcomers
Did you know there are over 2,000 Indonesians living in New Hampshire? Or that there is a city in Maine that has over 3,000 Somalians? Perhaps because of their size or media exposure, it’s easy to hyper-focus on the City of Boston or even the Commonwealth of Massachusetts when considering immigration and population changes in New England. In this issue, Rudy Mitchell, Senior Researcher at the Emmanuel Gospel Center, provides some eye-opening summary tables and surprising statistics that demonstrate the diversity and distribution of immigrants across the six New England states. Through the process of immigration, people from around the world are streaming into New England, starting new lives as well as new churches, and rapidly reshaping the popular image of the region.
Issue No. 29 — July 2007 — The Global Future of Christianity: One Great Fellowship of Love?
Taken together, The Next Christendom, The New Faces of Christianity, and God’s Continent, three books by Phillip Jenkins, Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies and History at Penn State, provide an informative, practical, and challenging trilogy on the future of Christianity from a global perspective that can help explain local trends in church demographics and help guide the daily decisions we face in urban ministry. In this edition of the Review, Managing Editor Brian Corcoran discusses the trilogy and considers how believers in Western Christianity and those from churches thriving in the global South may influence each other now and in the future.
Issue No. 28 — June 2007 — Networks, Partnerships and Strategic Alliances
What could happen if more of God’s people were working together? What if churches joined together in Kingdom collaboration for their city? In this issue of the Emmanuel Research Review, author Phill Butler shares some of what he has learned over the last 40 years about Networks, Partnerships and Strategic Alliances around the world. His recent book, Well Connected: Releasing Power & Restoring Hope Through Kingdom Partnerships, is full of practical principles, tools and case studies for urban pastors and community leaders who want to work together more effectively. With his permission, we have published excerpts to help us in our thinking about this important topic.
Issue No. 27 — May 2007 — A Path to Manhood, a Mentoring Program for African American Male Youth
This issue features award-winning papers from the 2007 Inner City Ministry course of CUME, the Center for Ministerial Education (Boston and Springfield, MA). The lead paper is a proposal for a ministry called A Path to Manhood to assist youth, including at risk youth, in making a meaningful transition from adolescence to adulthood. The proposed program will utilize role models and mentors who will serve as guides and “living examples” of responsible adults. We also introduce the two other winning papers, one on a proposed church network that incorporates social justice and racial reconciliation into its design, and the other a study on young adult Catholic evangelization.
Issue No. 26 — April 2007 — Fringe Kids and Violence
Recent violence in the lives of youth across our nation challenges us to seek understanding, gather hope and act in the power and love of Jesus to turn the tide and heal the trauma. This issue of the Review will help us to “think Christianly” about fringe kids and violence, and what Jesus would have us to do. In the two lead articles: A New Emerging Delinquent? and Reaching Fringe Kids, Dr. Scott J. Larson challenges us to look beyond the common categories of youth ministry in order that no youth fall through the cracks. In addition to Scott’s articles we have included national and local statistics, risk factors, protective factors, responses, preventative measures and resources that both outline the significance and contours of youth violence today and begin to identify practical steps to reduce youth violence tomorrow.
Issue No. 25 — March 2007 — Let's Think Again!
Mutant Churches Running Rampant! In this issue of the Review, Tom Johnston of the Praxis Center for Church Development in Manchester, NH, considers the church as an organism, but adds this new wrinkle. He says the church has the potential to mutate! Tom considers how the spiritual DNA of the church in the Western world has perhaps been altered to such an extent that it has lost its life-giving power and is in need of “spiritual gene therapy” to realign us with the original spiritual genetic code for vital Christianity in the church. In his second article, “285 Billion,” Tom shakes us up a bit more as he considers the impact of U.S. national church spending trends and the need for revolutionary re-thinking of our life and faith.
Issue No. 24 — January-February 2007 — History of Revivalism in Boston
Senior Researcher Rudy Mitchell offers an historical review of revivalism in Boston. From the First Great Awakening in 1740, one hundred years after Boston's founding, to the Billy Graham Revival of 1950, we take a look back to see what has happened in our city in the past in order to sharpen our vision and faith for what can happen in the future.
Issue No. 23 – December 2006 – Discovering Your Samaria Ministry Through Demographic Research
In our last issue, Rev. Dr. Gregg Detwiler introduced a challenge for Christians to respond to “the exciting mission field of Samaria.” He defined “Samaria” as that part of God’s mission field that is near us, though the people are not like us. In this issue, we offer tools and strategies to begin to respond to Gregg’s challenge as we explore answers to these questions: “What Samaria ministry opportunities are developing with our country and community? What information can help guide our steps straight into, rather than around, the cross-cultural mission field of Samaria? What are the emerging opportunities for evangelism, church planting or church development that could possibly engage unreached or unseen people groups already living in our neighborhoods?” While we use Boston as our focus, readers can apply the methods demonstrated to their own geographic centers.
Issue No. 22 – November 2006 – The Great Omission
In this issue, we consider the challenge of something Rev. Dr. Gregg Detwiler calls “The Great Omission.” Even while attempting to be missional, is it possible to be “omissional” of the “others” around us? Gregg explains how “Samaria” isn’t just another place mentioned in the geographic expansion of the gospel in Acts 1:8. It is also an essential and exciting realm of ministry which holds the opportunity for deep personal transformation and kingdom growth that we don’t want to miss in the mission.
Issue No. 21 – October 2006 – Surveying Churches III: Facts that Tell a Story
In two recent issues of the Review, we focused on research data from the Emmanuel Gospel Center’s 2005-2006 survey of churches in Boston. In this issue we present some “Facts to Ponder” that have surfaced from those surveys, and some of the raw data behind those facts. Making observations about the changes and trends in the Christian church community helps us to better see the big picture of what God may be doing in our region and in our time as he continues to build his church
Issue No. 20 — September 2006 — Mega-Churches as Indicators of Change in World Christianity
It has been well-documented that Christianity in the 21st Century is growing most rapidly in the non-Western world. Boston’s own Quiet Revival has been fueled by immigrants from these regions bringing vital Christianity to our city and renewing churches here. Evidence of this significant shift is also seen in the emergence of mega-churches in the non-Western world. In fact, the 20 largest churches in the world are located outside the Western World. This issue of the Emmanuel Research Review includes tables of the largest churches in the world and the United States, lists of the characteristics of mega-churches and Christianity in the world, and a profile of the largest church in the world. Notes on World Christianity were prepared by Rev. Dr. Elijah Kim, Director of the Vitality Project at Emmanuel Gospel Center.
Issue No. 19 — July-August 2006 — Surveying Churches II: The Changing Church System in Boston
In this issue, we continue our discussion on what we are learning from our research for the latest edition of The Boston Church Directory. In our first article, The Changing Shape of Boston’s Church Community, Rudy Mitchell provides an overview and analysis of the historical stages of Christianity and church development in Boston from 1630 to present. The Boston Church Directory Project History catalogs the steps in EGC church research reports and findings, from our 1970-baseline project to the present. Then, in The Growing Edge of Boston’s Church Community,Brian Corcoran focuses on the more recent activity of Christianity in Boston (2001-2006) especially with regard to the number and nature of churches planted during this timeframe, and the trends we see among new churches.
Issue No. 18 — June 2006 — Surveying Churches
In this issue, we discuss how to do a church survey, which is the basis for information in Emmanuel Gospel Center’s Boston Church Directory. EGC has been surveying churches in Boston since 1969, and uses the information to understand the Kingdom of God in Boston and to help set goals and ministry initiatives. In addition to describing the process of a survey, the article by Rudy Mitchell and Steve Daman details some of the initial findings of the 2005-2006 survey, with more to follow in future editions of the Review.
Issue No. 17 — May 2006 — Inner City Ministry Class Award Winning Paper: Music in the Black Church
The Inner City Ministry Course at CUME (Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary’s Center for Urban Ministerial Education) has been taught by EGC staff for many years. The final “product” of the course is for each student to write a major ministry proposal project consisting of four parts: a community analysis, a church or organizational analysis, an analysis of two relevant ministry models, and a synthesis of the student’s ministry plan. Many of the past ministry proposal projects written in the Inner City Ministry class are thriving ministries today. This edition of the Review features this year’s award-winning paper by Emmett G. Price III, entitled “Music Ministry in the Black Church of Greater Boston – The Black Church Music Ministry Project.” We have also introduced and provide links to papers of the two runners-up who wrote on 1) how a church in Boston plans to reach the Diaspora peoples in its neighborhood, and 2) a ministry of reconciliation in the Detroit region.
Issue No. 16 — April 2006 — Reaching Homeless Youth and Young Adults in Boston
RYSE (“Reaching Youth on the Streets”) is part of Emmanuel Gospel Center’s Starlight Ministries, an outreach to people who are homeless in Boston and Cambridge. In this issue of the Emmanuel Research Review, Alice Rouse, RYSE youth outreach coordinator, explains what RYSE is learning about homeless youth and young adults in Boston. Much of this information is based on a survey conducted by RYSE in 2004 that explores homeless and street-involved youth’s histories of homelessness, substance abuse, service utilization, and experience with social service agencies. In addition to the survey results, we have added content from Alice’s academic writings as well as from an informal interview.
Issue No. 15 — March 2006 — Wisdom for Urban Youth Ministry
On February 3, 2006, a youth worker summit was held at Trinity Church in Copley Square for youth workers and their spouses to gather together in a relaxed environment and hear from experienced youth workers and pastors. “An Evening with Wisdom” featured seven individuals or couples, who shared what they learned from years in youth ministry. The Panelists were: Rev. Dean and Gail Borgman, Center for Youth Studies; Chris Troy, President of the Boston Urban Youth Foundation; Minister Harold Sparrow, Executive Director of the Black Ministerial Alliance; Rev. Chris and Katani Sumner, Chris is Executive Director of the Boston TenPoint Coalition; Revs. Roberto and Mercedes Miranda of Congregación León de Judá; Revs. Bruce and Karin Wall of Global Outreach Ministries and Bruce Wall Ministries; Revs. Ray and Gloria Hammond of Bethel AME Church. Rev. Zina Jacque moderated the evening.
Issue No. 14 — February 18, 2006 — Surviving and Thriving in Urban Ministry: The Essential Qualities and Skills of an Effective Urban Worker.
As an urban Christian worker, you want to bear fruit, but you also want to avoid burnout! In this issue of the Review, Rev. Dr. Gregg Detwiler outlines some of the characteristics and abilities which an urban ministry worker can build on with an attitude of love and a willingness to learn. These aspects of a minister’s life, according to Dr. Detwiler, are key areas which need to be continually nurtured and renewed to maintain both an effective ministry and a balanced personal life.
Issue No. 13 — January 31, 2006 — What Church Planters Are Saying: A panel discussion with four church planters from Greater Boston.
In this issue of the Emmanuel Research Review, Rev. Ralph Kee, Facilitator of the Greater Boston Church Planting Collaborative, leads a panel discussion, which took place on October 15, 2005, at the Emmanuel Gospel Center in Boston. As each panelist shares from his or her experiences, the distinctives of each church plant emerge, revealing a diversity of expressions, context and cultural considerations; social theory and theology; opportunities and obstacles; innovative internet applications; transformation in team building; and the amazing adaptability of a faithful and relevant church. Full transcripts of the talks, plus audio MP3 files are available so that the reader can listen in to the discussion.
Issue No. 12 — October 19, 2005 — Urban Renaissance & Church Planting.
In this issue of the Emmanuel Research Review, Rev. Ralph Kee, Facilitator of the Greater Boston Church Planting Collaborative, describes, in two articles, the renaissance and gentrification in Boston and surveys the residential real estate development being planned. In the lead article, “Boston is a changed city,” Rev. Kee keenly examines the new growth in Boston neighborhoods with an eye toward church planting. In the second article, “Beau Monde Boston,” he considers how the church in Boston, thriving today because of unprecidented church planting among poorer and ethnic populations, will be able to impact the many new, wealthier neighborhoods springing up around the city.
Issue No. 11 — August 23, 2005 — The Role of Churches in Mapping Out a Road to Higher Education.
“College Prep Ministry in Boston: León de Judá” is the lead article in this issue of the Emmanuel Research Review. Supplementary articles showing different ministry models and an extensive resource list of print and online resources could spark the interest of churches to start their own formal or informal ministry to guide young people toward higher education goals.
Issue No. 10 — July 19, 2005 — Race and Reconciliation
“Reconciliation: Hope for Tortured Histories” is the lead article in this issue of the Emmanuel Research Review. Author John Runyon and a group of nearly 50 leaders from around the globe spent two years exploring the subject of reconciliation as members of the Issue Group on Reconciliation, organized by the Lausanne Committee on World Evangelization. Runyon's comments, links to the final paper of the Lausanne Issue Group, and a score of other resources may help provide for us a practical, theological momentum to impact the way the gospel of reconciliation touches the ground in our own backyards and on the streets of our cities.
Issue No. 9 — June 18, 2005 — The Rise and Fall of Coming Together: When Good Ministries Come and Go
“Coming Together, A Christian Youth Leadership Movement” bridged racial boundaries and united urban and suburban youth in Eastern Massachusetts in the 1990s. Now gone from the scene, the legacy of Coming Together continues in many forms as new programs emerge and as the climate of youth ministry in Boston has changed. In this issue, Rev. Dr. Craig McMullen considers the rise and fall of Coming Together and discusses its implications for ministry today.
Issue No. 8 — April 14, 2005 — The Church in the Context of Community: A Primer on Community Analysis
Can community analysis be used effectively by real people in real ministry? In this issue we provide introductory articles, guides, resources and samples of community analysis by real people which may help you to become focused, equipped and inspired to successfully venture out and obtain useful data yourself.
Issue No. 7 — December 14, 2004 — Is it just me that's dysfunctional? Or is it my church?
What happens when a church becomes dysfunctional? Can anything be done? Dr. Douglas Hall, President of Emmanuel Gospel Center, proposes a way to look at church dysfunction using the logic of redemption. Support articles, links, and resources are also included.
Issue No. 6 — October 20, 2004 — How Does Your Church Serve People Who Are Homeless?
Do our churches represent the Body of Christ as welcoming sanctuaries to people who are homeless, and do we know how to respond as congregations to the needs of those who are homeless in our communities?
Issue No. 5 — August 11, 2004 — Systems Thinking
An introduction to systems thinking and its practical application in ministry
Issue No. 4 — July 6, 2004 — Small World Networks
Small World Network Theory, its impact on evangelism
Issue No. 3 — June 7, 2004 — Unity in Diversity
How can the culturally diverse churches in Boston build a healthy, respectful sense of unity, despite their differences?
Issue No. 2 — April 26, 2004 — Reaching the Second Generation
How immigrant churches and youth ministers are addressing second-generation ministry needs, and, particularly, the ways Asian Americans are wrestling with this issue.
Issue No. 1 — March 12, 2004 — Haitian Christian Ministry