My name is Tim Monahan, and I am the lead Pastor of BeFree Somersworth, a small church plant in the blue-collar city of Somersworth, NH. We began meeting in 2015 as a core group of two families dreaming and praying about engaging a highly transient and underprivileged community with the Gospel. Today, we are a church of about sixty people celebrating what God is doing. Just last month, we baptized five people and brought twelve people into membership. We are far from perfect, but by the grace of God, I believe we are what Somersworth needs - a Gospel presence.
I am not only passionate about Somersworth, but about seeing a vibrant Gospel presence in every New England community, but that is a challenging vision. I don’t need to tell you, New England can be a difficult place to plant churches. Take a look at this just released Barna Study: https://www.barna.com/research/post-christian-cities-america-2017/. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
What do you sense as you read? Discouragement, angst, sadness… What if instead, we see potential, hope and a ripe field for us to engage together? Over and over Jesus made it clear to those who were following and listening to him that he did not come for the healthy, but for those in need of a physician. I look out of my window, and if you read that Barna study you can probably now look out your own window and see the potential for Gospel transformation right next door. I believe God would have us press in on mission together to establish Gospel communities all over our little corner of the country.
You may wonder, “what can our church do to see churches multiplied in New England?” Great question. I believe that God would have us begin by praying together for the multiplication of churches in New England. I want to invite you and your church to participate in Church Multiplication Sunday on October 6, 2019, which is an awesome opportunity for us both locally, within the New England District, and nationally in the EFCA to be united in one voice asking God to raise up workers for the harvest.
Each of the 17 EFCA districts were asked to provide church multiplication prayer requests. Below I have listed three things for us to focus on here in New England to engage in prayer:
1. The soil is dry in New England. Pray that God would raise up 1-3 individuals who have a passion to plant and to see Gospel transformation happen anywhere in New England.
2. Pray that as we address our lack of a pipeline and planters, the New England churches would be convicted and would mobilize to raise up and partner with each other and the young new leaders who may arise.
3. Pray for steadfastness of those who have planted in the last few years, that they would not be isolated in their current season and would experience peace as they continue to press into the difficulty of Church planting.
In the coming weeks, there will be more resources provided on the EFCA Church Multiplication Sunday site to help you lead your church in this prayer effort. I invite you to join me in setting aside time in your Sunday, October 6th worship gathering to pray for the multiplication of church in NEDA.
- Tim Monahan, BeFree Somersworth, NH