In the beginnings of Christianity, cities played a prominent role as destination for church planting. While every place is important to God, cities are disproportionately influential, often displaying more acute needs and therefore greater opportunities for ministry. Seeking to best use our limited resources Worcester stands out as a target for church planting.
Worcester is significant not simply because of its size but also its economic connections, ethnic diversity, geographic location, and educational institutions. In Worcester, knowledge-based companies, blue collar workers, and participants in the service industry live and work in close proximity. Diverse racial and ethnic groups also blend in a city large enough to draw a global population but small enough so that we all rub shoulders. There are opportunities for a wide ranging ministry to peoples of different backgrounds who could be united by a common savior. This united body of believers could uniquely demonstrate the reality of the gospel, learn from each other about God, and be equipped to further reach the diverse population of Worcester as well as impact the region through the many economic and social lines of contact.
If Worcester is impacted by the gospel, its location at the crossroads of New England positions it as a potential hub for church planting, both in the surrounding towns as well as in Worcester County (which stretches from New Hampshire to Connecticut and from Greater Boston to Western Massachusetts). Worcester’s institutions of higher education have local and regional significance as the majority of students hail from New England and many settle in the area. By serving Worcester we impact a region of the country that deeply influences the intellectual life of our nation.
There is also the possibility to develop resources to serve the poor and support the global advancement of the gospel through a ministry reaching Worcester. While Massachusetts ranks between second and fourth on scales measuring income by state it has the third lowest percentage of charitable giving (2.8%). Imagine the impact of a growing generosity rooted in the the gospel.
Most significant, but hardest to measure, there seems to be a nascent movement God in Worcester. Ethnic churches are multiplying, pastors are cooperating with an eye towards God’s kingdom, and there is an exponential interest in church planting. It seems that now could be a pivotal time to begin a new church in Worcester as forces of economic, social, and spiritual renewal appear to be converging.