As I reflect on our church plant and the state of our community, I thank God that he has put my family and me here for such a time as this! Seven years ago we were in the midst of selling our home and buying a new one, saying goodbye to dear friends and looking forward to getting to know new ones, and raising funds and making plans for planting a new multicultural church for the Philadelphia Presbytery in Northeast Philadelphia. Now, seven years later, I can stand back in awe of what God has done.
Surely I felt the call to plant this multicultural, multilingual church and yet it had not yet been done in our denomination. We are talking about one church in one building under one leadership reaching a variety of peoples in a variety of languages: Albanian, Chinese, English, and in time even Arabic! And now, seven years later, I have seen what the Lord can do. One church, many nations, one family.
Revelation 7:9-10 says, “After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’”
It has begun! I have begun to see this come to pass. What is in heaven is beginning to be on earth. This divine reality is being lived out in Northeast Community Church. It has not been without its challenges of language and culture and all the normal human conflict of living together and working together among fallen human beings. But has it been rich? Has it been rewarding? Has it been a taste of heaven? Yes! Yes! Yes!
I have seen the people of the nations come to a living faith in Christ and become a part of the living body of Christ. In the English congregation, skeptics have become believers, seekers become found, the confused become single-minded, and pew sitters become leaders! The leaders I’ve been training and coaching have been released into greater health and fruitfulness both in home and church. Clearly, God is in this place!
Clearly, God is in this place!
Now we are looking forward to greater fruitfulness in the community and beyond. Much of my time and energy has been spent in supporting the team and holding things together. As you can imagine, with such diversity comes a great deal of complexity in terms of management. In God’s kind providence one of my former interns feels called to come on board as a pastoral administrator to free me up. My desire is to devote more of my time and energy to personal evangelism, leadership development, and planting more sites in the Northeast.
To this end we have been approved by MNA to receive funding to develop a church planting residency program at NCC. They see NCC as a unique training ground for the next generation of multicultural, multilingual church planters, and they also want to see us plant more sites like NCC around the Northeast. We have to raise matching funds of $100,000 for this, but we are looking to God to provide through our faithful donors like Tenth. Tenth has been such a strong support over the years, and I cannot express enough thanks for standing with us! Truly, we could not do this work without your support! We give thanks to our God and pray for his continued blessing on your church and ministry in the center of our great city!
In closing, I ask that you join us in praying for the Spirit to blow on this little church plant and make it grow. Pray with us that God would add to the church those who are being saved, that he would raise up leaders within, and send workers who we can train and send out into the harvest field, which is ripe for harvest. Pray with us for growth in knowledge and depth of insight, roots sunk deeper in Christ, and the fruitfulness that flows from abiding in him! We want this church plant to stand the test of time, transcending language and culture, remaining faithful in an unfaithful world, and being ready for Jesus’ return. Please join us in praying for the gospel to bear fruit and increase among us (1 Thessalonians 1:5–6)!
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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By Vincent Tauriello. © 2020 Tenth Presbyterian Church. Website: tenth.org