NEW YORK (BP) -- Easter Sundays and new school years often are chosen as "birthdays" for church plants. The North American Mission Board (@NAMB_SBC) expects to see Southern Baptists celebrate many more such birthdays in the coming years -- especially in under-reached and under-served areas.
On Easter Sunday church planter Stephen Kim (@stephenkimnyc) celebrated the public launch of Mustard
Seed Church in New York City. Kim was a 3-year-old child when his family moved from South Korea to be part of an earlier church plant in the city.
The church's name encapsulates its vision. "[The mustard seed] is a seed that's not noticeable to anyone and insignificant to everyone," Kim said. "But in the process
Mustard Seed Church photo
of time, God's hand germinates it, and it grows into a tree that not only reaches the lost coming into New York City but it supports missions all around the world."
The church's Easter launch came after nearly a year of weekly meetings with a core group. With a strong focus on discipleship reflecting the need he sees for theologically sound churches in the city, Kim has a long-term view of church membership, in which prospective members participate in the fellowship for a year before joining. Church planter Stephen Kim says God led him to start Mustard Seed because of the great need for theologically sound churches in the city.
During the public launch, 20 people from the church's core team officially committed to and joined the church, as Kim preached on the comparison between marriage and the relationship to Jesus and the church.
"We had a small induction ceremony at the end of the service," Kim said. "It was very special. One lady commented that she felt like she was walking down the aisle for her own wedding!"
Kim said 30 prospective members and guests also attended the public launch.
A bivocational planter, Kim also works as a substitute math teacher. Because the church doesn't need to provide a salary for him, it is able to give half its budget to the Southern Baptists' Cooperative Program and other missions opportunities.
"The lostness in New York City and the world is so immense that I think we all have to roll up our sleeves and do whatever it takes to spread the Gospel as far as we can," Kim said.
Also in Ontario & metro Indy
New Baptist churches were born on Easter in other underserved North American cities as well. On Sunday 77 people attended the first preview service for Fellowship Streetsville in Mississauga, Ontario, located about a half-hour from Toronto. The metro area of Toronto has only one Canadian National Baptist church for every 167,000 people. Read More