Today I would like to introduce you to Rev. Dan Rogers from Christ The King Dorchester. His website is below.
Tell us a little about the area you work in
Dan works in a neighbourhood in Boston called Dorchester (hence the name! Clever that, hey?). It is a huge area (at least from a UK perspective) with a population of 154,000 people. Almost 30% of them are foreign to the US. There are 56 different nations represented from around the globe. In short, his area is very multi cultural. Alongside this diversity, there are the social issues. Lots of broken families with children, single mums (2/3 of households), gang, poverty, unemployment and violence.
Tell us a little about how you got involved in the work
The church originally started with 12 white people from outside the neighbourhood who had a deep desire to start a church in the area. Dan had previously worked in Campus Ministries with athletes and coaches. Before that he studied at seminary over an 8 year period. During this time he and his wife were looking for a place to plant, particularly in a demographic of a place like Dorchester. In his word, ‘God hooked me up with this gang of 12 and we went from there’.
Tell us about some of the issues and problems of ministry
It was a struggle for the church in the early years before he went as their pastor. There were very few people who didn’t have a connection with the area and no real pastoral guidance. One of the mistakes the original 12 made was replicating worship patterns from outside churches which had no relevance or bearing on the culture with which they were engaging.
Tell us something of the blessings of your ministry
They have been in Dorchester for 3 years and they have seen many come to faith in Christ. Dan would say that they are still small (140!!! – a miracle in the UK) and many of their new converts have no church background whatsoever. Dan feels that they look more like the neighbourhood these days (60% Anglo and 40 non-anglo). God is moving in strong and powerful ways.
Do you have a team or do you work alone?
His biggest challenge is in terms of leadership. The church struggles in developing leaders despite exponential growth. It is hard to train leaders quickly. They have had to go outside of the community to bring people in who fit and bridge the gap (as we have done at Niddrie). They have a new assistant pastor – east Indian – from Chicago and very into hip hop and keen to reach that demographic. They have a Korean American director of music who is also gifted at bridging ethnical gaps in a pastoral way.
Did you have a particular strategy for your area?
Dan didn’t really have a methodology outside of loving God and loving their neighbours. One of the things they did was to investigate how best to do this in Dorchester. They began to look for culturally relevant ways to meet their neighbours and love them. This has borne real fruit as God has brought their neighbours into community with them and they have been converted and saved.
What does your worship look like?
We love reggae, hymns, gospel and contemporary Christian music – a fusion of worship. A bit Latin, jazzy and afro –American. We are very celebratory and expressive and we find that resonates with the culture we are in.
How can we pray for you & your ministry?
Pray that the seeds of the gospel would find fertile soil and take root within the kids and their families who have heard the Good News of Jesus this summer.
Pray that God would provide the needed funds for our transition into the new facility, our rent increase, and our Fall Kickoff, $20,000.
Pray for our Fall Kickoff on Sept 11. Pray that many of our neighbors will join us in worship and that the New Beginnings offered in Christ would be experienced by many.
Pray for God’s provision and protection for our family as we serve in our beloved