As a church invested in the gospel renewal of greater Boston, Christ the King has sought to strategically pursue church planting as a means for reaching the city. CTK was established in 1994 and, upon merging with a Brazilian Presbyterian congregation, became a multicultural church with a morning service in English and an evening service in Portuguese, each led by its own pastor. CTK then planted three Brazilian churches in the area in the late 1990s/early 2000s and in 2003 helped launch Citylife Church in downtown Boston.
In 2006, prompted by the vision of one of our ruling elders, CTK set up a second worship service site in Dorchester, and in 2008 a church planter was found. The experience with Dorchester led the Session to consider how the it might be more intentional in church planting in the city. After much discussion, the Session elected to adopt a multi-congregation, multi-site model (similar to the one employed at Harbor Presbyterian Church in San Diego). The new model would: 1) accelerate new church planting by leveraging existing resources and consolidating new resources, 2) provide for a team approach to ministry which would be attractive for recruiting church planters, and 3) maintain continuity of vision for church planting and focused strategic planning across the city.
In the summer of 2009, the Session established the CTK Church Planting Center (CPC) and hired a director to coordinate the central church planting component of the new structure. We are currently recruiting new church planters and building a network community in order to efficiently and strategically engage our church planting mission.
A church for the city
Before the early 1990s, the spiritual climate in Boston seemed as bitter as the New England winter. When Christ the King Presbyterian Church was planted in 1994, the warming trend had begun. God was answering the patient prayers of his people.
Rather than sidestep the city, the mission of CTK was to engage the city in all of its cultural, educational and economic diversity-to build a new gospel community that would bring glory to God and joy to the city.
Without much critical mass and only a handful of members, the church looked to develop strategic partnerships. The most substantial of these was a relationship with a Brazilian Presbyterian congregation. The two churches soon merged. Together, they purchased a dormant 19th century evangelical congregational church building in Cambridge. For the first time in many decades, the gospel rang out from its pulpit, and the church began to grow.
From its inception, CTK held church planting as a core component of its mission. The earliest church mission statement described the purpose of the church "to ignite and fuel a church planting movement."
In the late 1990s, CTK was invested in planting three Brazilian churches around the city. In 2002 we played a significant role in launching Citylife, a center-city church in downtown Boston. In 2006 CTK planted an urban church in Boston's largest and perhaps most diverse neighborhood--Dorchester. The next plant, just approved this year, is CTK-Newton at the gateway to Boston's western suburbs. And there are several more in the works.
We've also recently established the CTK Church Planting Center in order to facilitate the accelerated planting of many new congregations within and around Boston. Our desire is to see gospel renewal in the city by building Kingdom communities that would engage Boston in every dimension: spiritually, socially, and culturally.
A new community of faith for Newton
In 2009 a group of five families from CTK Cambridge dreamed of a new Gospel community being planted in Boston's western suburbs. The group was led by Bradley and Meda Barnes, then on staff at Cambridge. After spending a year together worshipping and praying in each other's homes, in 2010 Christ the King Newton was formally launched and began holding public worship services. Five years later we continue to grow in our love for God, one another, and the communities to which we belong.