By Coy Shaw
But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with com-
passion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered
abroad, as sheep having no shepherd (Matthew 9:36).
When Jesus saw the multitudes, he
was moved with compassion. If we are to be
Christ-like as the Bible teaches we should be,
then we are to be moved with compassion
when we see the multitudes. New York City
is a city of multitudes—multitudes of people
from every economic level and from almost
every nation on our planet. If one honestly
wants to reach the multitudes with the
Gospel of Jesus Christ, then New York City
is where one needs to be. There are other
cities in the world that are larger than New
York City but none as diverse. The mayor
has stated that of the nations represented in
the last Olympic Games, only two countries
are not represented in the population of
New York City.
Maybe you have thought about start-
ing a church in some large city. Baptist
International Missions has a long history
of establishing churches in New York City.
Today, one of the stronger independent Bap-
tist churches in New York City was started
by a BIMI missionary. Have you honestly
prayed about going to New York City? Have
you taken time to look at the multitudes in
America's largest city? Has your heart felt
the compassion that Christ felt (and still
feels) for the multitudes of lost people?
What the church planter needs to know
before beginning a church in NYC:
Know that working in NYC is
different from working in other large cities
in the United States. Serving the Lord
always requires commitment, but a church
planter coming to NYC must realize he
is making a long-term commitment.
That commitment includes living in an
apartment, walking more than you drive,
reaching people that speak English as a
second language and working in a city with
a complex bureaucracy.
Know that to live and work in NYC is
expensive! You will need to raise adequate
funds from mission-minded churches for
both personal support and for planting
a church. Rent for an apartment will cost
$2,000 or more depending on the area.
Holding church services in an apartment
is almost impossible, so funds for renting
a place to meet must also be raised. One
church planter has held services in a house,
a garage, a catering hall, a funeral home and
a former strip club. At least $3,000 will be
needed for renting a place to hold services.
Know that you are committing
to a lifetime ministry. There must be a
determination to stay where God has called