Along the shores of New England, many lighthouses stand as monuments to the noble task of pointing souls to safety on the seas. Before the days of mechanical automation, lighthouses had to have lighthouse keepers to function properly. These individuals had a task that required faithfulness to the job. There were days of fair weather and seasons of storms. Regardless of the difficulty, their job was worthy of devotion and endurance, as their beacons shone to warn sailors of the rocks on the shore and kept from shipwreck those who heeded the light.
Throughout the cities, towns, and rural areas of New England, many church meeting-houses stand as monuments to the noble task of pointing souls to safety by the light of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
While some beacons still shine, others stand vacant and are only monuments, reminders of a bygone era for their locality. While many factors may be involved in sustaining a Gospel witness in an area, the church of Jesus Christ needs faithful lighthouse keepers to shepherd the flock of God and keep the lights shining in New England. When a church closes, it is not set up with mechanical automation. Rather, a light is extinguished and souls are endangered in darkness. God has called men to bear the Good News of salvation from the wrath of God only through faith in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, who suffered and died in the place of sinners and rose from the dead so that they may be reconciled to the God against whom they had rebelled.
The New England Center for Expository Preaching is a ministry that is helping to keep the lights in New England shining so that men, women, boys, and girls may be delivered from shipwreck on the rocks of unbelief if they will repent and believe the Gospel. I had the privilege to come to New England for three months in the Fall of 2008 as a NECEP intern. I was blessed with an opportunity to proclaim the Good News of Christ in an expository message each week in a different church. I listened to many models of Bible exposition and met pastors and church members throughout the region. I was reminded that true measure of all ministry is faithfulness to God, not success in the eyes of the world.
Interacting with the director, Dave Ricard, and fellow intern, Neil Jackson, showed me the importance of teamwork in ministry. An emphasis on the future generations was helpful, as what we do now has an impact on those to come after us. I saw that church revitalization is just as important as church planting and that the churches in New England need men who will be faithful to God's call – men who will boldly proclaim God's Word, minister to the flock, and band together around the Gospel.
If you are a brother in Christ and studying for the Gospel ministry, please consider the internship of the New England Center for Expository Preaching. It is a demanding, but worthwhile experience. It will show you the need for faithful men who will shine the Gospel light. It will help you evaluate your own walk with Christ, as this cannot be separated from ministry that pleases God. It will give you opportunities to encourage and learn from pastors and churches in the region. And it will help you begin to pray about whether you may be one of those men that God is calling to serve His church in New England.
My brothers in Christ,
I have been in seminary for approximately two and one half years. It has been a most enjoyable experience for me. One of the desires that I believe plagues many seminary students is for the opportunity to begin applying what they have been taught in the classroom to the world in which they will serve. After hearing about an opportunity to serve with the
I was seeking to be God’s warrior on the front lines of
I spent this past summer in
Aside from the focus of my presence in
My hope is that you will consider going. It is a serious challenge, but as Romans 5:1-4 reveals, God gives us a joyful peace in being His servants to those whom He sends our way, even if it involves serving in difficult circumstances. Thank you for being God’s servant in His harvesting field, no matter where you will serve Him. My hope for you and your family is that it will be
God’s servant to you,
All who have the desire to preach should consider this opportunity. The New England Center for Expository Preaching provided me with an opportunity that I would never have had otherwise in seminary. I was given the opportunity to prepare expository sermons and preach behind a pulpit for several weeks. In addition to this, I was also given countless hours of expository sermons to listen to by great preachers of our day. I cannot express how valuable this experience has been for me. This was a summer that I will always look back on as being pivotal in God shaping me to be a preacher of his word.
But there is still much more. NECEP exists not only to train preachers but to impact an area that is in need of a spiritual revival. Being a part of this program will not only train you to preach but will allow you to be a part of something much bigger. New England needs faithful expositors to proclaim the word of God. By being a part of such a program, you will not only be molded by God into a better preacher, but God may use you to affect New England for an eternity. Consider this opportunity. Ask God to see if he may want to use you to affect New England.
Continue to seek Him,
The New England Center for Expository Preaching has been a pivotal element in my life. I have learned more about 2 Timothy 3:16 through preaching at this internship than I could through any book or lecture. Listening to some of the greatest preachers of this modern day has taught me much about the nature and purpose of preaching. NECEP is perhaps one of the greatest opportunities offered to seminary students.
New England is in desperate need of Biblical preachers. It is an area where many believe the Church is an extraneous institution. It is also an area where believers are struggling to find solid churches and men who desire to preach God’s word as He has written it. New England is an ideal location for seminary students who desire the work of God.
Are you willing to venture into an area unknown by you? Are you willing to venture into an area where you are needed? Are you willing to struggle over God’s word as you prepare and ponder sermons?
Men, I can not endorse this program enough. I pray that you will pursue NECEP, or opportunities like it, for the work and preparation of ministry.
Are you ready for a challenge? Are you ready to put all of your seminary class experiences to the test? Are you willing to risk comfort and safety for the chance to reach a spiritually dry region of our country for Jesus Christ? Are you ready to fall in love with a hurting church in a hurting area?
I spent the summer of 2006 as an intern with the New England Center for Expository Preaching. During those summer months, I was challenged to study the Word of God deeply with the goal of preparing biblically-accurate, culturally-relevant expositional sermons. I was challenged to immerse myself in the culture of the area. I was challenged to fellowship in churches all over New England —churches who welcomed my family and me as though we were part of their weekly fellowship. I was challenged to consider further ministry in this area that is spiritually hurting and that is in need of Jesus Christ. Most of all, I was privileged to work with a loving organization that cared for my personal needs as well as my spiritual growth and vocational development.
I hope that you will prayerfully consider an internship with NECEP. New England needs a new generation of preachers who will draw a line in the sand and boldly proclaim the full council of God and the exclusivity of Jesus Christ. Are you one of them? Come, be an intern with NECEP, and find out…
God Bless you as you continue to serve HIM,
John A. Savage, Jr.