TCC Background: TCC has supported the Emmanuel Gospel Center for many years. Jeff Bass is the Executive Director of the Emmanuel Gospel Center
What is your ministry?
EGC’s primary focus is to “nurture urban churches.” EGC has an integrated approach, rather than just working in one area. EGC’s mission statement is “to understand and nurture the vitality of urban churches and communities.”
EGC is about growing the Kingdom in the entire city and we have seen the continuous growth of the faith for four consecutive decades in our city.
What is your role in that ministry?
Jeff is the Executive Director of Emmanuel Gospel Center, which means giving big picture oversight and strategic leadership…He is also adjunct professor at Gordon Conwell Boston campus teaching Living Systems in the Urban Context
What religious groups do you serve?
EGC’s “parish” is the entire city, which includes many non-religious and some agnostic and atheistic people, as well as those from many streams of Christianity and from Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist backgrounds.
Our mission to “nurture urban churches” includes helping them face the challenges of ministering with people from various religious backgrounds. We nurture many immigrant churches that deal with witchcraft, sanitaria, voodoo and other demonic influences that are strong in their homelands.
What age groups do you serve?
EGC staff work with adults of both genders in the CUME classes, which focus on adult education. EGC’s mission to “nurture churches and communities” implies and includes communities with all ages.
One of our programs, The Boston Education Collaborative, works with churches, schools, and nonprofits to empower underserved urban students with the education they need for transformation – in their lives and in their communities. https://www.egc.org/education/
What is the country and location of your ministry?
We work primarily in Boston, MA, and the urban New England region, but increasingly we are working with urban leaders from other cities of the world.
What is the geographic area you serve?
There is no geographic boundary, really, because we follow the networks of the people we work with, and those networks extend all around the world. Since we work with groups who have come to Boston from all over the world, we find ourselves working with them as they work in their homelands.
Briefly describe your current ministry
Jeff Bass is the Executive Director of the Emmanuel Gospel Center (EGC). EGC’s mission is to strengthen Christian leaders to serve urban communities.
EGC believes the Church is God’s chosen instrument to bring his life and presence into our communities. Therefore, our work is designed to support what God is doing through his Church in urban Greater Boston. We take time to learn how the city, the church, and their related system changing; we connect with the people involved to build strong working relationships; and we equip where it is most strategic, providing teaching, training, tools and resources for effective ministry. As we invest in Christian leaders, we strengthen the Church’s ability to leverage healthy change that helps build urban communities that support and care for everyone.
Tell us one brief story of how God is working in peoples’ lives through your ministry.
EGC is pioneering the New England City Forum (NECF). The NECF is done in partnership with Vision New England’s GO Conference, and also with Greater Things for Greater Boston and the Luis Palau Association. NECF brings together leaders from cities across New England to learn from each other. It is modelled after Movement Day in NYC, and has been very fruitful. EGC used its reputation and convening power to lead NECF the last two years, and we are working on the third NECF for this coming February. City leaders from Worcester, Rhode Island, and Hartford (among others) have told us the NECF has been an effective catalyst for growing urban ministry and connectedness in their cities.
List the three specific goals you had for the past year and describe the degree to which they
Goal 1: Partnership with Barna. We were excited about the Barna Partnership at this time last year when we wrote our TCC report. The partnership has been slow developing for a variety of reasons. Barna is partnering directly with Vision New England and GCTS this year to follow through on some of the ideas we discussed last year. I expect EGC will engage again when that report is public.
Goal 2: Engage marketplace leaders. We have made considerable progress this year in the conversation with marketplace leaders. EGC worked with Jamie Bush and others to convene a series of meetings with younger leaders. We also worked with Greater Things for Greater Boston to convene a leadership retreat over Columbus Day in Vermont that brought together 20 business leaders (and their spouses) with 20 ministry leaders (pastors and parachurch; including some spouses). It’s encouraging to see this conversation move forward, but there is still much work to do.
Goal 3: Retool LSM training. We are working on how we teach Living System Ministry (LSM) and how we make it accessible to others. I am lead professor (adjunct) at GCTS Boston for “Living Systems in the Urban Context” being taught this fall. Rev. David Wright, director of the Black Ministerial Alliance, is on the teaching team, as is Dana Wade of EGC. We also applied for a grant from the Crowell Trust to fund more staff time in LSM development. We hear about that grant soon. Our hope it to work this year with the EGC team and others to make LSM more accessible outside of EGC, including developing on-line training materials.
Please update your children’s (thru High School) activities, school / college plans, ages (birth dates), etc.
I have a wife and two sons. My wife (Ellen) and I were married in 1981. Ellen directs the Boston Capacity Institute, a program of the Black Ministerial Alliance. She teaches non-profits how to be clear about their outcomes.
My eldest son David is married to Charis. David turns 33 in January. He is a new father of our granddaughter, Lilla, and they live in York, England.
My second son Peter will be 31 soon. He is supporting himself as an artist, painting urban scenes. He also now has a part-time job as a guard at the Gardner Museum in Boston. Google “Peter Bass Watercolor” if you are interested in seeing his work. Peter lives on our street, but in an apartment on his own. We enjoy seeing him on a regular basis.