The Boston Black Church Vitality Project (BBCVP) is a collaborative effort that was launched in 2019 to understand and nurture the health of both individual Black churches in Boston and the broader Black Church in the city. A Thriving Congregations grant has enabled BBCVP to build on the work they have accomplished and continue to walk alongside congregations as they discern whom God is calling them to be in their next season of evangelistic ministry and community transformation. Through this grant, they facilitate a learning community of multigenerational teams from 12 Black churches located in predominantly Black neighborhoods in Boston. Each learning community congregation engages in a comprehensive assessment (grounded in their theological traditions and ethnic heritage within the Black diaspora) of their unique history, mission and values, neighborhood context, changing social and cultural contexts, and practices relative to today’s most pressing questions for the Black Church in Boston. BBCVP convenes the learning community monthly for three years for fellowship, peer learning and group training, prayer, and planning action steps. The learning community participants test and provide feedback on tools and resources BBCVP develops, including a toolkit (with interview guides, protocols, and other tools) designed to support Black churches in Boston understand the needs and perspectives of congregant and community stakeholders. BBCVP is adapting these tools and resources for use by other Black churches in Boston. Through online articles, reports on what is being learned, videos, and data visualization, BBCVP shares stories of innovation, positive deviance, and effective use of leverage points that exemplify models of prophetic leadership, community care, spiritual formation, and the pursuit of justice.
Boston Black Church Vitality Project