SAGU alumnus plants church in Boston
Waxahachie, Texas — April 5, 2013 — Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) alumnus Caleb McNaughton planted The Link in Boston, Mass. in February 2012. Over 150 people attended The Link’s first official church service on February 24.
McNaughton says, “Our goal was to see 200 people give their lives to God this year. Six people accepted Christ on launch Sunday, and eight people on the second Sunday. We are right on track."
In Fall 2011, McNaughton began fundraising for The Link and moved to Boston. In July 2012, the launch team hosted a summer football camp as The Link's first community outreach event. Over 150 children attended. On Halloween, the team hosted “front yard parties” in two neighborhoods. The parties included inflatables, music, hot chocolate and candy.
“Outreach events have been vital to our ability to connect to people in the community,” says McNaughton. “Local non-profit organizations have already asked to partner with us this coming fall."
McNaughton describes the mission of The Link: "The Link is designed to connect people to a community of believers, a life-giving relationship with Christ, and a greater cause." He continues, “We believe that most people are going to belong to a church and build relationships with people in the church before they are willing to make a decision to follow Christ with their lives."
Church planting is another major goal of The Link. McNaughton says, “Our goal is for The Link to be a multiplying church. We want to begin another church plant within the next two years. One church can’t reach an entire region, but a movement of churches can.”
McNaughton enrolled in the SAGU Distance Education program in January 2010 and graduated in December 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts in church ministries and minors in youth and student ministries and church planting.
McNaughton appreciates the combination of education and hands-on experience he received through SAGU's distance education program. While enrolled at SAGU, McNaughton was an assistant youth pastor at Life Fellowship church in Olive Branch, Miss.
"I was able to take what I was learning in the classroom and put it into practice immediately,” he says. “We developed strategies and programs in class that I could implement in the Life Fellowship youth program."
McNaughton stresses the importance of building relationships across generations. “There’s no way in the world I could have planted a church at the age of 25 if I didn’t have mentors from previous generations investing in me. As young leaders and ministers, our generation needs to recognize the importance of learning from those who have gone before us.”
The Link church plant has been a McNaughton family dream. McNaughton’s sister and brother-in-law moved from Texas to Boston to be The Link’s family pastors and his parents are in the process of moving to Boston to be on staff. McNaughton will marry his fiancée Morgan Roncone in August.
McNaughton helped SAGU alumnus Jason Exley plant Life Church in Midlothian, Texas, in 2006. Now Exley and Life Church are supporting The Link in Boston. Life Church gave $20,000 toward The Link and sent a team of youth students to help in Boston during Summer 2012.
Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) is a private, Christian university located 30 minutes south of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex in Waxahachie, Texas. The university was established in 1927, and now offers more than 60 associate, bachelor’s or master’s degrees on campus or online. More information is available at www.sagu.edu or by calling 1-888-YES-SAGU.