A Scottish Wrap Up
I recently played “golf” on the North Sea in 40 mph winds between deep bunkers, and an even deeper rough. The sheep on the fourth hole were seemingly unaffected by the conditions, conversely, my borrowed woolen hat only covered half of my ears. I found the experience intensely invigorating. I felt so alive leaning into the wind or trying to putt before my ball blew away. My score was irrelevant, what mattered most was that I was making a life-long memory and I was aware of it throughout the entire round. Perhaps for a few blustery hours, I had in some way, connected with my stout-hearted Scottish ancestors.
Similarly, the previous 7 days of ministry in Dundee, Scotland, were equally memorable. High winds are blowing inland as well, the winds of change. I met many people whose lives were in a deep rough. I saw a nation’s religious system prove to be cold and sterile. Like sheep many have been led astray each to their own way. But I also found one particular church, Downsfield Mains, to be an exception. In this church is a fresh, tested pioneer spirit seeking out souls inviting people to a new kind of church. The “new and living way” is becoming appetizing to agnostics, atheists, cultural Christians and even people of other faiths.
Downsfield Mains is a church that has been merged with another Church of Scotland church. (only 58% of Scotland’s church have their own pastor) The merger of the two bodies and the pruning out of those who resisted change has left behind a passionate remnant willing to forge a new perception of what it means to follow Christ.
For the next few weeks, discussions bathed in prayer, will take place to ascertain the best strategic practices to partner with this remnant. These discussions may include the planting of a missional business in Dundee, Scotland that will resource the church and provide jobs for many unemployed locals. Another strategy may involve securing matching financial gifts to maximize the impact on this pioneering church. These discussions will also emphasize that unless God build this particular house then those who labor will certainly labor in vain. What will one church in the Highlands of North Carolina be led to do in partnership with a church near the Highlands of Scotland, saturated and surrounded by lost and hopeless people? Who in one church will travel to the other to serve and grow in relationship? There are many questions to be answered, many experiences to be had and a great harvest to be enjoyed.
Playing golf on the North Sea can be intensely invigorating but it in no way compares to being right in the middle of the will of God. When synergy takes place between churches, there is no stopping the kingdom of God. When we talk without action, hell throws a banquet. Let’s keep praying and acting in accordance with those prayers.
-Dr. Gary Hewins
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