Why Keep Planting?
It is a drop in the ocean, but just to put you in the picture, let me explain: St Columba’s is a small, Presbyterian Free Church of Scotland in the centre of Edinburgh. By God’s grace, we have planted a church in Morningside (Cornerstone) and in Midlothian (Esk Valley Church) And, although we are not sure how; we want to plant lots more.
There is a simple answer to the question posed in the article heading… for us, it has clearly been God’s idea! I am an ordinary church leader – I’m a semi-strategist, a half-baked planner, and a barely competent visionary. Generally, I don’t like Conferences, and I’m not big on the latest church fad. I don’t do trendy or funky, and I couldn’t tell you who is the next big Christian theological celebrity whose message is going to be life transforming.
I’m a simple kind of guy, and in St Columba’s we like simple. In 2001, when I became the minister here, the congregation was on its knees. But, we believed God had brought us together for His purpose, and we believed He had many people in this city. The city we love.
As the years have passed, we have been amazed that God has always been one step ahead of us. Our strategy is inevitably playing catch up – therefore it isn’t our master, and it's usually far too limited! God has constantly amazed us with his patience, wisdom and generosity.
We have no secrets, and we certainly have never seen church planting as a fad. In fact, it really annoys me when people cheaply analyse it as such - it is such a dismissive and ignorant statement. We always believed that reaching out with the gospel into the city where there are so few Christians would involve lots more Gospel focused churches – not less, and not just cramming full our existing churches. We just weren’t sure how to do it - practically.
So we just did it. We planned for it, taught about it, prayed about it and, yes, even made up strategy documents – but we still have no real idea. We knew we simply had to take the
We did realise two things… St Columba’s was a city centre, gathered
So, what has God done? Well, he gave us a vision for the city. He brought together a wonderfully willing people, and a dynamic, growing leadership team in St Columba’s who love the Gospel and
So that’s it really. The local church is God’s New Testament model for delivering the Great Commission. We want to be part of that in Edinburgh, and as he opens doors, we will endeavor our very best to walk through them, and plant as many churches as we can. We will try and do it prayerfully, wisely, strategically and sensitively. In whatever way God uses us, and enables us to be part of a much wider vision for Edinburgh we are utterly convinced of one thing… this is no fad. This is of God.
Published on October 11, 2016 by Admin