Dear Partner in the Gospel
Today is day 29 of our 29 Days of Prayer and Giving for Grace Baptist Partnership. Each day we will focus our attention on a particular church planting, church replanting or church revitalisation project in which we have an interest. We trust you will remember these situations in prayer and that you will take advantage of the opportunity to support the spread of the gospel by means of a donation to Grace Baptist Partnership this month. It will also help us if you will share these requests with your friends by forwarding these emails to them.
West Edinburgh, Scotland
Wherever I am, whomever I’m with, I make sure the subject of church planting comes up. Like the time I first met Adam Laughton on a short-term teaching trip to Nigeria. I peppered him with questions. Who understands church planting in Britain? Who do I need to meet? Who would share my aspirations to see as many churches as possible planted in our country? It was there in Nigeria that I first heard the name, Ali McLachlan.
A few months later I was at the Banner of Truth Ministers’ Conference in Leicester. During the question time Iain Murray referred one of the questions to a former missionary to Yemen. I liked his answer. A lot. I asked the brother sitting next to me. Who is that? Ali Mclachlan. I looked for him after the session. He was gone.
Time passed. I got on with life and ministry. I had just about forgotten about that man I had heard about and seen but never met. Then it happened. He rang to invite me to speak at a fraternal in Glasgow. It seems someone had been telling him about me as well! We got on well and found much to talk about but as quick as that the trip was over.
Then the letter came. Peter Logie was writing to make me aware of the situation with the churches in Scotland. He outlined the situation place by place. The churches were seeking to serve the Lord but were seeing very little fruit. Discouragement was common, despondency had even crept in with some. He was looking for suggestions about what could be done. Knowing very little about the situation in Scotland, I thought it would be sensible to pay Ali McLachlan a visit to talk things through.
As I settled into my comfortable perch in his sitting room in Cumnock, I began peppering him with questions (this seems to be either a recurring theme or a bad habit!) about the church situation in Scotland. After a while, he suggested we go to the church building. Upon arriving I saw a map with every place I had been asking about clearly marked and the answers he had been giving on cards next to the map. It apparently wasn’t the first time he had thought about the state of the churches in Scotland!
That was over five years ago. Today Ali leads the work of Grace Baptist Partnership Scotland and serves as the pastor of Grace Baptist Church, West Edinburgh. The church is growing and looking for a more permanent meeting place to accommodate the congregation and to facilitate expanded outreach. God is, indeed, good.
Would you pray for Ali as he continues to serve the Lord’s people in West Edinburgh and more widely in Scotland? Would you pray that the church there will continue to grow? Would you pray that a suitable and affordable permanent meeting place would be found? Would you pray for a special week of evangelism planned for 19 – 26 June 2016?
Do you know anyone with a burden for church planting? If so, drop us a line with their details. You never know where it might lead.
Warm regards in Christ
Grace Baptist Partnership