Church Plant Update
Dennistoun Baptist Church - May 2017
“a wide door for effective ministry has opened for me…” (1 Corinthians 16:9)
In the New Testament Paul speaks frequently of the sovereign hand of God opening a door for him in order that effective ministry might take place in the context he was ministering. For us this is a healthy and appropriate reminder that before we even contemplate any ministry effort or venture, we do so keenly aware that it is God who both opens and closes doors for us and it is also God who is working in us in order that we might see fruit from the doors that He leads us through.
As I write this I do so greatly encouraged by the last year and a half that Pauline and I have been at Dennistoun Baptist Church (DBC). We have seen the way in which God has opened doors (and closed others) and we can testify to something of the power of God at work in us to make us fruitful in the numerous areas that we are serving. As a church family there is so much more for us to pursue and there is so much more for us to grow in but we are in that place of thanksgiving, one that stands with the Apostle Paul and says, ‘I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.’ (2 Cor 12:9).
Let me share with you 10 areas of focus within the life of DBC as we journey forward. In each of these areas we are seeking (through the Word of God and Prayer) to be all that God is calling us to be and for His glory.
1) SUNDAY WORSHIP
In September / October 2015 we began with a core of 9 people on a Sunday and over the course of a year and a half, by God’s grace we have nearly tripled in size. As we continue to grow we rejoice in the wide mix of people that God is bringing together. It has been such a blessing to begin a Sunday Club for children during our morning service and to have a number of young families as part of Church life. More and more we pray that God would make our Sunday worship a safe place for people of every background and culture to learn about Jesus.
2) CONVERSATION CAFÉ
On a Monday afternoon (and in partnership with the Mental Health Network) we have recently started a Conversation Café – a community drop in from 1.30-4.30pm. We are increasingly aware of the fact that there are many in and around Dennistoun looking for somewhere to have community and we are praying that our DBC building may provide that for people on a weekly basis. The Café provides tea, coffee, home baking, some good chat and is open to everyone.
3) FOOTBALL OUTREACH
At the start of this year we began a new football outreach, a five a sides game every Monday night at the Emirates Arena (a short distance from Dennistoun). Football is a great platform to develop and deepen relationships and we are praying that God would use this outreach in such a way that others would be encouraged and blessed. Through a Monday night we have already had opportunity to connect with people who we wouldn’t have connected with otherwise.
4) ESOL CLASS
With the limited space that we have in our DBC building it has been such a blessing to teach English to refugees and asylum seekers from our community and to see that class grow in number. In many ways this class is a powerful Gospel picture for everyone involved. As we draw alongside those in great need, we are reminded that we were (and we are) also in great need, and God through His Son Jesus draws alongside each one of us. Many of the learners have shared how encouraged they have been by the weekly English class and we pray that it would continue to bear fruit.
5) PRAYER NIGHT
Our weekly prayer nights have undergone a bit of a change which has really helped give us a focus each night on what it is we are praying for. Depending on the week in the month we have a different emphasis together;
Week 1: Prayer for Mission (locally, nationally, globally)
Week 2: Prayer Zones (a reflective time together)
Week 3: Prayer around the Table (Bread and Wine)
Week 4: Prayer and the Word (Bible Teaching with a Prayer Focus)
6) PASTORAL VISITS
Pastoral care is such an important of DBC life and it is something that we do together as a Church. We seek to be a reflection of the ‘one another commandments’ found in the New Testament recognising that pastoral care is not just the sole responsibility of the Minister but rather of the entire DBC family.
7) SCHOOL CHAPLAINCY
God has opened a door for us at DBC (and working alongside Fiona Stewart at Adelaide Place Baptist) to serve as Chaplains within a local primary school in Dennistoun. It has been such a joy to run a weekly Scripture Union group and to make new connections with the Teachers, Staff and children in the school. This is one of the ways we are seeking the welfare of our community by being an influence for good amongst those we regularly come into contact with.
8) MISSIONAL COMMUNITIES
Our Missional Communities meet every Thursday. We currently have two groups meeting together, one in the afternoon and the other in the evening. Each group consists of having a meal together, praying for one another, reading and studying the Bible together and being accountable to one another as we share of opportunities we have to connect people with the Good News of the Gospel. In the next few months we are looking to double the number of these groups with the aim of being more effective in our community and beyond.
9) TEEN CHALLENGE
Twice a month Pauline is involved in serving in the Friday Night Teen Challenge bus that goes by the Bellgrove Hotel (a five minute walk from Dennistoun). The outreach looks to support those battling with addiction and homelessness and who see no way forward in life. We have been encouraged by the response of the guys on the bus and having someone there from a local church has been of great benefit, especially as we have looked to support different individuals beyond Friday and throughout the course of the week.
10) REGULAR COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
Alongside all of these areas we continue to be a presence within the community. We ask that you pray for the Charity Shop as we undergo a number of significant changes and do pray for those who we are coming into contact with on a weekly basis throughout Dennistoun. Pray that as we are faithful in reaching others we would be fruitful in the conversations that we have.
We hope this update finds you well. We long to see lives transformed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ and are excited at all that God is doing and all that God has planned for us in the future. Thanks for all your prayers and encouragement.
Mark and Pauline
15th May 2017