Church Plant Update
Dennistoun Baptist Church - July 2017
Our family’s first interaction with Dennistoun Baptist Church was a year ago. My wife and I met Mark and Pauline when a mutual friend invited each of us up for coffee. That meeting came during a season of life where we felt strongly that God was leading us to plant our lives in Dennistoun for the sake of the gospel. We knew we wanted to move there, but were unsure as to how we would connect with a local spiritual community. That coffee meeting was a moment where God began to reveal those answers to us. We were astonished at how like-minded and like-hearted Mark and Pauline were, as well as how what they shared of the vision of DBC deeply resounded with the values of what our family is striving for. Soon after, we visited a Sunday morning gathering of DBC. We were met with amazing hospitality, warmth, and friendliness. Though our experience with this congregation was very limited, we came away from the time of worship, and the lunch that followed, with a deep sense that the Lord was leading us to become part of this small community of Followers of Jesus. We officially joined the church a couple of weeks later.
In the weeks and months that followed, we found ourselves quickly becoming immersed in the life of the Body. Mark and I began meeting regularly to encourage and challenge one another in how we could best love our friends and neighbours with the gospel. Making disciples is at the core of why our family moved to Dennistoun, and I was encouraged to continually see that it was also at the center of DBC’s heart. In those weekly meetings we both began to find that the Lord was not just growing the depth of our gospel partnership, but He was forming a brotherhood. That brotherhood was one of the most visible ways of how the Lord was growing our family in regards to DBC. He was allowing the people of this church to become family to us. That became more and more apparent as the weeks and months passed by.
The more that we continued to partner and get involved with our church family, the more we saw opportunities for gospel change in the neighborhood of Dennistoun. I began helping out at the weekly ESOL class for refugees and asylum seekers. I began leading worship little by little during the Sunday gatherings. My wife began helping out Pauline as she started a Sunday Club for children. And the pinnacle to this experience of family began when DBC formed its first Missional Community.
Missional Communities (MC) are small, reproducing groups that are focused on helping the members of the group discover how they can make disciples in the normal stuff of life. We meet together each week for dinner, a time of Bible study, and a time of prayer. We spend time encouraging one another and holding one another accountable to the level of our effectiveness of being a demonstration of the love of Christ. Our family had the privilege of hosting the first MC. The members of our MC quickly embraced this communal challenge to be intentional to look for opportunities where we could voice the hope that we have in Christ, as well as to share that love through our actions. Over the months that followed, Thursday night (MC night) became a favorite for our whole family. Our five year old son rejoiced to discover that it was Thursday night and our friends were joining us for dinner. But we also saw a joy in all of our lives as we delighted in every opportunity to report back to the rest of MC of all the opportunities the Lord granted us to share the love of Christ with others throughout the week.
As we think about the days ahead, our family is excited about all that God has in store for DBC. Every single week the folks of our faith family are seeing opportunities to serve the people of our neighborhood. We’re hearing how more and more of our church community are sharing their faith on a consistent basis. We’re seeing people pour out their lives into others in discipleship in a way that reflects the love of Christ. Our single Missional Community has multiplied into four Missional Communities. And we are seeing new people and families connect to our gatherings on Sundays. If the last year is any indication of what is to come, I can’t help but be thrilled at what lies ahead of us.