22 May, 2014
The East of Scotland Gospel Partnership was launched in January 2010 with the three main goals of training Gospel workers, encouraging Gospel churches and planting new Gospel congregations. Four years on, and we are so thankful for the way God is growing and deepening this partnership. We pray it will continue to develop as a real force for Gospel growth in and around Edinburgh and the East of Scotland.
Over the last year we have launched a quarterly pastors’ and leaders’ prayer lunch, which has seen a great band of brothers come together to pray for each other and the work of the Gospel. We have enjoyed some great conferences together; most notably the in This City 14 Church Planting Conference in March, where nearly 500 key people gathered together for a day of teaching and encouragement with keynote addresses from Matt Chandler, Steve Timmis and Derek Lamont. It was also great to partner together in some citywide Passion for Life events in the week before Easter.
It has to be said, though, that the real strength of the partnership is not in the formal events, or in the regular meetings, but in the informal, spontaneous expressions of deep Gospel unity that have flourished during some testing times in the lives of some of our partnership congregations. To see congregations pour themselves out for the good of brothers and sisters across historic denominations, with a sincere desire to see the Gospel flourish, is thrilling and a powerful witness to the hostile culture in which we work. To see people working together on training, sharing resources and strategising how to make Jesus known can only be beneficial to our geographical area – where less than 2% of the population come under the sound of the Gospel each week.
The diversity in the partnership is also a reason to give thanks. Big, affluent city centre congregations are working alongside dynamic housing estate churches, which are in turn working alongside small independent congregations – all rooted in the Gospel, for the Gospel.
Looking back over the partnership’s fledgling period we are encouraged: apprentices are being trained, congregations are coming together and church planting is gathering momentum. The partnership is expanding slowly and surely and we pray that this would be only the first fruits of the good works that God has prepared for us to do together. We are so hopeful that through our unity in the Gospel we will see God bestow his blessing, even life evermore. Scotland is very dark spiritually but the Gospel is eternally incandescent; Edinburgh is very spiritually disorientated but Jesus is the perpetual pursuer of all that are lost.