Well, it’s time for the Mission week at North Edinburgh RP Church in Scotland again. This time last year I had just moved into the area from Glasgow. I was involved in literature distribution and attending the services. However, I suspected there was more to the preparation for the Mission week than this. After being here, just over a year now, my suspicions were correct. I would say that life throughout the year, for all involved with this church plant, is mission orientated. The actual Mission week is just a series of meetings that we can be even more proactive at inviting people along to.
So how does mission go on during the year? We all try to live life intentionally for the gospel. As a “congregation” many of us have chosen to live in the locality of Craigroyston Community High School where our services are held. We are encouraged to get involved in activities either at the school or locally. These are many and varied – gym nippers, Dad’s Rock, nursery, working an allotment, card making, pilates, over 50’s walking group, food bank, swimming, and DIME which is a youth club run locally with a Christian ethos, to name but a few. The purpose of this is to meet up with local people, become part of the community, get involved in their lives, come alongside neighbours, build friendships, meet up for a cuppa, go for a walk, invite people into our homes, show hospitality (Matthew 10 v 42), and invite to church.
As a body of people, there is what I would describe as “in reach” where we spend time together, really getting to know one another, sharing the one another’s – when one part of the body hurts we all hurt, we also rejoice when one part rejoices. We are to love, encourage, confess, care, and share with one another. We pray that will be reflected when people from the community come in and that, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples if ye have love one to another” John 13 v 35
The three headings for this year’s Mission talks were: 1. Bad People Need Jesus; 2. Good People Need Jesus; and 3. Religious People Need Jesus. They were based on the first two chapters of Romans. The community in which we are located is quite deprived and needy both physically and spiritually. “How shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard. How shall they hear without a preacher? Romans 10 v14” So in order for them to hear, we gave out 6,500 invitations in our local area, inviting them to come along Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday evenings. Mostly these were put through letterboxes, and there were some more personal invites as we met people in the street. BUT it’s really much more than that because about 6 weeks before our Mission week, at our prayer meeting, we began to pray specifically for unconverted family, friends, and neighbours we would like to invite. We must pray because it is the work of the Holy Spirit that will bring and convert them not us. We pray and invite. We did have some visitors each night and interestingly each of them had been prayed for and invited personally by someone in the church. We will continue to pray that the Holy Spirit will work in their lives.
We are also thankful for visitors from the Airdrie and Glasgow congregations and also the mission team from America and Canada. Their support prayerfully and practically are very much appreciated and an encouragement to us.
Being part of a church plant brings many blessings and encouragements, but there are times of discouragement too, and it can seem like hard work. We get many opportunities to share the gospel and invite people along to church but often meet with rejection. It requires a lot of perservence, patience, stickability, and being here for the long haul. We must trust God; this is His work and always remember we are not alone. “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Philippians 4 v 13”