Setting into motion an outreach to the left-out in the Land of the Scots
We’ve just got a few more days left in Scotland before we leave to come home. It’s been a remarkable trip – made so especially by the hospitality we have received from God’s people here in the UK. This trip would not be possible without free places to live. It’s been a stretch financially just coming over here, traveling from place to place, and buying what we need from day to day; but it’s all been great. Mary and I will return next week feeling that we have been used of the Lord and inspired. I’ll cut to the chase and bring you all up to speed on what’s happening with Scum of the Earth Church in Scotland.
I think I’d not remembered what hard soil Scotland is spiritually when it comes to reaping a harvest for the Kingdom of God. It’s not like the USA. Even though I would say that our home country is approaching a post-Christian era, we are not quite there yet. The southern states are particularly slow getting there; and that’s good. There’s still enough Christian memory in America to make the planting of new churches easier than it is here. Most people in the United States have family members who still attend church. There are plenty of Christian programs on the radio and television. There are even Christian films that seem to be gaining in popularity. It’s simply not that way over here. Scotland is so post-Christian, I’d say it’s pre-Christian when it comes to most of the population. Many people don’t even have Christian friends, and the perception they do have of Christianity is negative.
Thus, people who plant churches here have work to do before they start sowing Gospel seed – they have to plow the hard ground. That means getting people ready to hear the words of Jesus and to take them seriously. It means building relationships with people who have no faith at all and loving them until they trust you. It means being there for them when stuff happens and things go awry. It means waiting for the Holy Spirit to move in their hearts. Thank God that he is there to lead us and to help us.
Stuart and Lynsey Gilmour have their work cut out for them. What we have done here is to help train them for that task. They cannot be too encouraged or overly prepared to do the work God has called them to do.
In addition to meeting with Wes & Cindy White and Mike & Carol Kurtyka from Communitas International (the missionary organization that will act as a legal covering for Scum Scotland in the UK), we have met with other people this week who are friends of Stuart’s & Lynsey’s and will act as accountability here. Mary and I have also forged relationships within at least one church in the area that will hopefully come alongside Scum Scotland in the near future and provide additional prayer support for the Gilmours.
Just so you know, when people actually do come to Christ here, they end up becoming very strong believers who gather in dynamic, faithful churches. It’s what the Scripture teaches us, “But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more,” (Romans 5:20). We have every confidence that this will be the case with Scum in Scotland; but first, there are pubs in which to meet its future members. There are concerts to attend where those whom God has chosen to eventually live in this scummy little corner of his kingdom are now listening to bands sing about anything but Jesus. These are the people that the Gilmours and their friends will invite into their lives.