Church Plant Update
Dennistoun Baptist Church - July 2016
1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
At DBC we're coming up to the halfway point of our summer series titled, 'HOPE'. We've really valued the journey so far. Paul's words in Romans remind us that when it comes to a correct definition of hope, we begin by realising that hope is a Person, it is Jesus Christ Himself, and it is the reality of Jesus' life, death and resurrection for every person who believes;
"hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out
into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us."
As ambassadors of this hope our heart's desire is that the people of Dennistoun and beyond would have an accurate picture of God in light of the Jesus centred lives that we live. Our prayer is that our light would shine before others and they would in turn see our good deeds and glorify their Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16).
One of the ways in which we are seeking shine this light into the lives of others is through our work with Teen Challenge as they support individuals on a Friday night in the East End of Glasgow and beyond. I'll let Pauline share something of what she has been involved in through this ministry;
"Over the last three Friday nights I have been helping with the work of Teen Challenge, a Christian charity that seeks to support people who have drug and alcohol addictions. The charity provides all kinds of support through a ministry bus that travels around different parts of Glasgow. Longer term there is the opportunity for individuals to go into rehabilitation as they seek to address a particular struggle in their lives.
A lot of the people come onto the bus looking for food, some for prayer, others find themselves in a really hopeless situation and are in need of a chat. When they come for help we are listening, showing compassion, being non-judgmental and loving them as Christ loves each one of us.
The bus begins at the Barrowlands then to the Bellgrove Hotel (which is five minutes from DBC), and then into the City Centre. The Bellgrove Hotel is supposed to be temporary, stop gap accommodation for people in difficulty, but many have been there for a number of years. The majority of individuals we are in contact with are men (young and old) who are based in and around the city of Glasgow.
One surprise opportunity we had to share the Gospel was with two young men who were outside a pub having a cigarette. As we were helping people, these two men started to ask questions about what we were doing and what was our motivation for doing what we did. I was taken aback by this; here we had an open door to share with those who wouldn't consider themselves as 'needy'. We went out with the mindset of helping people who were caught up with addiction but what we discovered was the Gospel being relevant to people of all backgrounds.
In the last two weeks we have been based in the streets of the City Centre for the entire night. This has been very much outside of my comfort zone. I've had some experience working in the Teen Challenge bus before but in the City Centre it was a completely different dynamic; we were on the streets, people didn't come to us, we would go to them and we would ask them if they needed help.
In the different moments that I've been sharing with others I have really sensed God at work in me. I remember on one particular occasion beginning to speak and having no idea what I was going to say. I knew that I had to be completely dependent on God to give me the right words for the question I was being asked. I was simultaneously speaking and asking God to speak through me in order that it would be His words and not mine. The conversation seemed to have an impact and I realise now that it was God by His Spirit at work in me. God really has been teaching me complete dependence on Him in order that I might use the right words, in the right moment and to the right people.
I have always felt called to minister to the marginalised and needy, in particular people bound by addiction. I am really enjoying this ministry and excited to see what God is going to do. It really helps that I am serving as a member of a local church within the context of Bellgrove. My prayer is that it would open up more and more opportunities to share and help others within our local community.
Thanks for your prayers and support."
Mark and Pauline