“This isn’t the future church, this IS the church”! Over a picnic bench at Magnitude festival this conversation with one of our Baptist church leaders got my attention. I had just come from the Hub tent, where over 150 young people age 11-18, from Baptist churches and communities around Scotland, were re-energising with some hot food and enthusiastic chat. The energy, hilarity and activity was buzzing, as I chatted to folk and asked what God has been doing while they were gathered.
I heard of young people praying to invite Jesus into their lives. I heard of young people praying for one another, and youth groups praying for other youth groups. I heard of people experiencing physical healing. I heard of young people meeting with God and discussing how to keep their relationships with Him going, long after the event was over.
It was such a joy to connect with so many of our network at such a vibrant event, and to experience the ways God was moving and transforming lives. It was, in all traditional Scottish festival styles, a bit damp and a bit soggy, but you could really sense the connections developing around the campsite and big tent venues. There was laughter, and chatter, and tears, and silence- kids sitting in doorways next to charging points; kids chilling out on big cushions on the grass; kids competing in volleyball and football; kids reflecting alone on the swings; kids serving and cleaning and bringing others coffee; kids praying and discussing and learning…this is the church. This is our church.
Recently Martin Hodson, our General director at BUS, shared the Increase vision. We don’t want to be here, supervising the decline of the church, but if we want to see real change we need to pray, and trust that this is something considerably bigger than we can ask or imagine! There is something special in gathering. Magnitude gathering was significant. Our Canopy gathering in June was significant, and we are really anticipating what God is doing around our Canopy Online gathering in October.
We are so delighted that Francis Chan will be sharing a message, there will be opportunities to hear stories of how God is working around Scotland; a choice of seminars, and opportunities for prayer and connection together again around the country.
You can find out more via this edition of Connect, along with inspiring stories from Dennistoun Baptist; testimonials from churches who journeyed through Lead Academy and an invite to join the Lead Academy Taster day on 6th Sept. You can also explore some new resources from the Public Theology Group on our website and hear what opportunities the Scottish Baptist College offer as the new term begins soon.
This is the church, and there are many significant opportunities for us to become more inspired and equipped. We always love to hear stories of God at work across our network, so if you have a story you’d like to share please drop me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org