I’m writing this on a Monday. And I find Mondays are often the most discouraging day of the week. So this morning I’m clinging to what I read in my Bible before I went to bed last night. I read Luke 4, and it’s been a life-giver for my Monday malady.
- Truth #1: The ministry Jesus calls me to is empowered by the same Spirit that empowered Jesus’ ministry. Jesus is described as being ‘full of the Spirit,’ ‘led by the Spirit,’ and ‘in the power of the Spirit.’ Jesus says to Himself that He “lives not by bread alone.” So on Mondays, when I’m feeling wrecked. I can rest in the truth that God never sends me without also promising to strengthen me. When I’m overwhelmed, I need to remember I’m not under-equipped.
- Truth #2: The primary ministry Jesus calls me to is the same priority of Jesus’ ministry. Jesus amazed people with His miracles, and people understood and tried to misdirect Him. He avoids their pleas so that He can apply Himself to God’s priorities. He came to ‘proclaim the year of the Lord’s Favor.” He came to proclaim the good news about the kingdom of God. He was “sent for this purpose.” So on Mondays, if I’m discouraged from yesterday, or directionless for tomorrow, I find clarity and conviction in the truth that although there are loads of things to do, and some things that change as seasons come and go, there’s one thing I must always do: preach the good news.
Sorry! Sermon over. That was largely for my own soul, but if you were going to pray for me personally, pray those two things over and over for me. That would be hugely appreciated.
In April of this year, Gracemount Community Church will be 5 years old. Easter Sunday 2017, we launched with 16 members. Today, it looks very different from how it did in 2017. Some of the change has been hard to face; we are no longer able to meet in the venue we rented in the scheme because of Covid; a number of families who launched with us have already moved on to other things and other places; we have seen members pass away to go be with Jesus and members who have walked away from the faith.
Other changes have been a jot to witness: professions of faith and baptisms (all in people who had no knowledge of the gospel and no contact with a local church; changed lives as Jesus has redeemed people from an empty life, and the Spirit’s renewal from the inside; and believers growing and flourishing in their zeal to use their gifts for the fame of Jesus.
However, five years in, one thing remains unchanged- the gospel needs we see in front of us every single day. The harvest’s still massive, and our laborers are few. That is not just in Gracemount, but we see in our involvement with 20Schemes, across the schemes of Scotland as a whole. Therefore, we remain immensely grateful for your financial help to us, and eternally grateful for your preserving prayers for us.
Here are some specifics that you can pray for us at these moments:
- We are massively grateful for the provision of the Faith Mission to meet together for our Sunday gatherings, but we continue to be discouraged and dissatisfied that we don’t have a venue within Gracemount. We trust God’s purposes and His timing, but we still want to persevere before Him in asking for a base for our ministry within the scheme.
- We don’t want to use that as an excuse to not crack on with the mission God has given to us to be a church in Gracemount that reaches the people of Gracemount with the gospel of Jesus. Pray that He would continue to sharpen our evangelistic edge. Pray for our members, that as they continue to live in our community that they would be sharing the light and love of Jesus. Pray for our staff team as we equip our members to do street evangelism. Pray that we would be able to re-start some of our children’s and youth ministries. They have suffered greatly because of the lockdowns.
- We are excited that 20Schemes Retrain is opening up a café in Burdiehouse, the scheme next door to Gracemount. Pray for them and us as we seek to use it to make Jesus known. We hope that some of our new believers will serve and work in the café. So pray that God would give them boldness to share their testimonies and that they’d find joy in using their Spirit-given gifts in His service. Please pray for our elders and deacons as we continue to adapt to the latest Covid cases and guidelines, that we would have a God-given balance between courage and care as we lead GCC through it.