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It’s a good feeling to return to a local church but to new surroundings.

For a busy independent evangelical church without a stationed minister, this local church has its fingers inside a lot of ministries… and I mean a lot, including proven ministries such as Glasgow City Mission and Street Pastors. The church comes across as community-driven and missional, which I find impressive, as I’ve been under the impression that an ordained minister would typically be the visionary, but it seems the tables have turned. In addition, this church is not affiliated to any governing body, not even the FIEC. It solely is an independent evangelical church out of town that has around 200 members and a healthy blend of mature and young families. Even the children’s ministry is flooded with around 30 kids each Sunday.

More importantly, God’s Word is the central focus and they appear to appreciate the Holy Spirit and the spiritual gifts. Well, they promote The Alpha Course, which differs to the Christianity Explored course. I haven’t come across local churches that are focused on God’s Word, yet open to the Holy Spirit. It’s usually one extreme or the other.

This local church also partners with other churches from other denominations (which is uncommon), and they also have links with a Bible college in Motherwell.

I sought to return again the following week with a view to attend the earlier service which involves Communion in a very Brethren setting. I never thought I would be so hyped about a Brethren-rooted church. I like the unscripted and unstructured gathering of fellow brothers and sisters in Christ participate in God’s Word and praise in a Spirit-led fashion. And it’s encouraging that music is not used to force an ungodly emotion or agenda.

I also met sone extended brothers and sisters in Christ. As usual, it’s always the older generation that I find myself conversing and forming friendships. Barely the sisters in Christ of my age group. I wonder if it’s the deformed culture and society that we live in, or our personal agenda. Who knows.

I was also struck with awe when a member of the church stepped forward to pray. We were intercessing in prayer for all sorts of things from the new Trump administration to Israel, and of course, in the faithful preaching in Glasgow and across the nation of the UK. I haven’t heard a local church pray for Israel in years… in YEARS!

Overall, I am content that I am excited about a local church without the overhyped marketing or lingering bureaucracy. It has taken me a long time to leave behind past hurt and issues at the foot of the cross, but I know moving forward is the best outcome for me to rest and grow in the LORD.

Nobody likes to start over, but I would like to think that Jesus wants to remove us away from infertile soil and be replanted, close to flowing streams where water is of great abundance, so that we would produce much fruit. After all, Jesus is the vine and we are the branches.

~Richard