I am an ideas man. That very sentence usually terrifies my wife Mhairi when I come home from a walk or a time praying or being in my own thoughts during a holiday. I tend to be always thinking of ways to make things better, start new things, meet needs or change things to make the outcomes better. When you pair that with church planting it could understandably get out of control very quickly!
We arrived in Inverness nearly 2 years ago now (what?!) and we have seen God do amazing things. We are both constantly in awe of how God has orchestrated the beginnings of our wee church way up in Inverness. Stories of miraculous provision, salvation, healings, the presence of God falling, serving our city, feeding the poor. It’s a joy to be part of. So much has happened and there is so much still to happen. But alot of what has happened was helped by a great piece of advice that still lives with us in these early days:
“Be a fine bakers, not a supermarket.”
That line has shaped alot of what we did and why we did it in our first season in a new city. Learn to do one or two breads really well, don’t try to do and offer everything at once. This was absolute gold and has to be in the “essential church planting guide 2019” if such a thing would ever exist. I naturally try to do everything at once. I get excited, I see what things could become, I often see the end of the story and I get carried away and when not reigned in it can be to my detriment, so I need people bringing a dose of reality but also folk who honour that “ideas station” and don’t dismiss it. But doing the one of two breads has allowed us to get them made as God intends, it gave us time in the crazy, hectic, unpredictable adventure of planting and it allowed us to ask God: What are those one or two breads? and then pour everything we had to make it happen.
We felt God say in those early days those breads were 1. serve a really nice breakfast in a relaxed, inviting space and 2. find ways to serve the city. So we started RISE, our breakfast drop in and then we formed a really sweet friendship with a local charity called Gateway who do amazing work with the most vulnerable in Inverness. Nothing more than that for the first 6 months of our church.
2 years in there are now a few more breads that the Lord has graciously added. It’s exciting adding new things, it has brought momentum and breakthrough with our church and it stirs us all in dreaming : what could this really become? Right now we are joining in with other churches longing for a move of God that could produce something remarkable in the Highlands of Scotland! I am still full of ideas and get home most days with another dream/vision/crazy suggestion, but now I am alot better at entrusting them to Jesus and asking him when its right to faithfully add them to the shelf for the next part of the adventure? We are trusting wholeheartedly that what he has placed in our hearts will come to pass and he is in control of the build – we couldn’t be more pleased about that fact!
Hope this encourages, please continue to be praying for all the new expressions of Vineyard (and other!) churches in Scotland , for the people leading them and the people joining them in the adventure – prayer really does carry us church planters in a way we can’t describe.