NCC is going through the process of independence from the ‘mother ship’ and, all things being well, we should have full autonomy by January 2012. This is my fourth year at Niddrie and I am already thinking about what the future holds for us here as a congregation.
Stetzer says: ‘I’m disappointed when gifted church planters have not, after three years, “mothered” a second church.’ (p316)
That makes me (a) disappointing or (b) not gifted or (c) both! At the moment I have multiple ideas flying around my brain which I have shared in part with my elders, my Ministry Team and the wider church. About 1 year ago, in anticipation of independence, I commissioned two in-depth studies to be done of the two estates next to us – Bingham/Magdalene and Greendykes. Both have serious spiritual and social issues and neither has an effective evangelical ministry going on.
The findings were fascinating and there is the possibility of starting something in both areas. Couple that with my growing conviction that Scotland’s housing schemes are in dire need of the gospel. I am currently researching the top 50 most deprived estates in the country to find out what gospel work is going on, if any. The idea is to ascertain two thing: (1) the extent of the help required by any struggling evangelical congregations in these areas (and even if they are open to assistance) and (2) the feasibility of planting there.
I think that the future of NCC lies in training and preparing young men and women for work in inner city schemes and what better ‘grounding fields’ and ‘placements’ than other inner city schemes. If we can work out a network to share resources and personnel then perhaps we can start a ‘move’ in these needy places. Who knows. Ideas, ideas. It doesn’t hurt to try. If you want to grab an idea of what it is like working in an area like Niddrie then watch the following.
We are still meeting monthly as a congregation to look at equipping and ‘sending out’ a specially formed Small group(s) with the sole intention of ‘evangelising’ those on our estate yet untouched by the gospel.
Pray for us.