The Church in Scotland is facing not only the aging of the congregation, but also a culture that is increasingly secular and anti-Christian.
On top of that, churches are just starting to meet after COVID-19 forced them to close their doors for months.
Pastors are tired. Society rejects the Gospel. And churches need revival.
Hundreds of pastors and church leaders gathered Tuesday in Glasgow, Scotland, on the first day of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association’s UK summit. The all-day event included four sessions aimed at encouraging pastors and focused on the importance of the Grand Commission.
>> Find out what the speakers shared at Tuesday’s event.
The need for courage
Adam Woodhouse drove for hours to the Summit to – in his words – “get inspired”. Supervising 12 churches for his denomination, he notes that one church is located in a predominantly Muslim area. The congregation wants to address its neighbors with the hope of the gospel – but they do not know how.
He wants to equip them.
Evangelization doesn’t necessarily have to stand on a street corner or knock on people’s doors, Woodhouse explained, it can be as simple as going to a nearby store and making friends.
Amy Orr-Ewing reiterated this view in her session on defending the Gospel for the name of Christ.
“Now you and I are here to defend the gospel,” she said, referring to Paul’s words in Philippians 1:16.
We live in a world that may not accept the Gospel, but that should not stop us from sharing the beautiful hope we have through Jesus Christ.
“We struggle with the Gospel by pointing the traumatized world to the traumatized Savior,” she said, emphasizing how much our world needs to know about the God who suffered for them.
The need for God’s love
Among those present at the Summit was 19-year-old Lauren Semple. Her father heads the local Pentecostal church, just 20 minutes outside Glasgow. Their youth group has approximately 50 young people, and links to a private school have helped them reach even more young people.
Semple has a vision: For students to recognize “God is someone with whom I can have a personal relationship. We need to show that God loves them and that they don’t have to fight alone. ”
She was not the only student with a heart for students. Several church leaders shared their words about the assemblies of the elderly population – with young people who stopped coming to church.
For Paul Finn, an elder at the local church, this was one of his biggest worries. “There are many voices in the world today. We need young people to hear the voice [of God]. ”
A Need for Revival
Vinodhini Murugavel is the coordinator of the Outreach program for the Tamil-speaking church in Glasgow-Rehoboth, the living church. Not only does Murugavel reach out to those in the community, but it also has a service for foreign students studying in Scotland.
But Murugavel sees the fire for the Gospel begin to go out in her church, especially among second-generation Christians and young people. “The fire for the church is a little lacking,” she said.
They need a revival focused on the power of the cross.
“[The Gospel] is a message that countless people currently walking the streets of Glasgow are desperate to know – that they can be right with God because Jesus Christ has paid in full, ”said Dr. Charles Price, speaker at the Evangelization Summit.
Not only is Glasgow desperate for the Gospel. These are Scotland, Great Britain and the world.