"A vigorous and continuous approach to church planting is the only way to guarantee an increase in the number of believers and is one of the best ways to renew the whole body of Christ." - Dr Tim Keller
The Free Church of Scotland has committed itself to the strategic planting of churches around the country to bring the gospel to areas where there is limited or no discernible witness.
It is hoped that a total of 30 churches will be planted from 2017 - 2030 to help bring the gospel to as many people as possible.
Currently, there are nine supported church plants in Scotland:
Haddington, Cornerstone, Esk Valley, Grace Church (Edinburgh)
Stirling Free Church (Stirling)
Govan, Christ Church (Glasgow)
Over the next few weeks, we hope to publish updates on each, sharing some of the successes and challenges the church planters have experienced along the way.
Charleston is an area on the north-west edge of Dundee and has one the highest rates of deprivation according to the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation. 60% of the population are considered to be within the 15% of Scotland's most deprived overall.
In September of 2017, Rev. Andrew Robertson was ordained and inducted into the charge of the Charleston church plant and given the task of leading a team to bring the gospel to the area.
In the short time since then, it seems a lot has happened. Andrew shares some of the developments which have taken place so far.
"We now have a lease to a shopfront that we have been seeking from the council. We can now begin renovation work on the inside. This will provide for us a ministry hub that is right in the middle of Charleston. We are hoping to use it as a drop in cafe, offices and a location for our Bible study groups."
"We are helping out with different community-based events and I have started getting contacted by locals and the council to see if I could help with projects they are running. This increased presence offers for us more opportunities to share Jesus and speak of why we are starting a church in this area."
"The youth work we are doing in the scheme has started to grow. We are now seeing 25 kids come to our Tuesday group, around 15 teenagers come to our Thursday group and over 20 parents come to the baby and toddler group on Thursday mornings."
"It’s been a tough slog but our goal of having community integration and gospel conversation in our first year is developing."
Please continue to pray for Andrew and his team as they bring the Gospel to Charleston and build relationships within the community.