BMW Scotland exists to bring glory to God by establishing and developing indigenous local churches with a strong Biblical emphasis on making more and better disciples. The original team focus since 1987 has been the area east of Edinburgh. Currently there are two couples and two single women working in two church planting efforts in that area. The one endeavor is being led by a local church in Scotland with our couple partnering with them in this church plant.
Our vision is to establish two new church planting teams in strategic, cosmopolitan locations in the central belt of Scotland by 2010. Each team will be comprised of three couples as well as singles. The more culturally and vocationally diverse these teams are, the greater opportunity for building relationships in the community with the objective of establishing local churches. We are seeing the Lord provide as three couples and a single girl have already moved into the Glasgow area with two other couples on the way. Because of the Lord blessing in this way we are expanding our vision to recruit a third team for another key location.
Part of the vision is to establish a training base for equipping local leaders and pastors to reach Scotland for Christ. From this base our 2020 goal is to see solid healthy Bible-teaching churches planted with local leadership in place. From these churches we will then reach out to the surrounding towns and villages.
We continue to identify the most strategic, cosmopolitan areas in which to place church planting teams. By "strategic" we mean "areas that have a population greater than 35,000" and "cosmopolitan," meaning "a more international flavor." Areas where new communities are sprouting up largely play into this strategy as people moving into these are often more open to building new relationships.
The initial step is to move into these locations and focus on relationship building. This enables us to find out where people are struggling, then offer answers from God's Word - demonstrating its relevance to our lives in today's world. This approach always leads to discussions of the Gospel - salvation by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. It is impossible for a person who is rejecting God's Word, or seeing it as irrelevant, to accept the Gospel.
"So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."
The church planting teams will seek to make contacts, build relationships and start Bible study groups in numerous communities within the target areas. We will continue to ask God to direct us to those individuals the Holy Spirit is drawing. Jesus said, "I will build My church…"; we are mere tools in His hands to accomplish this task. From the outset the concept of the local church is discussed and taught. Our desire is to see people come to know Christ as Saviour and to be gathered into a local church body.
"And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship,
in the breaking of bread, and in prayers."
From this base Scottish leaders and pastors will be equipped to reach out into smaller towns and villages. The missionaries will be able to carry on supporting and building up the local leadership in the new church planting efforts.
Team Glasgow has identified several communities to begin Bible studies in with the intention of seeing future churches planted. They include: Gartcosh, Stepps, Robroyston, Garthamlock, Craigend, Hogganfield and Drumpark. We are praying for the right doors to open and the personel to fill this need.
Team Edinburgh is involved in assisting three
churches in East Lothian and Edinburgh. One of the church plants is in the community of Wallyford. A building was donated and after some refurbishing is now being used for youth activities, a growing “mothers and others” group and Bible studies. Further work on “The Living Room” is still required for future expansion of this exciting new ministry in a fast-developing residential area.
In a time when it has been said that God has finished working in the United Kingdom, BMW is venturing into a bold new strategy for establishing churches in Scotland:
If you would like more information on how you can be involved in this church planting effort, contact Dale Fries, BMW's Area Director for Europe.