What is God doing in Scotland?

Christ rules the church. The church, you see, is not peripheral to the world; the world is peripheral to the church. The church is Christ’s body, in which he speaks and acts, by which he fills everything with his presence.
Ephesians 1:23 (MSG)

We are grateful this month to Steven Hutchison for contributing to our guests blog and introducing us to the work of 20schemes and the Biblically inspired passion behind church planting.

If the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation, then the primary mission of the Church to sinners is to proclaim the Gospel. Whether it’s Morningside or Muirhouse, Barnton or Broomhouse, New Town or Niddrie (all communities at opposite ends of the social spectrum in Edinburgh), each is in equal need of the power of God unto salvation. We just happen to be serving in Niddrie, an area of south-east Edinburgh which features prominently in the Scottish Government’s Index of Multiple Deprivation.

What is God up to where we are? God is doing what God does – rescuing rebels and turning them into righteous followers of Jesus for His glory. A simple enough statement, yet the reality on the ground is far messier. The Gospel, of course, is for messed up people – people like you and me.

20schemes (a ministry of Niddrie Community Church in Edinburgh) is committed to reaching the poorest communities in our nation with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It’s messy. It’s hard. It’s urgently needed. We desire to live among and share the Gospel with those who live in the most socially and economically deprived schemes of Scotland. How do we do that? By revitalising and/or planting healthy Gospel-centred churches in communities where there are none.

Church fads come and go. New initiatives spring up often with a short shelf-life. Ages old with contemporary need, church planting goes back to the start of the New Testament. How will we reach those who live in the hard places of our land? By preaching and living the Gospel as we shop at the same shops, walk the same streets and become part of the culture.

Church planting is urgently needed across our nation if we are to win back the ground we have lost since Scotland was known as “the land of the Book.” To that end, God is working through 20schemes to plant churches in Barlanark (Glasgow), Bingham/Magdalene and Gracemount (both Edinburgh), Lochee (Dundee) and Torry (Aberdeen). We are trusting God for more. We are praying and planning for more. We know it’s going to be messy. We know it’s going to be hard. With God as our strength we know it’s all possible, for His glory.

Steven Hutchison
Campus Co-ordinator and PA to the director, 20schemes

Steven was born and raised in Edinburgh. He has been part of the church since the late 90’s and joined the staff team in 2016. Steven is personal assistant to Mez McConnell, director of 20schemes, and also oversees the Intensive Discipleship Course for 20schemes. Steven is married to Heather and they have 3 girls. Prior to working for NCC/20schemes, Steven worked in various administrative jobs. He also received a B.A. in Pastoral Studies from Moody Bible Institute and an M.A. in Biblical Exegesis from Wheaton College (both Chicago, USA).