This month we hear from Martin Clarke and the remarkable journey Hillview Community Church in Aberdeen has been on over the past seven years.
In 2011, God brought new life in our church. Not in the lives of individuals (though, praise God, that has come and is coming!), but in the core of our identity as Jesus’ gathered people. In September of that year, we gave thanks for all God had done through International Baptist Church – decades of His faithfulness, through many amazing highs and some difficult lows – and we celebrated the new day that had come in the replanting of IBC.
For a number of reasons, we felt it was time for a fresh start. A new season of (we prayed, and pray) growth in Christ. We gathered the few dozen members of IBC, and in all our fragility, like a tiny seed packed full of life and potential, we embraced new vision and values, a name change, staff changes, new understandings of membership and leadership, etc. We rested, rather vulnerably, on what we prayed and believed was good soil and we asked God to send His rain and the warmth of His light.
The church was the same – same bunch of sheep stumbling along behind the Shepherd – and the church was brand new, with fresh vision and energy for the path ahead.
Seven years on from the beginning of that replant journey, we look back with huge thankfulness. New life has come again in the planting of Kintore Community Church; but we are sure we’re just at the very beginning of the adventure of seeing God’s plans come to pass!