Dear e-News friends and church members,
Learning – Changing – Growing
I used to often ask leaders ‘when was the last time you did something for the first time?’
Since we all know that if we keep doing the same old same old – nothing changes right?
I feel that I have been on an accelerated learning curve this last week like never before.
Here’s what I’ve learned:
Black people in our churches
In response to the present crises, I have gone out to speak with as many of our black church family as possible, both local and further afield, including our black pastors and key leaders and I just want to say:
We are so proud of you guys in our black church community, we applaud your endless service of love into the church, your desire to honour God, your willingness not to react when you had every right to do so, and your ongoing passion to make a difference. We truly thank God for your role in our lives and your commitment to the mission of truth, love and social justice.
We are all so much richer because you are here.
But to my horror, I discovered that all of them, that’s 100% of the people I have spoken to so far (and the conversation continues), have experienced racism in their lives, and a few of them almost on a daily basis.
They have been true heroes, continuing with their lives and being grateful to God for many things.
I’ve also found that God is bringing good out of this terrible moment. For many, it’s brought a daily injustice out into the light, brought a confidence to speak up about it and share their experiences with others. So that we along with them can make a lasting difference.
I’m also finding that there is a deep desperate desire amongst our young black people to handle this present, very serious challenge in a God-glorifying way. They want to bring a loving response to serious pain, and like we often say around here at Destiny, they do not want to leave this world the same way they found it. They are very determined not to leave this world as they found it.
I’m also finding that amongst those in our black community who have walked with God a while, have a huge level of maturity and discernment. They can clearly see the difference between a genuine global historic racial injustice, and a political agenda that has locked itself onto some of the conversation.
They can also clearly see the differences between America and here, but also want us to know that the problem is here and not just there.
The gospel is just as powerful
I also did something else for the first time this week, I brought the key-note message to the Scottish Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast via zoom. It was a brilliant virtual moment, coordinated for the Scottish Parliament by our very own Andy Witty, who along with all the other participants did a valiant job. There really was a sense of God in the moment even though we were in many different places.
We were joined by politicians, business folk and leaders in our community, and other Christian groups and ministries. We had a great deal to pray about, not least of which was the racism issues and Covid-19 crises.
In my message, I wanted to make the point, that even in acknowledging the will and the promises of all our political members of all parties to make a positive difference, and their hope to change human conditions, it’s only Jesus and His radical love and powerful gospel that can change human hearts.
We say at Destiny college, transformation leads information, in other words, we can acquire knowledge and get an education, but the biggest and main thing is transforming lives, growing people, realising destinies, making disciples.
You can watch my full message on “Understanding Our Times” here:
There are 4 big differences between us who identify as Christians and those in the world. These differences always show up in times of challenge. The world will react in one way, but we will respond in another, even when looking at the same issue.
2. Our knowledge source is different. We place the Bible, God’s Word, over and above degrees, diplomas, theories, ideologies or political and cultural agendas.
3. Our power source is different. We think that the Holy Spirit within us is greater than will power, passion, rage or even any positive thinking that we can stir up. And most definitely the God within us is greater than anyone or anything that can be against us. The Holy Spirit is also called the Spirit of grace in the Bible. He also brings the ‘Dunamis’ or the dynamite of God. That’s when things really happen.
4. Our timeline is different. We are not just in this for the short term, here today gone tomorrow. Talk about it today, forget it tomorrow. We are not even in it for the long haul, we are in it for eternity.We as leaders want you all to know, in and around our church, despite the very many challenges right now, we are not going anywhere, we are right here with you, and standing with each other. And the truth is: There is no better place that we would rather be.We love you guys, can’t wait to share the word this weekend, hope you will be listening good, it’s coming right out of God’s heart.God bless,
Here’s our latest update on what has been happening so far:
- 682 food-bags have been given out this last week.
- 840 cooked meals have been prepared this week and given to those in need.
- 12,000 people have connected across our 6 Church Online services at the weekend.