As part of our Thy Kingdom Come series, we asked John Craig to share some of his church’s journey in praying for their local community…
Five years ago, when we moved into our new building on Burgher Street, the atmosphere on the street felt very different. There was a considerable issue with antisocial behaviour, and the cul-de-sac at the end of the street seemed to be a permanent meeting point for those struggling with addiction.
God has moved mightily in our community with many new people coming to know Jesus and starting to attend church.
Now, the street feels very different with many local people reporting that it is quieter and safer than it used to be. While these issues do tend to fluctuate from time to time in the streets in the east end of Glasgow, we believe that there is more at work here. God has moved mightily in our community with many new people coming to know Jesus and starting to attend church.
Much of the growth in our church family has come from local people, and in many cases, some of the aforementioned people who struggle with addiction on and around the street where the church is situated. In many ways the church has become the new meeting point – but one that invites folks to belong to a healthy network, no matter what stage of the faith journey they are at. After initially popping in for a coffee, many have found not only a new family, but a new or restored faith in Jesus as well.
The power of prayer spills out of the church and into the local community.
Prayer has been central to this shift in the community. In all that we do as a church, we have always kept prayer as a central priority. Prayer meetings have always been a feature of the church’s ministry, but we have also found huge value in prayer-walking as well. In doing so our eyes have literally been opened to the needs and issues of those we minister alongside as we walk the streets. We also take time to pray for people we meet right there and then on the street, so that the power of prayer spills out of the church and into the local community.
Territory that once seemed to belong to the enemy is reclaimed for the kingdom when Jesus’ name is lifted up in that place.
And in all of this we don’t forget that when we gather together in our building to pray and worship, this does something to the atmosphere of the street. Territory that once seemed to belong to the enemy is reclaimed for the kingdom when Jesus’ name is lifted up in that place.
And now as we approach Pentecost and take part in the Thy Kingdom Come initiative for a second year, we come to God not only offering prayers for ourselves, but continuing to lift up our street and wider community to God, asking that He continues His saving and redeeming work in the east end of Glasgow.
We have been really inspired by the ministry of Parkhead Nazarene Church in making Jesus known. To hear more about the people who have encountered Jesus through them, watch Lawrence’s Story, Adele’s Story, and Alex’s Story.