I was recently sent a number of questions by an American interested in ministering in Scotland. Not having the time to answer them myself, I asked a fellow Presbyterian to provide the answers. Bear in mind that his answers are especially focused on Presbyterian churches. The picture may be a bit brighter here and there for other churches. It’s a discouraging but, I’m afraid, realistic picture of where Scotland is spiritually and ecclesiastically. I fear that, barring a major revival, this is where the USA is heading as well. 

1. What perception does the average Scotsman have of Christianity? 
The average Scotsman does not have a positive perception of Christianity, but rather sees it as outdated or bigoted. Scotland is really post-Christian. And so, while there may be some lip service in places, perhaps under the guise of tolerance, really there is either apathy or hostility.

2. What are the most common objections/challenges raised against the gospel?
In truth, many people don’t raise objections, so long as it does not interfere with their own lives. And yet others will treat it with scorn as a thing of the past – that was for their grandparents’ generation, not our “enlightened” one. The sad thing now is that most people don’t know what the gospel is – darkness is over the land. “Religious assembles” in schools have become “assemblies” and often the so-called chaplains don’t know the first thing about true religion. In my experience I have noticed school children who don’t want to hear anything about God or religion, while others seem interested in finding out what it all means:  “Was Jesus a king or something like that,” one 15-year-old girl asked.

3. Is there an openness to discuss spiritual things?
Most people don’t want to talk about these things. Those who do want to talk, tend only to do so in order to put Christianity down as a thing of the past, or even as something pernicious. As in question 2, perhaps among some youth there is an opening. They don’t know enough about it to be angry at it – like their parents generation.

4. Are most people aware of the Christian heritage of Scotland? If so how do they view it?
Absolutely not! I would reckon that 99% + of children in the public school have never heard of Rutherford, Boston, McCheyne, Chalmers, even Knox. And if they hear of Knox or the Reformation, that would be viewed as intolerant bigotry. Sadly, even in a lot of the professing churches, these men and the heritage is not well known.

5. What are the greatest challenges to ministering in Scotland?
Apathy in the church is one of the biggest problems which is coupled with little or no desire (and/or ability) to evangelize. In some cases, this is due to erroneous thinking regarding the work of the Holy Spirit – some believe that unless the Spirit works they can’t do anything, therefore they need to wait for Him to work. Judgment begins at the house of God. There are many challenges engaging with the secular society, but you need to engage the brains / lives of complacent and indifferent Christians.

6. What are the greatest advantages/blessings?
There are still faithful godly pastors throughout the land, but their ranks are thin and thinning. There is a warmth and godly zeal that does remain with many good people. There are many of God’s dear people who love the Lord and serve Him with the talents they have. There is also a desire to maintain orthodoxy in some of the churches. With that you have a simplicity of worship that characterized the worship brought back at the Reformation. There is a thirst still for God’s Word among His people.

7. What is your greatest need as a church? How might the church in America best aid you?
The greatest need is for a mighty work of the Holy Spirit to give us preachers who preach the whole counsel of God. The problem, I believe, is in the pulpit – to a large extent. And yet, there have been some of the best and finest preachers who served faithfully for years and saw little fruit.  We need a Reformation. We need unity among the Reformed churches – there are often 5 congregations representing 5 different reformed denominations in one small village – all with the same confessional basis!

We have lost our youth. We have only a handful of Christian schools, and home-schooling is not popular and difficult for parents to do. Most Christians think the state school is fine. I believe we need to establish in our churches the Christian worldview.

When Iain Murray is asked the second question [How might the church in America best aid you?], he replies: “Send our men back!”  In honesty, I am not sure how that [American churches helping Scottish churches] could work.  The solid churches can hardly work together. And so, I am not sure how to answer this one.

8. What forms of outreach are generally most successful?
The best form is to establish relationships with friends and neighbors and then invite them to church.  This worked well in Glasgow.  The church had a “soup and sandwich” event on the Saturday and just got to know people.  From there, inviting them to church was easier.  The pastor of the church happened to be very gifted, which helped. Sadly, you hear the complaint from many that they don’t feel able to invite people to church because if they can’t understand their own pastor then what hope has the man in the street? Again, it’s the word preached that the Spirit especially uses in convincing and converting sinners. Some have tried things like knocking on doors, handing out tracts, street preaching, etc, with limited success.

9. Are there many churches who are in need of a minister?
Yes, probably 100s. But many of these places have less than 10-20 people, and I would reckon the vast majority are very elderly. I’m not sure that simply more ministers is the answer. We need a change of mindset, as well as new ministers.  But Scots are not quick to change.  And in truth, whatever reticence there would be if someone from within tried to change things, someone from outside would be viewed with more suspicion.

10. Are most people in your churches converts or were they raised in the church?
The majority are raised in the church, few have come in.  A lot more have left.

11. Do most of those who are raised in the church remain in the church?
No, in the last 10-15 years many (probably the majority) have left.  Churches are declining in number all over.

12. What would the perception be of an American ministering in Scotland both with the church and with the population?
With the church – It probably depends where you go. If you go to the more conservative churches, they would possibly be a little wary and would need to feel you out.  So, not impossible, but you would have to be very careful in your approach.  If you come in with great ideas for change, it won’t work.

13. What particular skills would you encourage a man to develop if he wants to minister in Scotland?
You would need a lot of patience, tenacity, a thick skin and wisdom.  It would be good to learn the history of the church you would hope to serve in.

14. Are there particular books/resources that would be helpful to study to better understand Scotland and the realities of ministry in Scotland today?
Iain Murray’s book “A Scottish Heritage” gives a good overview of the past up to the present.  I can’t think of too much else in more recent times.

15. What are your general thoughts about where the church in Scotland is (not the CoS)?
The majority of the professing church has lost its moorings.  A lot of those who have maintained the Reformed worship and doctrine need revival from within.

16. Where do you think it is headed?
Well, humanly speaking it is going down and in many cases the candlestick is being removed.  That sounds pessimistic but it is more the reality.  I think that unless the better churches can work together then we have a big problem.  There are some pockets of good news here and there, but the general picture is bleak.

I’d be glad to hear of brighter spots but please pray for this needy land. 

  • Sharon

    Wouldn’t the Alpha course help

    • Judson

      The Alpha course (and Christianity Explored) is being done at a number of churches in urban areas in Glasgow and Edinburgh at least. So that is encouraging. Most of these churches aren’t CoS churches though…the denomination seems pretty unaffected by Alpha.

  • http://reaganreview.wordpress.com Jimmy Reagan

    Very enlightening article. I was recently in England and can’t help but draw parallels between them and where the USA is going. Forgetting a heritage isn’t only happening in Scotland!

  • http://sleatandstrath.wordpress.com Gordon Matheson

    I posted a couple of comments to David’s tweet about this. This is a very honest, and true assessment of the state of Scotland. But I’d take a different view to two of the points raised – 3 and 8.

    In terms of openness to spiritual things, I’d suggest there’s really a lot of openness, it’s just a lot of Christians miss it. That’s because most Christians in Reformed Churches in Scotland aren’t post-modern, and don’t understand a PM mindset. We also forget that basic Christian vocabulary has been completely lost, and so people outside (at least 95% of the population) don’t understand what we’re talking about most of the time.

    But in truth, people in Scotland are like people everywhere. The sense of divinity that is part of being a spiritual being has not been eradicated. People have huge questions, and they want some sort of comfort. They are turning to the New Atheism is huge numbers – because these guys are peddling answers, albeit false ones, to the questions people have.

    So I’d say there is an openness to talk about spiritual things – I know there is, because God has been gracious in my own ministry to bless efforts to read people who are on the face of it, not so open.

    Secondly, about evangelistic outreach, I’d say the answer is typical of a lot of churches who are trying shot-gun evangelism. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard the comment, “We ran a coffee morning once, and nobody came to church afterwards.” The simple answer to that is, one coffee morning isn’t going to build a strong enough relationship with an outsider for them to take you seriously. One coffee morning or lunch is what you do when you’re raising money for a charity. If you want to build relationships that enable the Gospel to be presented, you need to run a coffee morning every week. You need to make it free, or cost coppers, so that the poor, the dispossessed, the destitute, the addict, the homeless, the friendless, will come through the door, and come to trust you, and realise you love them.

    And along with that, you find suitable evangelistic tools that people in the pews can use with confidence to share the faith. In my opinion Christianity Explored is good, because it sticks clearly to who Jesus is, what he did, and what he calls for us to do in response. It takes people through God’s word, it builds habits of bible reading and home study. And it doesn’t makes assumptions about where people will reach going forward with it. It tells someone everything they need to know to come to saving faith.

    But it isn’t a replacement for the ordinary means of grace. At the end of the day, people still need to come to church, to be part of the fellowship of the saints, to submit under good preaching, and to spread the word themselves.

    I fear churches are either scared of using CE because it’s a step away from congregational unity around the ordinary means of grace; or at the other end, the small group thing is fracturing the church, and undermining congregational fellowship. It is possible to strike a balance between them.

    Haha, it just occurred to me, David’s one of the guys who needs to come back. ;) We have lost too many good men to what a lot of us see as more comfortable ministries across the pond – although I’m sure that’s not the case. Scotland calls for extraordinary hard work, and devotion to evangelism (and sadly the Reformed Churches here have wasted the last 20 years on internal issues which were no doubt important, but should not have been allowed to detract from the work of the Gospel). Thankfully, we also have an extraordinary God. There is a Macedonian call here – who will answer?

    • Ben Thorp

      I agree wholeheartedly with your points. I help to lead a course for “missional pioneers” and have just marked 12 essays in which participants were had to interview 5 non-Christians about faith, church, etc. Overwhelming our students were surprised by the amount of interest people have in faith and spiritual matters. Sadly, the respondents were also completely disillusioned about the church, and completely misinformed about the nature of the gospel.

      Likewise, I agree with the problem with evangelism. People have a concept of evangelism as something that other people do to bring people into church. Until we start to allow our Christology to define our missiology, which in turn defines our ecclesiology, rather than the other way round, the church is going to continue to decline in Scotland. As one commentator has put it “we need to stop starting with church”.

      One last point, in terms of the need for ministers. Within the next 20 years, the CofS alone will be short (if I remember the stats correctly) almost two thirds of the ministers required for it’s existing parishes, purely through insufficient recruitment and retirement. But the issue (quite apart from any theological and political failings) is a failure to understand that it’s selection and training is missing the mark.

    • http://headhearthand.org/blog/ David Murray

      Thanks Gordon. Lots of helpful input.

      • http://sleatandstrath.wordpress.com Gordon Matheson

        So, when are you coming back? ;)

        • http://headhearthand.org/blog/ David Murray

          Do they take traitors back?

  • http://about.me/vicking Vic King

    I met pastor Mez Mcconnell and his elder team at a 9Marks Weekender in DC this September. God is doing great things through their church, Niddrie Community Church (http://www.niddrie.org), and they have a vision to plant more churches around Edinburgh. You should check them out, and consider supporting them!

    • http://headhearthand.org/blog/ David Murray

      I love what Mez and his team are doing, Vic. Courageous and visionary.

  • Tim Goerz

    I travel to Scotland several times a year for business. And have spent a lot of off-time out and about in hill and dale….Mostly the east coast Aberdeen area, but other metropolitan areas as well…..and up north…. The national church is pretty much dead, anglican or CoS. Many of the historic buildings are now restaurants and clubs. But the Free Church is alive and well. Small churches all, but the leadership is faithful and committed.

    There is a deep hopelessness in the people of Scotland. A deep sense of drift. They are resentful and feel abandoned by their church. They are open to discuss spiritual things if approached one on one or in small groups…..on their turf. The pub is a sanctuary for the Scots….but it is there you will find them most willing to open up. Time spent there to be seen and known in a non-threatening manner is time well invested. They are a sincere and caring and loyal people….I am warmly welcomed in several of the pub/grills that I frequent around the port in Aberdeen and thats a tough crowd…but they remember and treat me as one of their own, wanting a complete update on family and travels. They are touched by simple things such as a warm handshake or clap on the back. It’s all about relationships with the Scots, any sense of formality they perceive as judgemental…they are a fiercely proud people…an introduction to great Christian leaders of their history/heritage…would be interesting to them and tap into their national pride mindset…they are keen for the underdog..but they are a lonely people as well. Connection with them on a personal level is key. They are social…a church with a creative, energetic, out of the box, open and warm social calender, music is huge, youth program is well received, in short LOVE them into the church. Loyalty given will be returned in spades. Time spent in the market place is key. From there, invitations to a coffee morning or a warm soup “tea time” will be well received. An understanding of their “tea time” is essential. One must assimilate to their culture…meet them where they live….informal and down to earth and personal. Throw formality out the window.

  • Tom

    I can only speak from my limited perspective. I shepherd a small church in upstate New York. In the 4 plus years I have been there, we have seen little or no change. The biggest challenge our church faces is competition from the schools, which schedule activities on Sunday or late Saturday. Most people then sleep in. As a bi-vocational minister, I work at a local Christian bookstore and whenever I run across a missionary, I ask them about the spiritual climate where they are. Usually, the ones ministering in Europe answer that the churches (for the most part) have become quaint museums with not much going on.

  • Kathleen

    My heart grieves for Scotland & Europe as they’ve become engulfed in spiritual darkness for so long. God will return to them someday, but for now they are blinded! Oh may He have mercy on them again as He once did!

  • asdf

    I just love it how all those who have never lived or spent any time in Scotland claim to know what we think or believe, or the state of our churches!

    • http://headhearthand.org/blog/ David Murray

      Both myself and the write of the report have spent most of our lives in Scotland. We have 70-80 years of Scottishness between us. However, it’s also good to hear from objective observers who may not have spent much time in Scotland. One of our great problems as Scots is our insularity and our resistance to criticism, even if it’s constructive and correct.

    • http://sleatandstrath.wordpress.com Gordon Matheson

      The real test of a prophet is whether he’s right or not. There isn’t a lot in this post that’s wrong, and I can say that with only 7 years experience ministering in the Highlands.

  • http://liberia jefferson


  • Diane Hall

    I too feel a little indignant that this is only one viewpoint. There are many Godly people serving and sharing the Gospel. One such example is:


    • http://headhearthand.org/blog/ David Murray

      Welcome to the blogosphere, Diane! You get the odd viewpoint expressed here and there. Maybe re-read the article, esp #6.

  • Maria

    Dear David,
    What do you mean by “some believe that unless the Spirit works they can’t do anything”
    Thanks . ..

    • http://headhearthand.org/blog/ David Murray

      Hyper-calvinistic fatalism.

      • Keith

        At the end of the day don’t all Calvinists end up in the hyper-calvinistic basket? What I mean by that is this. By hyper-Calvinist I guess you mean someone who folds their hands together and doesn’t engage in any form of ‘evangelistic effort’. They attend church dutifuly, practice the worship faithfully but have no inkling at all to engage their neighbour with the gospel. Their children grow up under the covenant and whether they are saved or not is really up to God. For a hyper-Calvinist their matra goes like – “God is sovereign of all things. He is building His church. None of His elect will ever be lost.” The only difference between a ‘Calvinist’ and a hyper-C is one actively engages in preaching, teaching, gossiping the gospel, evangelising etc and the other doesn’t. At the end of the day, both will say – God is sovereign and He is building His church.

        • Ian

          Hello Keith. The answer to your first question is no. It is not so much the explicit belief in God’s sovereignty that is in question, as what you do with it. The Calvinist maintains the sovereignty of God without detracting from the responsibility of man as well as the gospel offer of salvation. Rather, he sees God’s sovereignty as the very basis upon which such an offer can be made. To quote a great Scottish Presbyterian, John Murray: “The free offer of the gospel rides on the crest of the wave of divine sovereignty before it crashes down on the shore of a lost humanity.” The hyper-calvinistic wave never crashes. That is a different basket.

          Sadly, and perhaps this is your point, many who are Calvinistic in their proclamation of the gospel are hyper-calvinistic in their evangelism (or lack thereof). That is, they won’t engage in it under the pretense of depending on the Spirit. That indeed is tragic.

    • Eileen

      It is only by the Spirit that hearts can be reached. The Bible says, “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Cor 2:14. Remember how Jesus said to Nicodemus, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” John 3:5. “Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.” Romans 8:9. So we see that we need the Spirit to be able to introduce Jesus to others, and we need to pray for the Spirit to impress the truth upon the people that we are talking to.
      When he said that some believe they must wait for the Spirit, he meant that they were just sitting around and did not Feel impressed to go out and evangelise. So they wait until a great feeling or movement within the church comes to them. This is a mistake because we must obey God in seeking people to reach out to. The feeling will come as we Do the work.

  • D.R Morrison

    Before I say anything, I should say that I’m in the isle of Lewis, where things are, in most ways, brighter in the church than the mainland.
    This article raises a lot of good points. If I were to point to one thing as the biggest problem to evangelising, it would be apathy. That’s apathy in population and in the church. The authors point on church unity is also a good one.
    However, on the bright side, here in the Western Isles, we are seeing God work, as more and more people, mostly young folk, are converted. It’s nowhere close to times of revival, but it is a great time to be a young Christian here!

  • Fritz Games

    Having spent only two months in Scotland this past summer I have no expertise but can relate to all that’s been said. Being an American and outsider people were very eager to talk to us about spiritual things if we treated the with patience and respect. I was VERY encouraged at how the ministers loved each other and erased denominational lines. That is one of the same things I see on a college campus because it is a microcosm of post-xan culture. If you don’t pray and work together with confessing evangelicals you lose.

    My overall impression is that there is much wood in the fireplace. The Lord is blowing in small ways for sure.

    Gordon – I miss you guys and talk often about our time there!

    • http://sleatandstrath.wordpress.com Gordon Matheson

      Fritz, we miss you guys too. We had a joint communion service Sunday past, and I was taken back to you preaching at the last one. God bless you brother.

      Just some context here – Fritz led a short-term mission team to work with a small congregation in the west Highlands of Scotland this past summer. In fact, for the past couple of years, the Free Church (www.freechurch.org) have been building a little short-term mission network with the PCA’s MTW organisation, where they have had RUF pastors leading small teams over in Scotland, helping local churches in urban and rural contexts. Actually, the number of Scotland-influenced RUF pastors is growing, and it’s proving a real blessing to both parties, and we rejoice in that. :)

      Short-term mission is something that might be a good way of seeing first hand the challenges in Scotland, and western Europe in general. It’s maybe easier doing “short-term” (2 months) in Scotland: with a common language and theology in the Presbyterian sense. But the one thing teams have found is the cultural differences, which actually make the whole experience much more valuable. It might just be the tool God uses to propel you into missionary service, in Scotland, or elsewhere. Even if it doesn’t, you’re prayer for us will be much more informed, and learning to trust God in such a context can life-changing.

      If you are interested, I’m sure MTW will be coordinating teams this summer again, though I’ve not heard any details yet. If you drop me a line I’ll try to point you the right direction. You can reach me at gordonmatheson at btinternet dot com

  • Hardy Smith

    Our church in Michigan took a mission trip to Glasgow nearly 10 years ago and I was shocked at the ignorance of the church people about simple biblical phrases such as “born again”.

    Is there funding for a minister to go to Scotland and pastor one or more of these small churches, or even start a new one?

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  • Philip Doggart

    Very good article but the good news is that in Scotland we have recognised the problem. Check out the East of Scotland Gospel Partnership and the work starting with plants. Consider David Robertson’s work in Dundee. Many reformed guys are awake to the problems. Some are doing something about it some are considering how to do something about it. Bleak yes, hopeless no, after all it is the Church of Jesus Christ we are talking about.

  • Andrew Barrie

    As a younger man starting in ministry here in Scotland, the outlook (humanly speaking) does seem bleak. Apathy within local churches is a huge problem. As someone who is currently still part of the church of Scotland, there is a real lack of a desire to be faithful to the scriptures from the denomination as a whole.

    I think part of the problem is the need for a mind shift for the church here. IT is very used to being a key and respected part of a Christendom society and seems to not want to move on (even though the culture has!) We need to make a shift into more of a missionary mindset and lose our pride of being a cultural institution and remember our calling as sojourners and exiles.

    I would echo the encouragements of others, with the East of Scotland partnership, Cornhill Scotland and other things.

    However I would appeal to anyone over the pond to consider ministering in Scotland, it is in great need of faithful leaders. Also, I would appeal to anyone who could help in training for pastors as the theological education isn’t in any way orthodox and leaves people with no confidence in the scriptures and no solid doctrinal foundation.

    Above all, please pray for us.

  • Matt Holst

    Greetings all,

    I speak as a Welshman, who like David, has crossed the Atlantic to serve in the US. The outlook in Scotland, I expect, is a little more rosy than it was in South Wales where I spent 30 years. Wales does not even have the Presbyterian (or reformed) witness of Scotland.

    However, I minister now in the South of the US, in Georgia to be precise. And I can honestly say that the work here, is, in different ways, as difficult as it is in the UK. Sin is the same everywhere, yet perhaps all the more difficult to deal with where social Christianity is at levels approaching the norm. I labour in a small church (less than 75 people) and we have many through the doors who look like us, speak like us, think like us and have a background like us. Even so, most do NOT stay and join. We hardly ever have unbelievers through the door, or people who come from a different background to us. Most “Christians” have been horribly served by the church to the point that they treat the church like a social club: worship (morning only of course) is optional at best; tithing – relatively non-existant; Lord’s Day observance – “what’s that?”; divorce rate in the church -as high as the culture etc. etc. Yet so many confess “the got saved” or “met Jesus”.

    And so while there are some residual blessings resulting from a somewhat Christian culture – the labor remains the same here, as it does in Scotland or Wales – small fruit for faithful churches.

    So… my overall point is this: the need for a faithfully preached gospel is as great in the “buckle of the Bible-belt” as it is in Cardiff, Aberdeen, or the Isles.



  • http://thebreadline.wordpress.com David Bissett

    This has been so helpful to read — thanks to all. I’ve been praying for Scotland for so many years, and hope some day to preach Christ there.

  • https://eikontoutheou.wordpress.com/ Raj Rao

    May I add my 2 cents worth of thoughts to this:

    I do wonder how the Scottish churches are doing in their outreach to the immigrant population. I will tell you what motivates me to wonder about this:

    1. I have been blessed by God to go on many street evangelism outings here in the US. What I have experienced is that Hispanics, African Americans and Internationals are very open to the Gospel, while the typical white American are less so. (Apologetics is needed here.)

    2. It also seems to me that quite often when I hear about conversions or church growth taking place it often seems to involve the immigrant population. (Ex. Turkish people in Germany or Latin & South Americans in Spain.)

    My point is this: I hope I am not being presumptuous in saying this but – in some cases it may be the net is not being cast wide enough.

    ~ I mean in the Parable of the Wedding Banquet (Matthew 22), the King tells his servants to go to the most unexpected places to invite people. The persecution and scattering of the church in Acts 11 pushes the church to go to those unexpected places also. So maybe the net needs to be cast wider.

    In Christ,
    ~ Raj

    • https://eikontoutheou.wordpress.com/ Raj Rao

      Sorry – in point 2 I am referring to conversions and church growth in European countries.

  • Catherine

    I lived in Glasgow from 2006-2008 and attended a Church if Scotland that had by far the most vibrant and enthusiastic preaching and outreach ministries I had ever been a part of – much more so than any church I attended in the Anerican south. Sadly, since that time, The Church of Scotland as a denomination has taken steps to endorse nonbiblical teachings and practices, so that many of the strongest evangelical churches within the denomination have made decisions to leave. The C of S has shown itself for what it is – an institution more interested in its own power and preservation than in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

    Having said that, in my estimation, the believers in Scotland are made of much tougher stuff than Christians in America. The soil is indeed very hard, but the believers seem both united and fully aware of the challenges they face. While the Church of Scotland is struggling to fill pulpits and to attract workers to the ministry, programs like the Cornhill Training Course in Glasgow are producing skilled Bible preachers and teachers every year – many of whom enter full-time ministry and many who are equipped to serve their churches in lay positions.

    Perhaps I do not have the best understanding of the big picture of Christianity in Scotland, but my two years in Scotland had a deeper impact on my life and faith than two decades as a Christian in America (except my conversion, of course). I see many reasons for hope.

    • Ian

      “but my two years in Scotland had a deeper impact on my life and faith than two decades as a Christian in America (except my conversion, of course). I see many reasons for hope.”

      I have heard others who have expressed similar sentiments. Whatever else the church in Corinth teaches us, it teaches us that no society is so bad that the grace of God cannot reach it. Indeed, there is hope.

      “Such were some of you, but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Cor 6:11).

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  • http://www.20schemes.com mez mcconnell

    Hey Brother.
    Good article and pretty much bang on the money. There is some good stuff happening out here even among us “calvinists” (even if we are Baptists), although the spiritual bleakness is a fact.

    However, when I came here 6 years ago to work in the schemes I was told it was a ‘desert’ and a ‘spiritual graveyard’. Now, whilst that may be true in more affluent circles that is not the case in many of the housing schemes. People are spiritually hungry. The problem is that the church has left town! Those that are in many of the poorer areas are either liberal or out of touch.

    I see reason for great optimism once we get past the Scottish mindset of woe and doom :-). As for Americans, in my experience they have far more ability to engage with locals in schemes than with many of the cynical middle classes. In my experience the Americans have a much more ‘can do’ attitude and make many local contacts/friendships more quickly than people from many middle class areas and organisations.

    Jesus is saving people in Scotland and will continue to do so as we step out in faith and maintain confidence in the gospel.

    Love the blog.

    • http://headhearthand.org/blog/ David Murray

      Fascinating insights, Mez. Great to hear about the Lord’s work – even among the Baptists!! I’d love if you could “flesh out” what you wrote in a blog post that I’d post on my blog. I’d especially like to hear more about how Americans are making an impact in the Scottish schemes. That’s just amazing. Could you write something for me and my readers?