Six churches from across Glasgow gathered to hear from John Stevens, national director of the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches (FIEC), during a special meeting in the city at the end of April.
In his message, Mr Stevens explained the parallels between the situation facing the church in Corinth and the condition of our secular society today. Afterwards, church representatives took turns to share what God has been doing, as they take the good news of the gospel to their communities.
Andy Hunter, FIEC Scotland director, convened the meeting and was excited to hear how God is using the churches in Glasgow. He said, ‘In a city with more bookmakers than evangelical churches, there has never been a greater need for gospel-centred churches to encourage one another.
‘Despite their variations, FIEC churches are united by the great gospel hope they proclaim. Similarly the many different communities around them are united by their shared need of the gospel. It was a huge encouragement to see a range of churches, different in many ways, sharing and praying together as they carry out the Great Commission’.
In his message, John Stevens looked at a number of New Testament passages connected to the church in Corinth, explaining how similar its first century culture was to our own — diverse, immoral, pluralistic and spiritually confused. However, he highlighted that gospel faithfulness was not to be confused with cultural inflexibility. Drawing on 1 Corinthians 9:22, where Paul writes that he becomes ‘all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some’, Mr Stevens went on to explain the danger of personal preferences and old habits becoming obstacles to communicating the gospel.
He added: ‘We become in danger of calling people to come to church and be like us, rather than to come to Christ and be like him’.
The gathering in Glasgow included reports from Harper Church, Clarkston Baptist Church, Lenzie Christian Fellowship, Crosshill Evangelical Church, Yoker Evangelical Church and Finnieston Evangelical Church. Andy Hunter concluded by saying, ‘The evening was a great reminder of the real unity and fellowship that God’s people share in the gospel’.