In 2014 Iain was an Associate Pastor in Renfrew and Lyndsay was a GP in Govan. We loved it there and the people we got to do life with, but we also believed God was giving us a vision to plant a church, a church that loves the Bible, is looking to reach people who don’t yet know Jesus and is pursuing all the gifts of the Spirit, whether that's administration, the prophetic, preaching or any other gift. So, we prayed that God would provide for us a family of churches that was all about those things.
Those prayers were answered in a way that we couldn't have made up if we tried! A master's degree, a job in PR and a move to Dorset later brought us to Gateway Church in Poole and the Advance movement of churches. Within 18 months of being at Gateway Matt Hosier (Lead Pastor) and the Elders asked if Iain would take on a role in church where they would train him to be a church planter through the Advance Church Planting Course. If we'd written down exactly what we were looking for every single aspect would have been answered.
Then, in November 2016, a team came to the church to encourage us in the prophetic. When they began to pray for Iain, alongside the leadership team, someone turned to Iain and said, "God is saying, 'I'm not done with you in Scotland yet'". Iain broke down. It was as if God was giving him a new heart for Scotland and especially Glasgow. Since then he's not been able to stop thinking about returning and being part of Scotland's renewal as 'the land of the book'.
We took time to test those prophetic words with lots of prayer and input from the eldership team, leaders in Advance (our movement of churches) and other wise people. Over a period of 18-months God answered all kinds of prayers in extraordinary ways and it became very clear that we should return to Glasgow to begin a new church. We love Gateway and living in Poole, but we know God is in this, we are passionate about the people of Glasgow and we're excited to see how God is going to use the people of Glasgow Grace.
Glasgow's motto is to "Let Glasgow flourish". It used to be "Let Glasgow flourish by the preaching of Thy Word and the praising of Thy Name". It's been shortened since because today only 1.5–2% of people are going to churches that still preach the good news about Jesus and almost half of them are over 65-years-of-age.
Glasgow needs new churches to work alongside those already here that call people to pursue the glory of God for the good of Glasgow. We are certain that God has called us to return to the city we love to do just that.
Iain and Lyndsay became so used to God having already shaped people’s hearts and thoughts to the vision of Glasgow Grace before they met them that they were finding that it was becoming the norm. It was incredibly humbling to see Jesus building His Church and a privilege to be part of a team with a passion for God’s glory and Glasgow’s good. By December 2018 there were 45 people ready to begin public meetings in the New Year.
By January 2019 God led that group to start public meetings, first at The Studio on Hope Street and then at Strathclyde University Union on John Street. It was such a joyful time as God added to our numbers quickly, people began to come to faith and strong gospel friendships developed.
After only 14 months the nation went into lockdown. We continued to meet in Grace Communities, online on Sundays and daily prayer meetings on Zoom every morning through the first lockdown. Although we felt the frustration and pain of not meeting in person or with socially distanced rules, God continued to strengthen us and prepare us for the future.