"This is Dreamland stuff" - the Mintlaw Church Plant
Stuart Watt and his family planted Mintlaw Community church five years ago in rural, sparsely populated North East Scotland with just five members of his family. This year they baptized 30 people, they’ve got an extensions service running in another village and have plans for a new campus.
Their recent Alpha courses have seen many decisions for Christ, and started momentum for the congregations bringing their friends and family to church. We spoke to Stuart Watt about the last year.
“This year has been incredible for us in Mintlaw Church – though every year so far has been incredible, so I’d have to say that this year has been off the scale.
“Our congregation has had a 25% growth, and we’ve seen 25 people come to Christ. 23 of the 30 people we have baptized have come through in the last 18 months.”
The church put a big emphasis on evangelism, and did a month of training in March before launching an Alpha course.
Stuart said: “We’ve found that challenging a Christian for evanglism is not enough. So we produce an opportunity; we need some practicalities to get going.
“We have classically done a traditional Alpha in a hired a local hotel room, and we do outreach events that aren’t like church but have people bringing relevant testimony. We’re putting emphasis on relationships, so we’re a very welcoming people.
“Alpha has been the catalyst but the momentum that it created led to people bringing their friends and family to services.”
We asked Stuart about his passion for church planting, and what his advice would be for anyone thinking about planting a church.
“I think it’s always been a passion but you need to continually reengage that; we regularly do mission locally.
“For church planters, the first thing is vision vision vision. You need a vision to plant a church, and not do it just because. Then you need strategy; if you only have a vision it’s not enough. Then you need to wait for the appointed time – when you have a vision from God it is for an appointed time.
“Then you need to get alongside church planters and serve them. If someone hasn’t been involved in church planting they need to get experience. Though what God has called you to do something that will be unique, the things you learn equip you for what God has for you.”
Mintlaw is planning another church plant in the summer, and dreams for more in the future. We’d love you to join us and pray for what God is doing in their amazing church!