Confident Christianity at Deeside

It was a real joy to welcome Andy and Gavin to Deeside Christian Fellowship in the western suburbs of Aberdeen, for an evening of Confident Christianity, on Tuesday 6th June. Deeside has been building fruitful links with Solsas over the last few months, not least as we supply them with two board members – Derek Leith, recently retired from Ernst and Young, and an elder at Deeside, as well as Elizabeth McQuoid, Commissioning Editor for Keswick Ministries.

Over 150 enthusiasts gathered, mostly from Deeside, but including a group from our church plant at Donside, as well as a smattering of other local believers, to listen to very engaging talks from Andy and Gavin. The evening represented the firstfruits of a partnership we pray will blossom, encouraging church members to become bolder in sharing their faith, and giving very practical pointers on how to open up conversations with unbelievers.

Andy gave the first talk, helping remove some of the barriers, both theological and psychological, that prevent us from speaking out about Christ. He suggested that asking good questions is a better way of opening the secular mind than going straight for a ‘Romans road’ version of unsubtle evangelism. His assertion that Jesus asked a lot more questions (306 in the Gospels) than He gave answers was thought provoking, and the easy-to-digest questions he suggested, for both those interested and those showing no interest in Christianity, were as helpful as they were accessible.

Gavin then gave a passionate argument about the need for persuasive evangelism. We may feel that using logical arguments bypasses the necessary work of the Holy Spirit in convicting men and women, but Gavin dispelled that myth by showing how the Spirit’s power is unleashed in tandem with the kind of persuasion that the apostles consistently presented. Passionate prayer allied to well thought through arguments are a dynamic combination that can lay bare the most obstinate heart.

The talks were interspersed with ‘time outs’, necessary on a Tuesday evening after a long day at work, and a gentle introduction to the work of Solas to inform and enthuse those new to the ministry. As a refreshing conclusion to the evening, we enjoyed a Q and A session where people further probed how to use questions skilfully in very secular contexts, and included an advert for Andy’s newest book, hot off the press, ‘How to Talk about Jesus without looking like an Idiot’.

Excellent feedback has followed the evening, and a deepening desire from church members to pursue this partnership with Solas.  We aim to have another session with Gavin and Andy in November, before moving into home group studies, prepared by Solas, for Deeside small groups to study in the New Year. In the words of Humphrey Bogart in the movie Casablanca, ‘this could be the start of a beautiful friendship.’

Jeremy McQuoid is the Teaching Pastor at Deeside Christian Fellowship Church, and author of several books including “The Amazing Cross” with his wife Elizabeth.