A New Role for Andy Paterson
All of us who serve at FIEC are passionate about local Independent churches. That’s why we’re really excited that our Mission Director Andy Paterson will be taking on a new pastoral ministry role in 2018 as Phil Topham explains.
Edinburgh is home to the Scottish Government, the annual Fringe festival and one of FIEC’s largest churches: Charlotte Chapel. In September 2018, our Mission Director Andy Paterson is joining the ministry team at Charlotte as part-time associate pastor with responsibility for mission.
This new role means that Andy can continue to serve FIEC to advance mission and church planting across our family of churches, whilst also serving in a church ministry team.
God willing, he and Kath will move from Bristol to Edinburgh in summer 2018. Andy is really excited about the changes and said:
“God has been immensely gracious to FIEC in the work of church planting over the past six years. It has now become mainstream in our thinking and we see a regular number of new plants seeking recognition or affiliation with us.
But I have been increasingly conscious that we are moving into the next phase of our planting strategy. FIEC is actively exploring how we can develop and grow church planting through a new alignment of our resources, targeting unreached areas and investing in regional centres.
Twinned with that, I have also become more aware of how much I have missed involvement in church leadership and particularly being part of a regular expository preaching programme. Now, in the goodness of God, this door has been opened that allows me to play a continued role within FIEC, but also to serve within a church team. I’m really excited about all the Lord has for Kath and I in this new season.”
So we think it’s great that Andy has answered the Lord’s call to serve in a ministry team that is committed to mission at Charlotte Chapel. It means we get the best of both worlds: Andy can use his expertise and experience to continue furthering the work and ministry of FIEC as well as serving on a church team in Edinburgh.
Our desire is to equip churches to effectively reach more areas of Great Britain and Andy’s new role doesn’t change that missional mindset. As National Director John Stevens outlined at the Leaders’ Conference in November, mission actually needs to be embedded in all that FIEC does. So whether we are helping planting and revitalisation, supporting pastors, encouraging training, or guiding churches with legal support, all of it is with the same goal in mind: to reach Britain for Christ.
Here’s a flavour of what John said in our AGM in Torquay as he outlined the next steps for the FIEC family:
“We need to see churches started and churches revitalised where at the moment there is very little gospel witness. We are beginning to develop a strategy to help us to see churches planted in key areas. We see a multi-stranded approach with churches planted in key regional centres to be a blessing to their cities and regions.
But at the same time we want to see churches planted into the unreached areas. There are communities with no witness at all. There are deprived urban areas with little or no witness. There are ethnic communities where we are hardly penetrating. There are rural communities where a large section of our population lives but gospel ministry is difficult.
So we want to support churches in all these areas and the great thing about FIEC is that we’ve got people in our network who are experts in these areas of ministry. So I want to gather those with expertise in these different kinds of ministries so that as a constituency as a whole we can work out how to do that well, motivating and catalysing gospel growth in those areas. These things are not competing, it has got to be both/and if we want to reach the nation.”
So please pray for Andy and Kath as they contemplate this move to Edinburgh – and for their wider family who will be staying behind in Bristol. And do pray for FIEC too as we continue to develop our plans to encourage and equip church planting and revitalisation across our needy nation.
You can listen to John Stevens’ short presentation from the FIEC AGM in the video below.