Paul Scanlon (Pastor and Author) has an amazing and recommended book “Crossing Over “. In one of the sections he talks about “the power of a complaint”. The main point being, that God will sometimes give you eyes and a heart for something He wants you to do, that will effect change around you. That message left a mark on me.
In the early days of Tommy’s first charge, I personally found myself at times wondering how to deal with various situations and experiences that were all ministry related. In utter desperation, one night I scoured the web and found some websites and resources for “pastors’ wives”. It was like manna. Although most helpful indeed, it was generally relating to the American church, and was very different to our cultural context in Scotland, and especially in the Islands. And so, the seeds of “my complaint” were being sown. It seemed to be the same for ministers.
The years passed, and as Tommy and I attended various conferences or church events, it never ceased to amaze me that the conversations we would end up having with folk, inevitably started with “can I have a wee word?” Thereafter would follow a long story of hurt, frustration, brokenness and discouragement as a result of ministry and people. I always used to wonder who was ministering to the ministers or pastoring the pastors? There didn’t seem to be a “go-to” for encouragement, fellowship and spiritual support. To be fair, there may have been some events going on in the cities, but either they had passed by before the news filtered up North, or they were one off events once a year. For many in ministry, even if you hear of an event in time, it isn’t always feasible to go because of time, distance and money. More seeds sown.
Fast forward to the last few years. Throughout our lives Tommy and I have always had a deep love, passion and hunger for revival. We still have great faith and expectation for God to move mightily again in our land. One day I was enjoying some worship time at home alone, and I felt God clearly invade my thoughts. As I’d been praying about and for revival…He left me with this thought – if He came in a move of Revival – how prepared would the pastors/ministers be to host it across our land? That shook me. Truth is, I know many wonderful churches and pastors having amazing impact on their churches and communities who are thriving personally and spiritually up and down our land. Thank God. But equally, so many I know are also tired and burnt out and going through the motions.
Tommy has seen exactly half of those who trained with him for ministry leave. That’s a sobering reality. The prayer of all the Trustees and I, is that all who are involved in ministry would be revived, encouraged and built up in the call of God again.
We need to love and encourage one another in this unique and incredible opportunity to spread the Gospel in our land. I believe God also wants to remind us that we are not alone, and that He wants us to enjoy life – not endure it, and live the lives He has given us in wholeness and goodness. Through ESPS Ministries may you be encouraged, built up, refreshed and revived through all that is shared here and through events we hope to run in the near future.
The Launch…ESPS Ministries at CLAN 2016
The final year of the popular CLAN (Christians Linked Across the Nation) summer conference was held this year at Kelburn Park in Largs. Grateful thanks to the Clan team for giving us a marquee for the session launch that was jam packed. Grateful thanks to you if you were there, it was so encouraging to see everyone who came along to find out more and take away our contact cards to share out.
With so many ministers, leaders and folk from various churches and denominations, it was the perfect opportunity for us to launch ESPS Ministries and spread the word in person.
Those of the trustees who were able to be there on the day shared their hearts and why they were involved in this ministry. Tommy set the stage with context for the need we are all so aware of. Donna then hosted the meeting with Andrea and Fred both sharing briefly. Truth is, it would have been wonderful to share more and to dialogue more with those who were there, but the allotted time just flew by.
This is a very new ministry that’s just being birthed, and we would really value your prayers and your support. The vision is endless, and we are in the process of prayerfully planning into the next exciting stages we are to build on. ESPS Ministries is non-denominational and we are passionate to see the church and pastors/ministers and their spouses in Scotland, and beyond, flourish and be blessed.