On overview of the Highland situation
Ernie Gibson is a representative in the Highlands and Islands for the prayer ministry Pray for Scotland. In this month's PfS newsletter he gives an overview of the area and the churches.
by Ernie Gibson
Inverness, the capital of the Highlands, and its surrounds, has over 100,000 of a population. This is more than the total population of the rest of the Highlands.
An increasing number of the traditional churches are without a minister, especially in the rural areas. In Inverness, however, a small, but increasing, number of believers are regularly working together from different congregations, in parachurch type organisations, with the emphasis being on 'the church in the community'. It has also been described as 'the church without walls'. As such, prayer and outreach in its various forms, go hand in hand.
With a few exceptions in the city of Inverness, most of the traditional churches are diminishing in numbers. Of those remaining in these congregations, most are in the over-60 age-group.
There are a number of new, or relatively new Christian churches/ fellowships – both in the city and in the smaller towns and villages.
Most, if not all of these, have less than two hundred members. They tend to have a better spread of age groups and are seeing some increase in numbers, albeit a small increase to date.
There are some new prayer initiatives such as The Lighthouses of Prayer model and some congregations are experimenting with changes to their traditional prayer meetings. There are also increasing numbers of believers who are 'prayer walking' their communities.
[Ed note:] Ernie suggests the following as 'Points for Prayer':
- For a healing of divisions in the church in our communities
- For Christian leaders to have vision and courage to teach their people how to impact their communities and beyond with the gospel
- For Christian leaders to provide training for their members for the work of ministry
- For God to raise up more inspirational leaders in His church
See Prayer Group Directory for a listing of some of the prayer groups across the Highands and Islands area.
Pray for Scotland is a prayer network for revival that seeks to bring unity in prayer across denominations and church groups. PfS seeks to encourage the mobilisation of God’s people to pray for revival in the church and for the transformation of society in Scotland.