Stories

The Internship without St Silas is almost unimaginable

Date posted: 14/02/18

 craig bathgate

Craig developing his culinary skills at St Silas Church

Welcome to part five of the Internship blog as Craig Bathgate takes up the running with his account of local church partnership in action. Craig can often be found swimming, biking and running as a member of Glasgow Triathlon Club.

This year, as part of the Christians in Sport internship here in Glasgow, I have had the incredible opportunity to serve and become part of the family at St Silas Episcopal Church, a large Anglican church based in the West End of Glasgow.

One of the joys of the year so far has been the variety of ways in which I have been able to serve the work of the church. From hosting services and doing youth work to moving chairs and operating the tech, I have experienced many different facets of church life.

craig bathgateCentral to my work with both Christians in Sport and St Silas has been supporting students. This typically entails meeting up in a coffee shop to read the Bible with a student as I seek to encourage them in their faith. This is a great privilege and is something I have enjoyed hugely since starting the Internship.

As part of its student work, St Silas has a group for students and young professionals called ‘Roots’. This year we have been going through Exodus, looking at its relevance and application to us today. In November, we had our second ever Roots weekend at home. It was a fantastic time as, not only did we receive great bible teaching, we also had a lot of fun, including a scavenger hunt, a quiz and (highly influenced by me) a Sports Plus-inspired mini team challenge.

However, for me, the most exciting aspect of life at St Silas is its strong emphasis on evangelism. Its vision is to ‘reach’ lost people with the gospel, to ‘grow’ the church family in their love and knowledge of God, and then to ‘send’ the congregation out into the city of Glasgow to make more disciples. It has been brilliant, even over my short time there, to see the growth in people coming along and investing in this vision to ‘Reach’, ‘Grow’ and ‘Send’.

craig bathgate

 

This hunger for evangelism has been manifest in various events. Before Christmas we had over 50 women attend a Christmas craft evening, whilst a couple of weeks ago more than 40 men took part in a cider tasting night. Both these events were great opportunities to reach out to the community and allow people to come into contact with the gospel in a relaxed and casual setting.

As part of looking to reach lost people with the gospel, I have been able to start up a small group of sports players at St Silas. Using a model from Christians in Sport, I conducted a survey to find sports players within the church, and to my delight found quite a few.

craig bathgateFast forward a couple of months and with the help of Rona, a member of the congregation who has been involved in Christians in Sport for a while, we have been able to get a group up and running. My hope and prayer is that through this group individuals will realise that God loves the fact that they love their sport and that He has called us to be witnesses in our respective sporting contexts.

All in all, life on the Internship without St Silas is almost unimaginable. The church has been an integral aspect to my year and the opportunities they have given me to serve in the life of the church have really stretched me and allowed me to grow in my faith and in my skill set.

I am so excited to see what the Lord has in store for the remainder of my year as an intern. My prayer is that He will continue to use St Silas to grow His kingdom in the city of Glasgow, and especially in the world of sport.

To read the rest of the Internship blog series, click here 


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