In 2011 Hillview Community Church was re-planted from International Baptist Church (IBC). For various reasons IBC had struggled for many years and a fresh start was required with fresh direction. The elders of IBC, after much time spent in prayer and consultation, produced a re-plant document that set out the values and vision of Hillview Community Church. This was an extremely positive time for the whole church and since this point we have had much to rejoice in as we have seen the congregation grow and have seen God do tremendous work in the lives of many in the church. We have deepened our relationships with the local community and have had an increasing impact on local and world mission. Within that re-plant document was a section on Church Planting. The elders believed that God was calling Hillview to make church planting a part its DNA and to begin to think about what it meant for the church to establish new communities of faith as an outreach vehicle.
Church planting is having something of a resurgence in the western world. As churches consider how best to win people to Christ, they are increasingly identifying church planting as probably the most effective method. Much research has been done in recent years which points, with great persuasiveness, to the merits of having a focused emphasis on “church multiplication” as a key missional strategy. If we, as a replanted church, were faithful in sharing the gospel message with those around us, God might be pleased over 10-20 years to bring scores of people to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus. But if we had a vision to make church planting a central focus of our outreach, we believe we could see God multiplying this effectiveness many times over. Clearly we are not in a position to plant another church at present. However, churches do not need to be many hundreds strong before considering a church plant. As elders, we believe that – in this moment of replanting– God is calling us to make church planting part of our DNA. Our heart is that, for years to come, this church would be a place which plants other churches, who then themselves would plant churches. Part of our mission over the coming years we will develop this strategy. This will involve seeking God in prayer, allocating finances to a church planting fund, training up leaders and perhaps hiring staff who could facilitate this ministry or who could themselves lead a church plant. Our hope is that sometime around three years from the re-launch date, we would be ready to send out a team to plant a church, either to another part of Aberdeenshire or further afield. It may be that we would focus this around one of the established and thriving small groups, but we acknowledge that God could guide in a different direction. This is a significant shift in our long-term mission strategy and we are excited about the Kingdom potential of this.
Church planting is something we want to be involved in both directly locally but also further afield. Many of the missionaries that we support have direct links with Church Planting. We support a young couple working with All Nations in South Africa who are a part of a Church Planting school that sends out team’s right across Africa. We support the Kerusso Trust who look to provide gospel teaching to pastors and church leaders throughout rural Malawi and enable them to teach their congregations the truth of Jesus Christ. We support OM Missionaries in Asia who look to bring the light of Jesus into some of the most closed off parts of the world and establish local churches. We support 20 Schemes in Scotland who endeavour to establish 20 churches in 20 of Scotland’s poorest communities whilst also supporting the Bridge Church in Aberdeen led by Glenn Innes. We want to fully embrace Church Planting as being one of the most effective ways to win people to Christ!
Since 2011, the eldership of Hillview Community Church sought God’s guidance as to how and where we should be Church Planting. Throughout months and years of prayer meetings, retreats and waiting on God we began to see where God was already at work. As we prayed through a number of options, God made it increasingly clear that we should be planting in the town of Kintore, 13 miles to the north of Cults. In January 2017 Hillview planted Kintore Community Church (please visit this page for more information about the church plant).
The original vision statement of Hillview (please find them here) was “We see a church that plants other churches” therefore we are still on this journey of what this means for us. Please join with us in prayer as we seek God’s will for us as a church in this area.