Church Development

We want to see growth in existing churches in urban and rural areas across the whole nation. We believe there is hope and possibility in every situation.

Generation offers a bespoke service to each congregation to help them make the most of their missional thinking and practice.

We offer an objective assessment of where a congregation is and work with them to develop a plan of where they would like to be. The ideas for development will largely come from the congregation and be owned by them but Generation personnel will help in this process.

We will provide material to enable congregations to engage in an Annual Health Check. A Revitalisation Plan Toolkit is also available which will enable congregations to draw from a range of helpful resources.

If you are interested in further information about Generation Church Development, please get in touch

Burghead Free Church

Burghead Free Church has a long history of Faithful witness on the Morayshire coast. Since the disruption the church has given a clear gospel witness in this wonderful fishing village.

In recent times however, the church had seen significant numerical decline. We arrived in 2015 to a small, ageing, but faithful congregation of 19 members. Though the building was in a state of considerable disrepair the congregation gave sacrificially to secure the ability to call a minister. The folks also welcomed visitors warmly, and eagerly desired church growth.

I previously served on the staff of a church down in Sheffield, but had family connections in Moray.

Senior leaders in Sheffield encouraged us in our move to Burghead and urged us to try and build a team to move with us. Astonishingly, and in answer to our prayers, four adults moved with us from Sheffield to Burghead in 2015 to encourage and strengthen Burghead Free Church. 

Over the last three years the existing congregation have been willing to embrace significant change in our model and style of ministry. We have endevoured to be active in Evangelism through invitation services, outreach events and Christianity Explored courses as well as engaging folks through social media. By God's Grace, and through the generosity of his people £100,000 was raised to completely refurbish the building. 

Today our church is steadily growing. Our membership stands at 34 and average Sunday morning attendance has risen to around 45. There is much still to do but we thank God for his work amongst us.

Our church vision is now to... ‘grow to be a vibrant, all-age church of 100 disciples’.

Peter Turnbull, church worker


Dunfermline Free Church

It’s one of these stories that looks more exciting when we look back and see God has provided what we’ve needed when we’ve needed it.  We’re glad to have had 10 years of financial support from the Mission Board and now to be at the point where we can say ‘thank you, but God is providing for our needs through the generosity of the local congregation.’ 

The congregation doesn’t seem to grow week by week, but we’re grateful to have between 65 and 85 most Sunday mornings.   

Since it’s inception Dunfermline Free Church has been asking how it can serve God and love the community around it and we pray that we get better at both.  Our mission at Dunfermline is to Love God, people and community. 

There’s thousands of people around who might have just about everything they want, but not the one thing they need.  We’d love to be part of the story of how many in the Kingdom of Fife are brought into the Kingdom of God.  We’re excited to be welcoming an additional worker from August 2018, Greg Doty who’s coming from MTW.  We’ve still got lots to achieve. 

Please pray for us. We’d love to appoint more local leaders and to have our own building to worship in and reach out to the community from.

Rev. Jeremy Ross


Carloway is a small rural village of about 450 people on the west coast of the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. There’s no school and no shops but there is a great community spirit and two Bible believing congregations; one Free Church and one Church of Scotland, and the two congregations work closely together to reach out to the community.

In the past 15 years, God has been at work in the community, and both congregations have seen encouragements. In the Free Church, under the ministry of Kenny Macleod (now of Dowanvale) there was a period of great blessing, where many people of many different ages came to faith in Jesus Christ.

In recent years that growth has been consolidated as people have grown in faith and are now faithfully serving in the congregation. One of the big encouragements in the last couple of years is to have seen men who came to faith 10 or so years ago being ordained as Deacons and Elders in the congregation. It shows that in 10 years’ time, people who aren’t even coming to church right now might be the next generation of leaders in Christ’s Church.

We are also very thankful for many faithful women, who are actively involved in both church and community activities. One of our great aims is for believers to be actively involved in the community and building up relationships with people who don’t yet come to church. We are also very thankful to have young families coming along each week. But there is a lot to do, and even though Lewis has a strong Christian heritage, most of the people in our village are pretty much unchurched, and so we want to reach out to them with the gospel and to welcome them in to the family of believers here in Carloway.

We are excited about Generation; we long to see new churches planted, and existing ones developed and revitalized, so that people across the whole of Scotland will hear the wonderful news of salvation in Jesus Christ.

Thomas Davis


Dornoch is a small town in the Highlands of Scotland, about 40 miles north of Inverness. Dornoch Free Church is located in the heart of the community and for many years it has been spreading the Gospel throughout the area.

A few years back, however, we were a marginal congregation in all ways. We were a small congregation with a declining membership. Our buildings and finances were not favourable. We weren’t planning ahead and we had limited outreach opportunities.

Since then we have been encouraged to see improvements in all areas. The leadership team has been strengthened with additional members, Church membership has increased, as has numbers of people attending on Sundays, and more beautifully there is a clear vision of what it looks like to be a Gospel-centred Church community through members growing in their faith and taking on more active roles in the life of the Church. There is a broader age range of people attending the Church, with a busy creche, and the Sunday School has now resumed after a break. Preaching that seeks to be scriptural, Spirit dependent and relevant to the needs of the congregation and community, coupled with the addition of a praise band has lifted the worship and particularly engaged the younger generation of Church goers.

This has all been achieved through God’s help enabling His people in Dornoch to build relationships within the local community through different activities, such as “Little Lambs” – a Parent and toddler group which has seen steady regular attendance, and an Easter Fun Day which engaged 80 young children and their parents, and saw some of this number transition to the Easter Sunday service. There are many other regular activities and programmes – Road to Recovery (an addiction support group), A local youth group, Bible study and friendship groups, prayer groups, as well as the Minister’s interaction with local schools as a school chaplain.
In 2013 and 2014 the Church building underwent significant refurbishments which resulted in the development of a new, modern, all purpose ground floor which is used by many local community groups almost every day of the week. In 2018, the Church roof has been stripped and re-slated, and the general look of the Church building is much more attractive and welcoming.

The future presents challenges however Dornoch Free Church will continue to rely on God’s help to faithfully serve the local community, seek to build God’s Kingdom in the area, and disciple one another throughout lives joys and struggles. There is a 5 year development plan in place which has been embraced and encouraged by the congregation, which prayerfully will crystalize the direction and progress of the Church. The Church is grateful for the support of the PCA Church in Richmond, Virginia, who have sent mission teams to Dornoch to help establish the praise band and mentoring programmes, and long for this to continue.

Duncan Macleod

St Columba’s, Edinburgh

17 years ago, God made it clear that he had other plans for my professional and family life by taking us from Rosskeen Church, where we felt there was lots still to do, to St Columba’s Edinburgh.

We struggled with God’s will, but in the challenging days ahead, were often given strength as we recalled two verses in the Bible that we believe God made very alive and specific to our calling during that time:

“and I will do a new thing” (Isaiah 43 v 19) and “I have many people in this city” (Acts 18 v 10)

God has kept and, we believe, is still keeping these promises. We have seen Him bring increasing numbers of gifted and committed people to serve in St Columba’s. From a small and faithful group of about 20, He has led us to oversee a congregation of around 200, as well as the joy of seeing three church plants at various stages of development.

But we genuinely believe it is only the beginning. We feel that we have hardly scratched the surface of spiritual need in the city. By God’s grace we want to reach into more communities with the Gospel and to plant churches that go on to plant churches. We pray for St Columba’s to be a resource church – where worship is inspiring, vision is cast, discipleship is modelled and future leadership is trained. Simply, we want to be a people who love God and love one another.

We are at our best when we don’t know His next move, and are challenged to trust that He will continue to do more than we can ask or imagine with our lives.

Derek Lamont

Portree & Bracadale

A message for everyone. A church for anyone. A place for you. That is the ‘tag line’ for Portree and Bracadale Free Church as we seek to engage with our community with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Since 2000 the congregation has grown from about 40 to 150 people meeting for worship on a Sunday morning. But numbers never tell the full story. The congregation is ever evolving and continually growing, facing all sorts of challenges along the way. We seek to be truly missional: we don’t focus very much on event-based evangelism, but rather emphasise the importance of believers being involved in the community, functioning as salt and light. We take a low key, long-term approach to outreach, looking for lasting results.

We currently have outgrown the school gym-hall where we meet for Sunday worship and have plans to build a multi-purpose facility which will not only accommodate the congregation for worship but will act as great tool to further serve the community. This is an ambitious project that we hope to have completed at some point during 2019.

Bracadale Free Church and Portree Free Church were linked a couple of years ago, and part of our vision is to re-establish a work in the Bracadale section of the extended parish, a church plant if you like. This will take time and thought, but we recognise real Gospel opportunities there.

The congregation has also been privileged to see the development of a larger and stronger leadership team, now consisting of eight elders and four deacons, and we have also received permission to appoint an assistant minister. This, combined with a congregation of women and men that are active and visionary for Christ, and have a love for their community, we believe will result in even greater Gospel impact over the coming years.

Donnie G MacDonald

Hope Church Coatbridge

Hope Church Coatbridge is thankful to God for a sense that the wind of God’s Spirit is blowing though the congregation and blessing with growth. Six years ago attendances were frequently numbered in the high teens. Recently we experienced the buzz of 70 worshippers young and old gathering together.

Changing the name from West Free Church to Hope Church Coatbridge was a key time, providing an opportunity for a fresh start and a chance to re-cast our outlook. We began asking what a church looks like when it is being planted and everyone is effectively a missionary. The congregation went through the “Embers to a Flame” programme, identifying the need for seasons of extended prayer and repentance and implementing small group discipleship in two “community groups”.

Our aim as a congregation is to be community focussed. Members are encouraged to be involved in their neighbourhood and work at making authentic friendships through shared interests with outsiders. Many of our people are significantly involved in their communities and we are seeking to be as effective as possible in sharing the gospel through these contacts.

We recognise the importance of mercy ministries and want to be known as a caring church and our partnership with Christians Against Poverty and the work of our community outreach worker Rachel McLean helps us to show God’s love in very practical ways.

We are very much a work in progress and long for more growth. Our vision is to grow to 100 in attendance by 2022 at which point we hope to plant another church.

Ivor MacDonald