Kenny French, Gordon Menzies and Gordon MacDonald - leaders from Lenzie Boys Urban Saints in Scotland

Restarting after 60 years

31st Mar 2022

“It seems like you’ve still got a heart for the boys”

“It’s ‘vine’ work”, my wife Laura said. I agreed, as I knew God was speaking through her. We had been talking about the busyness of life and wondering how to fit Urban Saints back into this as we exited the Covid-19 pandemic.

Lenzie Boys’ Urban Saints has run for over 60 years. I have been involved for over 10 years with Gordon Menzies and Kenny French – who have become valued friends and a great team. We have had many good times over these years and done all the usual crazy and fun stuff that young folks enjoy. Most importantly we have been so encouraged with our groups, who are keen to listen to God’s word, ask questions and understand. So, it was a real disappointment when our teaching series “big words that end in shun” (redemption, salvation...) was stopped by the pandemic. Like many Urban Saints Groups, we were unable to meet and were faced with a decision in September 2021 as to ‘if’ and ‘how’ we should restart Urban Saints.

As Leaders each of us had somehow managed to make ourselves even busier during the pandemic. We had several conversations and were sensing that this may be the time for the Group to stop. To restart the Group seemed too big a task and beyond our resources. We met with Becca Ambrose (Impact Team Leader Scotland) who listened carefully to us as we described our dilemma, as our concern remained for the boys and sharing God’s word with them. Then came the punchline. “It seems like you’ve still got a heart for the boys”, she said. Well, I think we were all struck by the truth and emotion of that statement. We went away reflecting, sensing God had spoken.

Back to the ‘vine’. I had been working through an excellent book – ‘The trellis and the vine’ by Colin Marshall and Tony Payne (worth a read). There is trellis work. Our structures that support our ministries (meetings, committees, agendas, reports etc), each of which are very necessary. There is vine work. The ministries that make disciples through speaking God’s word in every situation. Yes, Urban Saints has a trellis, but it is fundamentally a ‘vine’ work that seeks to share Jesus through His word in every situation.

It seemed as if God was reminding us of His vine work and the heart he’d given us for the work. So Lenzie Boys’ Urban Saints restarted in September 2021. We currently have 12 boys, who are inviting their friends and loving being back. It feels good to be back amidst the chaos of youth work (usually created by me!), sharing God’s truth. Please pray that we remain in Christ, the true vine, and bear much fruit.

Gordon Macdonald - Assistant Leader, Lenzie Boys’ Urban Saints


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