I feel a sense of privilege and responsibility
What is it like taking over as an Elim Regional Leader in the midst of a pandemic? James Glass is finding out
James, you’ve just taken over as Regional Leader for Scotland and the North West of England. What does the role involve?
"It’s overseeing pastors and around 75 churches in those areas and helping to advance what Elim is doing there."
What excites you about the role?
"It’s an amazing opportunity to be given responsibility for these churches, and for two significant geographical areas. You feel a sense of privilege, responsibility, and opportunity. We have many capable people who are hungry for God and for him to do something in our nation. It's going to be exciting to see how God touches people’s hearts, brings about new things, helps us strengthen existing things, and how he extends his kingdom in Scotland and the North West."
What’s your vision for your Regions?
"Initially, it will be to listen and hear what God might be saying about how we move things forward. I'd love to see a lot more leaders come to the fore, and for people to be equipped and mobilised in the local churches, and serving God. I'd love to see new churches planted too, and smaller churches growing. I'd also love to see people released into their destinies.
"I’m taking over at a difficult time, but my predecessor Kevin Peat has left behind two very healthy Regions, and people from both have been very supportive."
How have you encouraged churches to approach Christmas this year – in the middle of a pandemic?
"We need to make a big thing of Christmas this year because there is a lot of discouragement. People are struggling; there’s a lot of anxiety for all sorts of reasons, and insecurity around so many jobs.
"One Elim pastor said recently, ‘We can’t cancel Christmas’, and I agree. We need to make the statement that Christmas isn’t cancelled because Jesus is still king. It’s a time of hope, when we remember that this world is still in God’s heart, to the extent that he sent his Son into it.
"Despite all that’s happening there's a lot to celebrate and we shouldn’t feel awkward about sharing the hope we have. As churches, we should be asking the Holy Spirit to help us think creatively about how we celebrate Christmas."
Are you doing anything special for Christmas at Glasgow Elim where you have been senior leader for the past decade?
"One thing we do every year is hold a farewell Sunday. We say goodbye to the year that’s just about to end; it’s a time when a lot of people come to church.
"It's a moment to let go of the things that have been difficult, or haven’t been good in the past year. We’ll do that in some way again this year, because this has been a difficult year for everybody – and extremely difficult for some. And we also want to celebrate Christmas in a way that emphasises the hope that Jesus brings. No doubt that will be done both online and in person – like the way we have done many things in this unusual year."
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