Ali McLachlan is the church-planting pastor of GBC Edinburgh and Associate General Secretary of Grace Baptist Partnership, alongside Barry King. He served as a missionary in Yemen, and as a pastor in Liverpool, England, and Ayrshire, Scotland before commencing his present work in 2011. Ali is involved in training, advising and developing church planting strategy and revitalisation across the UK and into Europe. By God's grace, and with support from Anchored in Truth, Ali has helped train leaders and assist church plants in Edinburgh, Govan, Aberdeen, and Bydgoszcz, Poland. Edinburgh is Scotland's capital city, with half a million people. GBC Edinburgh is a multicultural congregation from all over the world. Scotland's Christian heritage has been largely erased, and many city areas, towns and villages stand in need of gospel witness and true churches. New leaders, evangelistic boldness, biblical reform of churches and new works being started are desperately needed. We deeply value your prayers. Ali is married to Caroline, and they have 5 children, one married and living in Florence AL.
Update (from "Faint Yet Pursuing", Grace Baptist Partnership Month of Prayer and Giving, March, 2022):
Some seasons of ministry may require us to press on despite personal weariness, but if we are exhausted and exasperated, it should not be because of any lack of provision. Through your prayers and giving, you encourage us to keep pursuing the mission of God even when faint.
Why would an unemployed woman give money and time to take a 50 mile bus journey just to visit a church? She had heard that God was moving at Grace Baptist Church Edinburgh, and wanted to see. The pastoral labours of the past two years have been intense and draining. A number of church members are feeling the spiritual ill effects of Covid-19: colder, less committed, seemingly having lost the motivation to serve or even to attend. This is a grave concern. And yet, God is moving, so his people also move. This is a great comfort.
Over the past year, the Lord has added ten new members to the Edinburgh church. Attendance post-COVID is up by twenty, and the church’s membership class has nine more currently looking to join the body. The church’s young adult sessions, youth conference, toddler group, and ladies study have all encouragingly seen lives growing in Christlikeness.
Grace Baptist Church Edinburgh continues to lead in evangelism and church planting, with some sacrifice. The church’s pastor, Ali McLachlan, has been set apart as interim pastor for their church plant in Alloa, in addition to his ongoing ministry in Edinburgh and as Associate General Secretary of GBP. In working out a culture of evangelism, the church has been led to attempt utilising 50 different evangelistic methods locally and are about half-way through that programme. They are grateful to be counselling a number of people seeking truth. A Week of Evangelism is planned for March, with an aim to reach 3000 homes in the church’s local area. They will also be assisting evangelistic efforts in Alloa and Bydgoszcz.
Even as the church gives God praise for these encouragements, they remain vigilant and prayerful. Ali recently shared a prayer that concludes with the following words, which may be shared by all who find themselves faint, but pursuing:
As my soul clings to You, let Your right hand uphold me. Establish my steps. Take delight in my way of life. Make me run in the way of Your commandments as you enlarge my heart! Let my ways please you, O LORD, and make my enemies to be at peace with me. See if there is any offensive way in me; and lead me in the way everlasting, as I look to Jesus, the Way and the Truth and the Life The Founder and Perfecter of our faith In Whose name I pray. Amen.
- Pray for men to stand in the gaps developing because of the church’s expansion.
- Pray for two men who are being trained for pastoral/church planting ministry. Pray for an additional elder and a deacon to be identified and mentored by the end of 2022.
- Pray for sound conversions, firm discipleship foundations, and increased cooperation for the gospel’s sake in Edinburgh and beyond.