We’re delighted to welcome Lewis and Rosie Campbell to 20schemes. Lewis is looking to plant a church in a community in Aberdeen called Torry.
We put a few questions to Lewis and Rosie this week to introduce them to you.
Tell us a little about yourselves.
Lewis: We have been married since August 2016. I (Lewis) am 27, from Lossiemouth and in my last year of study at the Acts 29 Oakhill Academy. Before this I worked for Elgin Baptist Church for 6 years doing a mix of youth work, preaching and other ministry. I enjoy reading, football, running, coffee and, since moving to Torry, Swimming! My wife, Rosie, is 22, from Elgin and currently doing a postgrad Social Work Course at Robert Gordon University. Before this she lived down in Edinburgh studying. Her life is very busy at the moment but in free time enjoys reading, singing and napping!
Tell us a little about Torry, Aberdeen.
Lewis: Torry is an area in Aberdeen of roughly 10,000 people. The area that we are planting in is known as Tullos/Balnagask and has around 4000 people. Torry is a mixed community with many locals and people from Eastern Europe. While the area often has a bad reputation for unemployment, drug problems and crime, Torry is a strong community with locals loyal to, and proud of, the area.
How long have you been in that community?
Lewis: We moved to Torry in Summer 2016. The local United Free Church of Scotland has been working in the Tullos/Balnagask area on and off for many years, including a great Boys Brigade group that continues to run at the local primary school. However, this is the first time the church has committed to people actually living in the area and intentionally building relationships there.
Tell us how you became a Christian?
Lewis: I became a Christian when I was 17. I had been going to church my whole life and would have claimed to be a Christian. However, God began to convict me that I wasn’t. The way I lived my life did not reflect a real or active faith. The influence of Christians guided me to make a proper commitment to God.
Rosie: I became a Christian when I was 13. I had been brought up in church but always knew that being a Christian had to be my own choice and not my parents. At that time God really convicted me that a life without Jesus was pointless and I knew that my purpose for living had to be Him.
When did you first start to think about church planting and how did that happen?
Lewis: Quite quickly after becoming a Christian I felt a strong calling to ministry and over the next year or so I became more sure of the idea of church planting. The strong desire I had for church planting grew as I read more about it and listened to teaching on it. Towards the end of 2015 we became aware of the church in Torry and the work they were looking to do. We felt strongly that this is where God wanted us to be and the plans for beginning the work in Torry unfolded over the following few months.
Rosie: During my teenage years at several times I was re-convinced of some form of calling to mission. As I was young I pushed it aside but I prayed that God would use me for his work. When Lewis and I started going out it was clear that he was going to go into ministry and church planting was something we talked about together right from the start (2012). I had never thought that we would end up in Aberdeen but I know now that this is simply a different version of a picture God gave me when I was 14.
How did you get involved with 20schemes?
We were already aware of 20schemes through various church things. Before we knew we were going to Torry we were looking at different church planting networks. We originally met with Mez at an Acts 29 conference last year. We were pointed to him because Tullos/Balnagask is a scheme and work on schemes is obviously the focus of the ministry. After that meeting we were encouraged by the potential partnership as the resources and training are what we needed and were excited to be a part of a bigger network.
Why are you committed to gospel ministry in Torry?
Lewis: In the area we are living in and looking to plant in there is no established church. Churches over the years have done bits and pieces of work there but we are convinced that what is needed in order to make a real impact is long-term commitment to living in the area, building relationships and being part of the community. Having a local church is the only way for local people to be taught and discipled in the faith.
What are are you most excited about as you embark on this work?
Lewis: The chance to actually share the gospel with people who have never heard it before really excites me. At the moment things are slow. The early days are more about building routine and getting to know people. We are just praying for opportunities to tell people the gospel.
What are some of the concerns you have for the years ahead?
Lewis: At the moment it’s just the two of us with help from people in the United Free church. We are looking to gather a core team so this is probably something we’re thinking about at the moment. In general, its very early days and we know that things are slow at this stage. There are days when this can feel discouraging. However, we know that things take time and that this stage is important for setting the ground for the future.
Give us 3 things we can be praying for you and Rosie.
- Gathering a core team of people who are willing to live in the area and be a part of things.
- The ongoing work of the Boys Brigade and the opportunity to build relationships with the boys but particularly their parents through this contact.
- At the moment we are both balancing work in Tullos with study. This largely works well but prayer for getting the right balance of time and energy would be helpful.