How We Grow.
We invite you to consider how you would like to grow in faith. This is a journey with many steps, and to look at the whole picture can seem overwhelming. We can seem so very far from where we want to be. Why not choose one area and reflect on that for a season. We are a church who recognise that we are all a work in progress, and that as we support each other we can be stronger and more secure in our faith.
I would like to grow as I…
God, through Paul in his letter to the church at Ephesus, Ephesians 4:15-16 says ‘speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.’ By faith we are part of the body of Christ, through his gift of grace to unworthy sinners. We have the indwelling Holy Spirit, and experience (in different measures at different times) the developing fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23). Under these truths and equipped by them, there are different ways that we can grow in our faith. These are not to be what we put our hope in, but some wisdom from those who have run the race of faith before us.
These are resources that have been collected from the people who make up Hope City Church Edinburgh. We hope you find some of them helpful. Of course, we have no control over the content of external sites, and do not automatically endorse everything expressed in these. If you have any questions or concerns about any content, please contact us
- Get a Bible and start reading it. If you don’t have one, we find this version readable and true to the original meaning of the text. It’s the one we use in Hope City Church. If you don’t have a Bible we would love to give you one! take one away at a Sunday gathering. Audio Bibles are also great, NIV Audio Bible: Read by David Suchet is brilliantly done.
- Decide how much you would like to commit to read. Be realistic! M’Cheyne Reading Plan is a classic Scottish option reading 3 chapters per day, but there are lots of others. For The Love of God by Don Carson – vols 1 and 2 gives a daily note on one of the readings from this plan. For the Love of God is also freely available in PDF format to download: Volume 1 and Volume 2
Podcasts can be a great way to plug into good teaching if you are more of a listener than a reader, or if you prefer to do something while you listen. They’re a great way to reclaim your travel time:
Christian online bookshops can help you with books and resources to help you explore what the Bible means, and to dig deeper into the ideas and how they are relevant to how we live today.
- Christian Focus Publications
Have a look at:
Bible book overviews online can give you a good starting point for digging into a book:
- The Bible Project – Book Overviews
- Capitol Hill Old Testament Overiew
- Capitol Hill New Testament Overiew
- The Bible is one big coherent story telling of God’s desire to restore his relationship with people, but it can be hard to see this in the detailed stories. Whole Bible overviews can help us grasp the big story. Have a look at Doubter’s Guide to the Bible by John Dickson or God’s Big Picture by Vaughan Roberts
Ephesians 6:18 ‘pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests’
Throughout the Bible we see God inviting and urging his people to come to him in prayer. If that’s a strange or new concept to you it is really just talking to God as naturally as we would to a friend. We don’t need to use any fancy words but we tend to give thanks to him for the things we are grateful for, to ask for his help for the things that worry us, and to say sorry for the things we know we’ve got wrong. He tells us repeatedly how much he loves to hear our prayers and promises to answer
With the Bible
Use what you read in the Bible to inform and fuel your prayers. We have gathered some prayers prayed for the church in the New Testament which you may find helpful.
This article talks through using Old Testament Psalms in prayer today.
Daily Prayer Text
We have a daily prayer text which prompts us to pray for needs within the Hope City Church family. Send us your details and someone will be in touch.
With an App
“PrayerMate helps you pray consistently for the people and causes you care about. Develop a discipline of prayer as PrayerMate helps you organise your prayer life, know what to pray for, and actually pray.”
This is an app that is available for any Android or iPhone. You can list people or concerns that you would like to pray for regularly, and the app will send reminders daily, rotating through the lists. You can also have the daily prayer text delivered to the app, to help you to remember to include it in your daily prayers.
Commit to regularly attending a church gathering.
We are meeting as regulations allow in a hybrid of online and in-person, and hope in time to be allowed unlimited numbers at in person gatherings.
Our morning gatherings at 10:30am on a Sunday typically include
– worshipping God through music and song, reflecting on and responding to who God is and what he has done for us.
– time in prayer for needs within our church and the wider world
– teaching from the Bible from one of our teaching team
– opportunity to ask questions via an online tool and for the teacher to respond to those
– time to connect with others, either in person or on video.
Our evening gatherings at 5pm on a Sunday typically include
– Communion once a month, where we share in a physical reminder of the necessity of Jesus’ death and resurrection
– small groups for Bible study, prayer, connection and encouragement
We know that connecting with other Christians really helps us to grow in our faith. As we develop a relationship of trust, we can share the joys and challenges and gain insight from the experience of others. We would encourage you to have a small number of people that you can do this with. This could be informally in the home or over a coffee with a friend, or more formally as part of a small group.
– We have Bible study and discussion groups for adults and a separate group for teens on a Sunday evening as part of our gathering. You’re part of a stable group for a year to allow for deeper connections.
Women’s Bible studies
We have groups specifically for women fortnightly on Thursday evening and weekly on Friday morning. These groups study, chat and pray together. Contact Kat for more information.
Very small groups
If you would prefer a smaller setting, we can help you connect with one or two others for Bible reading, prayer and encouragement. These are usually set up for a limited time with regular reviews, but can continue if they are helpful. Contact Kat for more information.
Think about being deliberate in building relationships that go deeper, when it is appropriate to do so. We have a bank of questions that can be used as a conversation starter. We can point each other to our need for God’s rescue in Christ as we do this. Some in our church have found Biblical Counselling UK a helpful base for information and further training. Their aim is ‘Christ-centred change, enabled by the Holy Spirit, through the ministry of the word, in the local church’, and they can equip you to increase your focus on Jesus and help others do this too. The book Side by Side gives some helpful ideas in how to support and encourage others in the church.
There are many ways in which we can care for our church family, and experience has shown many of us that it is as we get involved that we learn to depend on God more.
Pray for others in the church. Sign up for our daily prayer text and start praying for people regularly.
Help out in some way. Become part of a team working together on some aspect of church life. There are roles for everyone, including welcoming, baking, video editing, online digital production, finance, kids work, small groups and many more.
Use Your Gifts
It can be difficult to know where your gifts are and how you could usefully help others. The first thing to do is just to try something and see how you get on. It’s OK to try something and realise it’s not for you. We can also offer you a Gifts Assessment, using a structured tool to see where your skills and gifts lie. Contact Jo Rose for more information.
We have a Care Team who offer practical support outside church where needed, so could you get involved here?
Our Care Fund is set up for practical needs in the church family. Do consider whether you can donate to this, and if you or others need financial assistance please contact the care fund team.
– take small steps in getting to know your friends, family and colleagues better. These simple ideas help us connect and deepen relationships. They can lead to opportunities to share about our faith. Give it a go, remember that we’re doing God’s work for his glory, and share with the church family how you have got on.
Begin with Prayer
Listen with care
– asking good questions and finding out what is on people’s minds
– sharing food is a great way to build conversation
Serve with love
– finding practical ways to help
Share your story
– about how your faith impacts your day to day life
– Try Praying is a site designed for people who aren’t religious and have never prayed before. Could you invite a friend to try?
– The Word One to One is a series of short books designed to help you walk through John’s gospel with a friend.
– Uncover has accessible content exploring the gospel accounts of John, Mark and Luke. Each section has well-produced video content and then questions to discuss as well as links to words and audio of the section of the Bible. These would be great to look at with a friend or a small group
Develop your skills
– Talking Jesus is a UK online video course which helps equip you to share your faith with the people you meet
– The 9 Arts of Spiritual Conversation helps you think about the softer skills of conversation that gets alongside people.
Living out your faith in the place and season God has planned for you brings challenges that change over time. We’ve collected some resources aimed at different themes and life stages.
– Being a student brings you into contact with many different people, and is a time for exploring big ideas; but campus life can provide real challenges to those seeking to live out their faith, and opposition is growing. UCCF: The Christian Unions can equip you to think through this and connect you with other students.
– There are many big issues where the reality of faith encounters an increasingly vocal secular worldview. The Christian Institute is an organisation who seek both to make responses at national level but also to equip Christians to think through issues and how they might discuss them with friends and colleagues.
– God has given us so many precious gifts, among them our time, skills and financial resources. Have you thought through how you can best use these for his glory? We give in response to God’s generosity to us. The Support Us page has simple instructions to make a one-off donation to Hope City. You can also go to https://tinyurl.com/HCCEGiftAid to set up regular giving.
– Parenting is such an intense time. When you add in thinking through nurturing your kids in faith it can seem too much. Support for parents – Care for the Family provides simple resources you can use to do it and think about it. 2020 Family Resources – Scottish Bible Society has simple activities to help unpack Bible verses. Many families find a simple book with a section of the Bible to read together then some questions or activities can be really helpful, try Beginning with God: Book 1 (Booklet) for pre-schoolers and xtb for younger primaries.
– Different jobs bring different challenges, and some professions have support organisations for Christians seeking to live out their faith in the workplace. Have a look at Christian Medical Fellowship for doctors and nurses or Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship for lawyers. We’d love to include more here, do let us know: Contact Us
can be a great way to plug into good teaching if you are more of a listener than a reader, or if you prefer to do something while you listen. They’re a great way to reclaim your travel time:
- Everyday Dadding: thinking about how to be a Christian Dad
- Crossway Podcast: interviews with authors for thoughtful interviews about the Bible, theology, church history, and the Christian life.
- Ask Pastor John: short clips of US pastor John Piper answering tough theological and pastoral questions.