Exile 2009

July 20th, 2009


I know I am overdue an update on our church location situation.  There has been a bunch of work and ministry going on with the people of the church and the investigation and negotiating process for the old building, but most of it can’t be talked about in this public medium as yet.  Thank you for understanding.

As far as our church building is concerned, the owners still want much more than we can both afford and what we believe its actual value is.  The problem is that the current owners bought this building at the height of the market out bidding 35 other offers, meaning that they paid more at the height of the market than 35 others felt it was worth.

So what we are going to do is have the building surveyed and valued.  In a few weeks we will find out how much the building is actually worth, and based on that information make an offer.

I am praying God will intervene at several key moments.

First, in the assessed value of our church building.  It is very difficult to value an old church building here in the UK and I am not entirely sure what to expect.  Its value will determine how much money we are going to need to come up with to put down on it and how much we will be able to borrow.  I am praying God will intervene in the valuation of our building.

Second, even though we will attempt to make an offer based on our buildings value, the current owners are likely to not accept it.  They seem to want at least twice its value.  It would be amazing if at this first attempt they would accept our offer.  It seems only 20% possible but hey, we will keep praying…

Third, raising funds.  We are reasonably close to being able to afford this church building, but we are not quite there.  Over the next couple weeks I am going to attempt to raise some one-time gifts for our down payment, and some monthly funds for our ongoing expenditures from our church body here and those interested around the world.  Pray God would put this on many people’s hearts to give.

I am building a website for fund raising purposes, but in the mean time if you want to give toward our future location (hopefully the old building) you can donate HERE if you are in the US or HERE if you are in the UK.  Obviously, I cannot guarantee we will purchase this particular location, however no matter where we go from here will require us to raise funds.

We have been exploring many other possibilities including schools, lecture halls, warehouse spaces, property, other church buildings, etc. So far we have hit dead end after dead end, mostly because the costs have been so much more (double, triple, quadruple) the cost of purchasing our old church building, but we keep looking.

I expect someday, no matter what happens, we will all look back at this time and be amazed at how clearly God made our way forward.  I already see his hand in the forming of our church, in the timing of this ‘exile’, and in the global support and concern about our situation.  Stay tuned in to see what God is about to do with us here in Scotland.

1 July 2009

July 1st, 2009

What is going on with our location situation?



As high as the heavens are above the earth so great is the price the developers are wanting for our church building.  Last Wednesday, I met with them and was unable to come up with an agreed upon price.  For the next 6 weeks however, they are wanting to continue to negotiate with us.  I am firm on not paying more than we can afford.  Some days it feels impossible, but all days I find myself encouraged with the expectation that the same God who led us into this building in extraordinary circumstances two previous times is more than able to bring us back a third.

While negotiating, we have been exploring many other options.  Warehouses, rented spaces, university halls, schools… the list is large and pricey.

Last night we met out behind the old church building and prayed prayers of remembrance.  Remembering who God is, what He has done in ages past, what He has done for us thus far, and asking Him to remember our situation and intervene.

We have also formed a small ‘location strategy team’ which is exploring raising more funds (which we will need no matter what option we pursue), venue options, official negotiations for the old building, and long-term strategies for our church ‘home’.

Pray for Susan and Nichol whom God has brought to our church just at the right time to help us navigate these days.  They have lived in Glasgow for a long time and know much more about commercial property than I do.

I cannot help but be encouraged by the timing of everything.  This is the perfect Summer for this upheaval to happen as I am not in Seattle.   Summer is the perfect season for this to take place as the students vacate Glasgow and many people are here and there on their holidays.  I cannot think of a better week to have moved out than the one we did – the last weekend before the start of summer.  God seems to be in all of this, even in these small details.

Keep praying!

Transition Pictures

June 15th, 2009

In the last week so much has changed. We packed up all our stuff, we moved most of it into storage and we had our first worship time at our summer location. Here is a few pictures from our crazy week.








P.S. Most of those speakers are not ours and not plugged in…

Move Week!

June 9th, 2009


I am quite excited about our new summer venue and yet at the same time am intensely aware at how amazing our old church building has been for us.  Our old building is in the perfect location, it is the perfect size, and … it’s just perfect for us.  We are still in negotiations about potentially purchasing the building.  This will require a lot of prayer and intervention from God.
A few prayer requests for this week:

1.  Safety and people to help.  Safety as we relocate a church full of things (sound equipment, puppet set, kitchen supplies, etc.) and huge numbers of people to help with the move.

2.  The first service in our new location.  We have done our best to predict what issues may come up with a new place, but who knows what will happen.  We are praying set-up and take-down go great on Sunday, and God moves in a powerful way in people’s hearts, confirming that he continues to go with us wherever we meet.

3.  Church purchase negotiations.  It has always been my desire to own this old church building of ours.  We have tried for 3-4years now to purchase it.  In 2006 we made our first offer, but it was sold to someone else.  We have made three to four offers since then around the same price which were declined.  And now we try again.  Please pray!

4.  We only have 12 weeks to sort out a more permanent location.  If the church purchase does not happen in the next few weeks, we will be needing another location by Sunday September 13.

I have been teaching 1 Peter - It just so happened that LONG before I knew anything about needing to move out of our building the teaching schedule had us in 1 Peter 2 about how WE are “living stones… God’s building.”  The right message before a big move.  If you want to have a listen to the message you can find it HERE.

God is in the process of doing something.  I can’t wait to see what He does. Keep praying!

The Friday Update

June 5th, 2009


This Sunday looks to be our final services in our building unless something amazing happens.  We are still in negotiations with the owners about purchasing this old church building, but as of yet we have not been able to get anywhere near an agreed upon price, and so we must go.

Although I would love to stay, our summer venue is going to be amazing.  We are renting the Qudos room in the Queen Margaret Union.  (It is in the building just behind ours, and is pretty cool.)  We can only use it for 12 weeks but that gives us some much-needed time to figure out what is next.


We have a huge amount of physical work to do next week as we attempt to move most everything into storage.  We could use prayer for safety, strength, and for many people to show up and help.


I am praying God will intervene and bring us back into this building for a third time, and this time for good.  I am praying God will provide the money needed when the time comes to purchase it.  I am praying God will do this in such a way that people all over the world look at our situation and praise God.

The Wednesday Update

June 3rd, 2009


Again I sit here thinking about the situation we are in and am filled with thanks knowing people are praying for God’s intervention from all around the world.

Since Monday we have been investigating all sorts of venues around the West End of Glasgow. In 48 hours much has been accomplished. The people of Re:Hope have been unified and are filled with faith as we explore options of where to meet. We met again Tuesday AM and Wednesday AM to pray and plan.

Our best short-term plan has us renting the Queen Margret Union at the University of Glasgow. The space is right, the price is right, and the location is just behind our current building. However, there won’t be storage and we will be moving our stuff in and out weekly. This is only available until September. The hardest bit is the inability to do our evening service, which accounts for significantly more than half our adult attendance, but at the same time we have found no reasonable options that would have allowed for an evening service thus far.

We are also investigating some warehouse space in the area that could be purchased or leased as a mid to long-term home for Re:Hope. This has exciting possibilities but with a large price tag.

As an answer to prayer I believe, in the last 48 hours I was contacted by the company who own the building and had a quick and unexpected meeting with them yesterday. We have actually begun discussions about purchasing our church building. They are keen to sell. We are keen to buy. Will we find an amount that is acceptable for both sides? Only time will tell.

At any moment these doors could close. At any moment new doors could open.

Keep praying. I am feeling quite strained in this moment of crisis. We are making decisions with so many unknown variables, forced into the smallest of time frames. Pray for strength, clarity, and God’s clear leading.

The Monday Move Update

June 1st, 2009


First of all, I am so encouraged having heard from so many of you, people I know and even people I don’t.   About 18 of us met this morning in the church building to pray, plan, and produce results.  I told them at the beginning how I had heard from people all over the world who are praying for our situation, and that this morning we were joining a global intercession on behalf of our situation.  It has been virtually impossible to be discouraged with how cared for we feel.  Generally speaking, there is a sense of excitement and anticipation for what God might be leading our church toward.

This week our plan is to figure out a plan.

Next week our plan is to entirely uproot and relocate.

Today we wrote down our resources as well as what we are looking for short-term and what we need long-term.  Today many are scouring the area following up on ideas and possibilities.  Tomorrow morning we will meet again at 9am to pray and report and plan.

Keep praying, especially that the people we need to talk to are available and that we have unusual favour with those who can do something about our situation.

Well…It’s ‘Go’ Time!

May 30th, 2009

Well, it is time to pray hard.  Time to pray for me.  This church.  This mission.

After two years of living with two weeks notice we have received our official and final two weeks notice.  We must completely leave our church building and hand in the keys in no more than 13 days from today.  Meaning, we will have church in our building tomorrow and next week then we must be leaving.


I am sure many will feel shock and grief at this.  No doubt you may have many questions that I have NO answers to.  Why? What will happen? Where do we go?  I have no answers for these questions at all. I do know it is time to pull together.
First of all, we need a MASSIVE prayer covering. If you could commit at least 30 minutes a day to specifically praying for me and our church situation for these next 20 days we NEED it.

Secondly, if you are local and have ideas on places we could go either short or long term please send me the details.  Find out how much, how long we can be there, how soon we can move in, is there place for our stuff, where is it located… ?  Then send me all that data via email as soon as possible. (brian-at-rehope-dot-co-dot-uk)

Thirdly, if you live locally you are also very welcome to join us Monday morning at 9am at the church for prayer and planning over this quick and unexpected change.

If you are wondering how I am feeling?  I am confident that “The One Who Leads” sees and knows and cares about our situation.  I am confident that the One who began this work will be faithful.  No doubt this moment is not my favourite of all time, and I would love to stay where we are forever. There is shock and grief.  However, I do find myself grinning at the unknown, sure that God will lead us, and what seems horrible in the moment we will look back upon as important, pivotal and amazing for our future.

I have been looking ahead at the passage for our final Sunday in the building, 8 days from now,  and it could not be more perfect.  God has set us up for His final message to us in this great building as we get ready to enter our second exodus from the same place.

Father, lead us clearly through the unknown.


May 18th, 2009


At church last night we had a ton of visitors. Our largest service ever. It was the first time we have ever run out of chairs and needed to use the balcony.  I digress…

Sometimes, after working with the church week after week, year after year, I start to take a few things for granted. But last night, one of our visitors, a gray-haired really old man made a comment that reminded me of how unique our situation is.

He said, “I haven’t seen this many young men in Scotland excited about their faith since a tent meeting in the 50’s”

A simple comment packed with encouragement.

More pictures

May 1st, 2009

Mike Libolt took these pictures on Sunday morning…