Kenny McCartney, Youth Pastor, SSCB and his trusted friend

What a whirlwind the last few weeks have been: saying a bittersweet “goodbye for now” at Liberton Kirk to being inducted and welcomed into the St. Stephen’s family. Here’s but a few adjectives of how I can describe it: exciting, affirming, humbling, absorbing, worshipping. I’m delighted to add another one: FUN!

There is an enjoyable sense of purpose within the family – to honour, exalt, and experience the Lord and help others to do the same. It is therefore such a privilege to lead and to worship alongside you. I shared some of my testimony this past Sunday, so I hope you don’t mind if I share a bit more.

I mentioned a fella named Lenny who played an important role in the formation of my faith. Thankfully, Lenny didn’t hang up his boots and call it job done. He warmly welcomed me into his friend group: a handful of misfits but all of whom were eager to know more about God. He was intentional – gathering us weekly to eat, laugh, and most importantly: open the Bible together.

Rest assured, we certainly wouldn’t have met every week if it wasn’t loads of fun. But it was more than that: we prayed together, we studied the Bible together, and we dreamt about God’s plans for us together and how we could serve him. The Lord was faithful. When we explored his Word all doubts faded away and when we saw him answer prayer we knew something of his goodness and power.

Though they are far away, that motley crew all still love and follow the Lord and I am still in contact with them today. One of our friends once brought along her sister to our Bible study (exact date: 21/02/2003), who is now my wife and best friend Ashley. That’s a fun story for another day, along with dozens more!

All of the gracious gifts that God gave which stem from that time is a reminder to me of James 1:17-18: “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.”

It is because of that formative time in my faith that I wish to “be a Lenny” to the teenagers of SSCB and introduce them to the fullness of life that God has designed for them. Through fun and fellowship, yes – but also through a focus in God’s Word, prayer, and worship.

I covet your prayers for the friendships forming in the present, for the adjustment to the rhythm of life in your fellowship, and for keen awareness where pastoral care is due. It is an honour to serve the Lord among you and I look forward to witnessing the fruits of what the Lord will do and to praising his name together with you!

God bless,

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