David started working as an Irish mission worker in 1997, in the Presbyterian congregation of Adelaide Road on the south side of Dublin city centre, not far from St. Stephen’s Green.
David is involved in outreach through the work of the International Café, which ministers to international students every Friday evening in the Community Floor of the church. He also reaches out to people on the street through a tea and coffee stall that is set up on the pavement in front of the church. He is very involved in life-on-life discipleship with members of the congregation and leads various Bible studies. He preaches both in Adelaide Road and in other congregations in the Dublin and Munster Presbytery.
“Dublin city centre is amazingly cosmopolitan and I have the opportunity to meet people from every nation under the sun,” says David. “I particularly enjoy working with the students in the International Café. Some of them have had no contact with the gospel and have never seen a Bible. It is a great privilege to watch God at work in their lives as they begin to study his Word.”
I am passionate about discipleship as it made a dramatic difference in my own life, and I sincerely believe that it is the way God intended to grow his church. It is wonderful to walk through life with someone and help them to grow in maturity in preparation for discipling students of their own.”
David is married with four adult children. His second son, Ethan is married to Stephanie, a Brazilian girl that he met while serving in the International Café. David grew up in Kilkeel Presbyterian Church, in Co Down and was commissioned as an Irish mission worker in 1999.
- Pray for Christians across Ireland to showcase God’s grace and engage in a ministry of word and deed.
- Pray for power of grace to unlock more hearts for Christ.
A United Appeal video highlighting the work of David Boyd, Irish mission worker at Adelaide Road Presbyterian Church in Dublin, and his work with the international cafe.
United Appeal // International outreach at home from Presbyterian Church in Ireland on Vimeo.
Latest Report – October 2022
It comes as a bit of a shock to realise that I have been working in Dublin city centre for 25 years! It doesn’t seem anything like that long, possibly because there have been so many changes in that time, that the years have flown past. As I look around me today, Dublin is a very different place from the one I first encountered a quarter of a century ago.
The advent of the Celtic Tiger ushered in a level of prosperity unprecedented in the history of the state. There was huge inward investment as Big Tech saw the city as the ideal place to establish their European headquarters. Dublin became a boomtown and the availability of lots of highly paid jobs attracted people from all parts of the world. I have watched the cityscape around the church change dramatically as urban renewal swept away large sections of the built environment and new high spec office blocks sprang up everywhere.
The change in the spiritual landscape was every bit as dramatic. The scandals in the Catholic Church saw its waning influence on society accelerate as secularism took hold. The influx of economic migrants brought a corresponding influx of new religions and philosophies, and Dublin has become post-Christian like any other European city.
During this time, I have had the opportunity to try many different types of evangelism. I have been involved in street evangelism, social justice projects, Alpha courses, Christianity Explored courses, international student outreach, etc. As I look back over these different experiences, those that stick in my mind as engaging people the most, and having the greatest impact, were the occasions where people had the opportunity to experience a practical demonstration of grace.
I think the reason that this is so is because in our culture grace is in short supply and becoming scarcer by the day. You don’t have to be among people for very long to appreciate the truth of that statement, and a brief venture into the world of social media will shock you at the level of vitriol that characterises so much of the discourse … even among Christians!
As a result, grace has the power to shock people, especially grace that is costly. I have witnessed the extraordinary power of grace to unlock the human heart. I have seen it at work in people who would have been hostile but were drawn into conversation, in spite of themselves, because the desire to understand grace overcame their hostility. It has shown me why Jesus did not just engage in a preaching ministry but rather a ministry of word and deed.
Peter tells his parishioners to “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” 1 Peter 3:21. Clearly, Peter expects that his people will be living in such a way that their lives will attract questions from those around them, that their ministry was one of word and deed. If our lives are not attracting questions maybe our witness does not sufficiently showcase God’s grace.
To download a printable PDF version of this report visit the Mission Reports listing at the top.