Thursday, 28 March 2013

Disciple Making Corps?

Does your Corps / Church /fellowship make disciples or members? Are you I focused on making soldiers or servers?

Where there is an emphasis only on membership the fellowship is weakened. The roots in Christ are stifled of the nourishment need to grow full bodied healthy Christlike disciples.

From the outset of Mission Scotland is was apparent that in a number of our Corps the emphasis on discipleship had sometimes been lost in the striving to fulfil duty. Duty without depth is a long frustrating path. To help Corps move forwards in this respect all Corps in Scotland have been prompted to work towards - and keep working on  a Corps Mission Development Plan. Sme of these are highly developed strategic documents, others provide the parameters within which a Corps is striving to develop.

Almost without exception there is an explicit or implicit focus on discipleship!

Corps that previously knew a lack of corporate and individual focus are beginning to see a deepening in spiritual commitment - often also seeing a growth in numbers as well. And disciples who make disciples belong to growing healthy fellowships.

One of the key thought processes that has been used to this end is Natural Church Development with it's emphasis on balance many Corps are finding this focuses them n be me discipline fellowships not just perpetuating what we have always done for when committed disciples do what they have always done they see surprising results!

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Community MInistry that Transforms Communities

When you think of community work what immediately do you think of? Lunch clubs, the parent and toddler group, food parcels? There's probably a thousand and one examples of great community ministry that makes an impact in people's lives that provide relief from some of the ills of the modern world in Scotland.
One of the key aims of Mission Scotland was to raise the bar on Community work to the level of community ministry. To encourage all to see he practical needs of our communities as spiritual issues rather than simply needs to be met. Through working in our local Corps based Community programmes Mission Scotland advocates ensuring that 'Jesus turns up' in all our provision.
He are some of the practical things that Mission Scotland has done in this respect...

  • emphasising that Community Ministry is a local issue for a local Corps meeting local needs that needs to be resourced in a timely and effective way.
  • providing tools so that assesment of local need can be taken and responded to in a professional way.
  • providing community welcome packs so that local information can be inserted.
  • providing a yearly gathering for those involved in communtiy ministry.
  • assessing who is really coming into our buildings and what their real need is.

Most importantly Mission Scotland has focused on the fact that in our community ministry there has to be a clear signpost to other provisions and - most importantly - to spiritual needs based ministry.

People within a community who are transformed individuals see their communities transformed!

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Mission Scotland - a new start?

In April 2011 approximately forty Salvationists met for the launch of Mission Scotland, an 18 month project to recalibrate and refocus the mission efforts of the Salvation Army in Scotland.

The outcome of this weekend event was an enthusiasm for the gospel to be shared in practical ways and a new impetus given to tradtional forms of ministry and worship, a refocussing on the community efforts towards spiritual ends that were truly transformational and a desire to see expressions of the Salvation Army in different and new areas both geographically and practically.

As time has progressed from that seminal event several things have occurred: a robust and possibly world leading Drug and alcohol strategy has been formulated, research has been carried out into several new areas of ministry and worship across the three Salvation Army Divisions, Childrens and Youth work has gained its own focus group to drive ministry amongst the young forward, Community Ministry is now seen as transformatoional rathet than service providing, an emphasis on disciple development in our traditionally worshipping communities is eident with almost all Scottish Corps having, or working towards a mission development plan.

This blog is intended vey much as a dialogue - to inform and to hear the voice Salvationists and friends. To hear what is happening and to tell the story of the Savation Army in Scotland. Please feel free to comment - appropriately and politely as we move towards possibly the greatest period in the history of the Salvation Army in Scotland...