We're entering our third year of Mission Scotland with a deep sense of God's presence and purpose for The Salvation Army. Our focus on mission and spiritual renewal are based on the prayer that God will renew us and revive our nation. As disciples of Jesus Christ, you and I are being made in the likeness of our Lord, and we are called to make disciples of others ("Follow me and I will make you fishers of men". Matthew 4:19).
Being comes before doing! Our vision, to make Jesus real to the people of Scotland, is dependent on our being like Jesus. I wrote in my book, 'Founding Vision for a Future Army' that God's reputation in the world depends upon my holiness'. This statement is a constant challenge to me to ensure that when I talk about 'Fit for Mission', I am not simply relating these words to the Salvation Army UKT, but that I am asking the question of myself as a follower of Christ- am I Fit for Mission? This is the question that ought to be in the heart of every disciple.
As we enter a new phase of Mission Scotland we are focussing on discipleship along with the rest of the Territory. Disciples - who are making disciples ... who are growing, who are missionary and who are serving others. You will note the resonance with our mission statement in these words - save souls, grow saints and serve suffering humanity. I would emphasise that this focus for Mission Scotland is about challenging all of our disciples to be growing, missionary and serving. Allow me to elaborate on this.
We commit to our own growth as disciples of Jesus Christ and to help and support others on their journeys of discipleship.
· Holy living
· Living together (Loving each other, church as family)
· Learning together (Small groups, cell groups, Bible study)
· Growing together (Mentoring, accountability)
· Praying together (General's weekly prayer meetings, prayer training)
· Holy leaders
· Identifying (Looking for potential in everyone)
· Releasing (Finding ways to create space for leaders to flourish)
· Training (Strategic Leadership Development)
· Holy priorities
· People before programme
· Development of whole life discipleship
We commit to the ongoing mission of Jesus in the world around us.
· Missional stories
· Knowing & sharing His story
· Knowing & sharing our story
· Missional corps
· Growing Disciple Making corps
· Pioneering new missional expressions
· Missional activity
Ensuring that our social, community and other activities remain true to the Gospel by the provision of high quality services, a clear determination to do all we can within available resources to improve the social and spiritual condition of the people we serve, and by proclaiming Christ as Saviour and Lord.
We commit to the challenge to serve suffering humanity.
· The Seeds of Exclusion
· Support and sustain children and families
· Support people in transition
· Support vulnerable people
· Speak out for marginalised people
· Commit to further research
Identifying our core services and committing our resources to those areas.
Let me conclude by saying that we are developing these priorities across our Mission Scotland strategic platform. It will inform our work in corps and centres, amongst children and youth (and indeed all generations of people) in our corps community programmes, and as we pray for God to open up fresh expressions of mission in communities across Scotland. What we are saying is that in all of our expressions of mission, new and old, we will make disciples who are growing, missionary and serving, thus allowing the people of Scotland to see the living presence of our Lord Jesus in who we are and in what we do.