Free Church of Scotland General Assembly 2017
Derek Lamont – Moderator’s Address
A New Day Summary
The focus of the Moderator’s address this year is based on the challenge to embrace – in the church and as individuals – the challenge of the new life we have in Christ.
“Everything is changing so much in our lives around us that we long for the church to stand still and remain familiar. Yet, the very core of our faith admits to our constant need for reformation and change – to become more like Christ, so the challenge is to hold fast to the unchanging principles of truth and allow these truths to govern our practice in fresh and relevant ways in our culture today.
The bible speaks a great deal about ‘newness’ and the most common image is that of new wine, the address looks at some of the spiritual concepts behind the imagery. From that, comes four areas that are a challenge for our consideration as a church:
Challenge of Society
There have been so many changes in society, and it seems so opposed to the Gospel , that the temptation is to baton down the hatches and embrace insularity and survival. That can never be our response, and it is our calling to understand the world in which we live , go out living and loving the gospel, and praying that God will help us to understand the days in which we live.
Challenge for Mission
The challenge is to recognise that how we reach out with the Gospel changes as we understand the society and world in which we live. The way that we look at and plan for mission needs to reflect a different context. The Mission Board of the church is seeking to develop a strategy that is visionary, realistic and flexible enough to adapt to our home and international aspirations. We need to work together to embrace the changes and give our people a personal sense of mission that is inspired by the vision we give them as leaders.
Challenge of the Free Church
Newness is not a concept that the church as an institution finds easy. We ae structured for inertia. When we have confidence in our biblical principles, we display a greater freedom to change and adapt our structures so that they become useful servants, not masters, for what we do. We need to take the time and resources to run our church excellently, so that it is fit for purpose in the 21 Century, especially in the areas of training, administration and communication.
Challenge to Individual Leaders
As leaders in the church, there is a great responsibility to model change and embrace newness personally and to our people. Living with accountability, leading from the front and forging meaningful co-operation with leadership teams are areas where new thinking and a fresh perspective are encouraged.
We are new creations, the old has gone and the new has come – that is our challenge!”
The Full Address Can Be Downloaded Here
Source: Free Church of Scotland