In his introduction to the Mission Board Report to the General Assembly, Mission Board Chairman Rev. Dr Bob Akroyd said, “The task before us is immense. Our resources are limited. Those opposing us are many. Our time is short. At key junctures, the church has been given passionate enthusiasts. If ever a time was needed for renewed passion, vigour and enthusiasm in the Church and among her leaders that time is now.”
In 2017 the General Assembly approved the Mission Board’s strategy document which outlined a positive practical vision for the future of the Church. As part of this, the process has begun to plant 30 new congregations by 2030.
Currently, there are eight Church Plants around the country under the oversight of the Board: Govan G51, Stirling, Cornerstone, Esk Valley, Charleston, Christ Church Glasgow and Haddington Community Church. These plants are showing positive signs of growth and momentum within the communities they serve.
The Board expressed its desire to see Church Plants eventually become self-sufficient and grow into healthy congregations. This year’s General Assembly granted two previous Church Plants, formerly described as Church Extensions, with the status of a fully sanctioned charge. The Board said they were “tremendously encouraged by the spiritual, numerical and financial developments” with the Dunfermline and St Andrews Free Church congregations.
As part of the continued deliverance of the Mission Board’s strategy, a decision was made to review how best to communicate the vision and aims to the Church and beyond. Working alongside an external company called Momentum a new visual and verbal identity was created called ‘Generation’. A recognition was made that this was a new concept but “the board feels that this will be a powerful tool to help the denomination fulfil some of its aims within mission.”
The Mission Board undertakes and supports both domestic and overseas ministry activities. Part of the latter takes place in Dumisani Theological Institute, a seminary in South Africa’s Eastern Cape. In 2017 various parts of the campus infrastructure was successfully renewed and refurbished allowing the institute to provide student and visiting lecturer accommodation.
The General Assembly acknowledged and thanked the Mission Board for their continued work and as well as the “members and adherents of the Church who by their prayerful interest, financial contributions and ongoing interest in the sharing of the Gospel throughout the land and overseas.”
Source: Free Church of Scotland