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Next service: Sunday Service
Sun 21st Jul, 10:30am

Our Next Steps


1. Increase provision for the young people associated with the church

- Talk about why this is an expression of what you believe? Why does this “fit” the time and place in which you work?

We are not currently providing any regular input for our young people outwith Sunday morning. We notice a sharp ‘drop-off’ once the children who are growing up in the church reach secondary school age. Children are brought to church by their parents but don’t have space to explore faith and grow in faith in a setting outside Sunday mornings. Our concern is that our children grow up without coming to faith. Often they get involved in other activities that are taking place on Sunday mornings (eg. sport). Very few of our children, if any, are confirmed as church members. We want them to get excited about faith and grow in commitment

 

- How will you do this? How will you make a start?

We will try to start up a ‘youth fellowship’ group that would meet regularly and would provide a mix of fun activities with a faith dimension and biblical input. We will research other congregational settings from whom we might learn lessons and adopt good practice. We will organise a programme leading to confirmation. We will continue to try to blend traditional worship with more contemporary elements. We will consider other worship options.

- When will you begin and when will you review the initiative?

We have started carrying out research and will continue to do for the remainder of 2018. We will aim to start a ‘youth fellowship’ group as soon as the resources and leadership is in place and we will review annually. We are in the process of appointing a youth worker (see below). The results of this should be known by the end of 2018 when further decisions will be made.                                                                                                                               

- Talk about the people, training, resources, space that will be required – and what help you will require.

We need someone to take a lead in organising a ‘youth fellowship’ and to that end have allocated financial resources for 1 year part time (0.25) youth worker post. We have begun attempts to recruit for this youth worker post. We need a plan B if we cannot recruit a suitable applicant. We will need some volunteers from our church members on a rota basis and we may need some equipment depending on activities planned. We would anticipate meeting in one of the rooms in the church centre.

2. Offer opportunities for adults attending Messy Church and TOTs so that they can begin to take steps on a faith journey                                                                              

- Talk about why this is an expression of what you believe? Why does this “fit” the time and place in which you work?

We have made very positive strides over the last few years with the new initiatives of Messy Church and TOTs. Through them we are in touch with families who are on the fringe of church or who have no church involvement. We have identified that there is currently too large a gap between people coming along to these events and them making initial steps on their faith journey and integrating to the wider church community. For us this is an evangelism opportunity that fits with the work we have already started.                               

- How will you do this? How will you make a start?

We will reflect on the approaches suggested by Messy Church who have identified a similar gap nationwide - they suggest three possible approaches. We will intentionally develop relationships with those attending Messy Church and TOTs with a view to engaging those who are interested in the Christian faith. We will seek to bring together a small group of interested people and provide for them a suitable forum or course to explore faith further.

- When will you begin and when will you review the initiative?

We will begin during the 2018-2019 session although we are realistic and know that progress might be slow. We will review progress annually at the end of the session. We will use feedback forms with those attending Messy Church and TOTs.                                      

- Talk about the people, training, resources, space that will be required – and what help you will require.

We need to work with our current volunteers and help them attune to the intentional approach. We will try and encourage one or two staff or volunteers to attend Mission Shaped Ministry and/or similar training events. We will need to find suitable people to run whatever opportunities are deemed most appropriate.  

                                                                     

3. Connect better with the wider community and provide opportunities for those in the community who are interested to explore faith further.

- Talk about why this is an expression of what you believe? Why does this “fit” the time and place in which you work?

The church halls were extensively refurbished in 2005 in order to help us be more community facing. The new church centre is now a well-established source of rental income and used by a diverse range of community and commercial groups. Our sense is that we can better engage with the many people who use our buildings. We also have several occasions a year when our church building is used by schools/nursery and also a very busy Christmas Eve church service and so we feel there are connections with the community that can be built upon. The church is also situated very prominently in the Murrayfield area and is a well known building. We feel there are many people in our community with some sort of historic link to church. So we should have more visibility in the parish area - to give people a chance to see what we are doing.                                                                                        

- How will you do this? How will you make a start?

We have made a start through the work of the Kirk Session’s Communication group in renewing our website, producing leaflets/booklets that introduce the congregation’s activities, and posters in the centre that promote our values and advertise our services. One idea is to have a more intentional presence around the church centre, trying to cultivate relationships with those using the building. Another idea is to encourage more church members to attend some of the activities at the church centre and make connections in that way. A further idea is to run a short course for the community on faith basics (along the style of Alpha with a meal component) or a course for people experiencing eg bereavement, relationship breakdown, parenting difficulties. We also would like to have the actual church building in use more and made more of a flexible and welcoming space.                             

- When will you begin and when will you review the initiative?

This is the least developed of our steps. This is a much longer term initiative which will require further reflection during 2018-19 with outline planning during 2019-20.             

- Talk about the people, training, resources, space that will be required – and what help you will require.

This step requires the kind of change in mindset and congregational culture that is encouraged by the Path of Renewal pilot scheme in which we have taken part. The scheme encourages congregations to adopt a ‘missional’ approach and to look outwards and to move beyond Christendom models of course. Any work making the church building more flexible e.g. with stackable seats or having a physical connection to the halls or improving lighting would require financial resources.                                                           

4 Help church members and attenders grow spiritually through Christian education and discipleship groups                                                                                                    

- Talk about why this is an expression of what you believe? Why does this “fit” the time and place in which you work?

For many of our church members church is a Sunday only event and we want to encourage people to take up other opportunities for them to grow in faith. The Path of Renewal project has encouraged us to see the importance of discipleship programmes with the outcome of spiritual growth. We are strong in service but weaker in areas like faith-sharing and discipleship. We feel that as people grow spiritually their confidence in faith sharing will increase.                                                                                                                           

- How will you do this? How will you make a start?

We have already made a start but are conscious that much more needs to be done. We need to remove obstacles that might prevent people from getting involved eg by communicating better, by finding out what format and frequency works best, by inviting people, by reducing things that might intimidate people. We need to help the current groups to bed-in and try to plant the seeds for new groups.                                                               

- When will you begin and when will you review the initiative?

We have already started several new groups over the last few years. We need to consider how to help these groups grow stronger and in due course our dream is they would multiply. The Mission & Discipleship Group of Kirk Session will review this each year as part of its oversight of this area of congregational life. In conjunction with the leaders of existing groups, the reviews will identify areas of faith development that need strengthening.

- Talk about the people, training, resources, space that will be required – and what help you will require.

For the most part this step does not require much in the way of resources and any e.g. course books /DVDs can normally be purchased relatively cheaply. A greater need is to help people understand the value and importance of this side of church life and to help them feel comfortable in a small group environment. We need a few enthusiasts who will encourage others along.                  

5. Continue to integrate younger people into leadership roles

- Talk about why this is an expression of what you believe? Why does this “fit” the time and place in which you work?

The current make up of our Kirk Session does not fully represent the congregation and we feel it is important at this stage to encourage more of our younger members into leadership roles. We feel it is important also for the continued evolution of the congregation that younger people are empowered into leadership.

- How will you do this? How will you make a start?

We will carry out a review of Kirk Session with a view to ensuring that we have a trustee body ready and willing to face the many challenges ahead. We will also continue the approach of populating the Kirk Session Groups (i.e. committees which have delegated responsibility for discreet areas of congregational life) with a mix of Kirk Session members and those who are not on Kirk Session. We will carry out some research via questionnaire with our younger church members to ascertain issues around their engagement with congregational life.                                                                                                      

- When will you begin and when will you review the initiative?

We will begin straight away and will review after 2 years. In the autumn of 2018, we plan to have a Session discussion on governance succession. Action will follow during 2019.       

- Talk about the people, training, resources, space that will be required – and what help you will require.

We need to start by understanding the different ways our younger church members engage with congregational life and actives compared with previous generations. Some of the Path of Renewal material has highlighted generational characteristics which goes some way to highlighting different ways of relating to church. We will need to explain well to all parties what is involved in leadership.