Talking Mission:

Please come prepared to share your vision for mission in a local Church of Scotland setting”.

Read the email I was sent before my interview for the role of Mission Support Manager for the Church of Scotland.

As I prepared, I felt such joy as I pictured the bride of Christ, uniquely placed and beautifully arrayed, displaying God’s kingdom values across our nation. A church that may look increasingly different from the past but a church that knows and is known by her community; where doors are literally and metaphorically flung open and people find a safe space because of the love they find we have for them and each other.

Mission has always been an integral part of my life both in my work as a teacher and a leader at Edinburgh City Mission and as a volunteer in my church contexts. At various life stages that has looked different because God knows our passions, our current capacity and our evolving skills.

In my 20s, this included co-leading a large Christmas day lunch for the elderly and isolated. When my own children were young, it involved running kids church and SU holiday clubs with another Mum, inviting children from local schools into the church. Latterly, this has been co-leading a missional community in our home, gathering with people we meet on our journey, eating simple food together and talking about faith in an open and accessible way. Some people who come along describe our community as ‘church’ for them.

We all have a role to play and all are permissioned and commissioned to take part. The enemy tries to tell us we have nothing to offer – he lies!  In order for our nation to experience the love of God, each one of us can look at what we enjoy doing and at what is ‘in our hands’ and pray, “God, how can you use me?”

Despite the deep shaking and upheaval we are experiencing currently, despite the sometimes seemingly constant stream of negativity we can hear – our foundation remains as firm as ever. Jesus is our rock, we are his church and we can join in with what he is doing in our nation! We always have this joy, as our mission starts and ends with worshipping him.

  1. What has been your biggest area of learning?

Jesus sent people out in twos – find people who share your dreams and love your ideas (or vice versa) and join with people. It is generally lots more enjoyable and fruitful.

  1. Tell us about your biggest mistake or failure.

It has taken me far too many years to know when to say ‘no’! It is OK to know what is yours ‘to carry’ and what is not.

  1. What resource has been most useful to you?

The people on the journey! The people who come alongside for life and those who join us for a season. I am in awe of some of the people I have learnt from over the years and continue to learn from.

  1. What has been the most helpful advice anyone has given you?

“Don’t let fear drive your decisions.”

  1. Please tell us your most memorable experience as part of a missional communi

Probably the moment the person who shared, through tears, that the hospitality they had received in our community had been like none they had ever felt and that they had received significant healing because of it. That and counting the 30+ baked potatoes in the oven one Friday evening and realising that we were almost at capacity in more ways than one!