If you’re reading this, it’s probably because you’ve seen the advertisement that indicates that we are looking for people to come and work with us in our Reshaping for Mission initiative. As a denomination we want to see new churches planted, our more fragile congregations revitalised and our healthier churches develop and maintain a missional focus to all their activities. The challenge we face is bigger than we can meet from within our own resources, and we recognise that it is also healthy to have people come to join us from different contexts as they bring their own gifts and perspectives, which can enrich our congregations. So, what sort of people are we looking for?
Firstly, we are looking for people who share our evangelical theological position and a passion to participate in the mission of God here in Scotland. In terms of our theological position, the denomination is a member of the Evangelical Alliance, and their basis of faith is a good summary of our core beliefs.
Secondly, we are looking for people who are willing to work within the ethos of a Presbyterian denomination. Our churches are led by teams of elders working alongside the minister in the Kirk session, and are part of a wider group of churches (known as a presbytery). That means there is a sense of shared leadership, support and accountability. We value the diversity of gifts which God gives to His people, but gifts are to be exercised as part of the body, not as a lone wolf.
Specifically, we are looking for those who feel called to serve as church planters, church revitalisers or as mission-focussed ministers in established congregations. Christian ministry of any sort in twenty-first century Scotland is a challenge, as we need to engage with the influence of both secularism and pluralism and the diversity of present-day Scotland. Those who serve in these roles will need to be mature Christians who have undertaken relevant and appropriate theological training. Ideally they will already have had experience of similar sorts of ministry, and will be able to demonstrate their giftedness. They will be willing to gather round core evangelical doctrines and at the same time to accept that there are areas where there is liberty of opinion. And they will be people who make prayer a priority.
We expect that those who come to lead established congregations are ordained or are willing to undergo training towards ordination. Church planters and church revitalisers may also be ordained but do not need to be, though they will need to have had appropriate theological and ministry training. Above all else, we are looking for people who feel called by God to come and work with us. If you feel a sense of call to come and work with us to break new ground for the Gospel and to bring glory to Jesus by doing this, then please get in touch so that we can begin a conversation and together discern the Lord’s will.
What kind of workers are we looking for?
Will be those who are gifted in evangelism and discipleship, breaking new ground for the Gospel to see a new congregation come into being. They will be able to build a team to form the nucleus of the new congregation, perhaps drawn from the mother church out of which the new plant will be born, or gathered from like-minded folk who have a heart for the community where the new church will be planted.
Have in some ways a harder challenge than do church planters, as they will need to be able to lead an existing but fragile group of believers through change into new life. Their role then will include both a pastoral dimension and an evangelistic one. It is rare for individuals to possess equally the gifts needed for pioneering new work and nurturing what is already there, so they will need to build a team composed of folk with the range of gifts necessary to pastor and disciple the current congregation and to pioneer new missional opportunities.
Are also needed to help take forward our current congregations and help move them from maintenance mode to mission mode. They will seek to disciple the members so that they are not just putting all their energies into keeping the functions of the church going but so that they are equipped to go into the surrounding community to proclaim and demonstrate the good news of Jesus. And a mission-focussed minister will not just encourage their members to do this – he or she will lead by example.
Vacant Congregations in the United Free Church
These opportunities and others that are envisaged are at different stages of development and while no appointments have yet been made some are actively being considered. Further information is available from the Church Office.
The following vacant congregations have permission to call a minister
Presbytery of the East
Leith: Ebenezer A sole nominee has been invited to preach
Presbytery of the West
Presbytery of the North