Thursday, 27 May 2010

The big picture

Another General Assembly of the Church of Scotland has come and gone. For me, one of the highlights of this year's bash was the discussion and adherence to the Third Article Declaratory which is, in simple terms, a commitment to bring the ordinances of religion to the whole of Scotland. In these days of economic recession it would be all too easy to give up on that principle and cease to be a church that exists to serve those not in its membership.
It seems to me that many congregations would be happy to monopolise the services of their minister and not share with the rest of the parish who also take up a significant proportion of a minister's time. But that would reduce ministry to a petty survival of the fittest or wealthiest and lose sight of the mission of the church to serve all God's people. It would also, I'm sure, reduce the task of ministry to keeping a few folks happy in their narrow, limited vision rather than reaching out to our neighbours, the poor and needy on our own doorsteps. Perhaps this General Assembly affirmation is a chance to remind our congregations of our calling to serve beyond the walls of our church buildings even when and perhaps especially when there is little likelihood of return on our investment. Of such is the Kingdom of God.

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