Mission Coordinators and the failure of the local church.

Unsplash – @kaliedico

A number of Mega-Presbyteries plan to employee Mission-Coordinators. In fact some are already in post.

It is a significant task to encourage the development of effective mission and outreach across the new Presbyteries.

One advert for the role indicates that they seek,

“…an individual who is able to work with congregations to help them discover new ways of missional working, to equip them with the tools to serve God and our communities, and to model and encourage passion for God’s mission…”

This sounds good and I suspect the sentiment will be duplicated across many of the Mega-Presbyteries. But it leaves me with a question. What have we all being doing for the last 20 years?

Why are Presbyteries across Scotland convinced that their congregations generally need help to understand contemporary mission? How is it possible that after decades of awareness raising, still congregations may not understand mission in their own context?

And perhaps more worryingly Mega-Presbyteries clearly expect a significant number of congregations to continue to require such support after the current Mission planning process.

Is it an indictment upon the Kirk that we have failed to teach local congregations how to engage in mission? What have we been talking about? Or perhaps it’s not the content of our sermons so much as the ineffectiveness of our delivery methods? But somehow we have failed in this most basic area of discipleship such that regional coordinators are necessary to engender a passion for mission in local churches.

I don’t envy Mission Coordinators in their task, not least because some will likely end up bogged down in paper exercises and reporting. But perhaps we can help by ensuring that mission, and in particular local mission, is at the heart of our congregational preaching, teaching, learning and development.

3 thoughts on “Mission Coordinators and the failure of the local church.

  1. We seem to be almost ‘replicating’ the tasks, personnel, resources of the ‘local church’s simply at this new Presbytery level. In doing so, I believe we ‘dis-able’ even side-line the local church, create an even grestercimpression that ‘mission’ is not for ‘ordinary’ members and move the church away from Presbyterian governance. (ie away from leadership by local elders/sessions and investing power and resources in parallel structures. We do this because at some point in the past we also separated out tasks and ‘disempowered’ elders in the session and people in the pews. That power and focus needs to be restored ALONGSIDE the unhelpful ‘separation’ of ‘mission’ from other aspects of Church life. To make disciples, be disciples. If is, to my mind discipling that needs to be prioritised. (The ‘Great Commission’ was the very LAST thing that Jesus gave his disciples to do!!!!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Helen you raise an important issue here. Our structures ought to empower the local church but so often it works the other way.


  2. Oh dear oh dear…one person cannot outdo mega years of neglect!! Eph 4 ‘equip and enable Christ’s Body to build up send out etc. I think the whole system of putting paid professionals in ‘to do the job’ was and is seriously flawed. Motivation for mission comes from The Trinity, therefore the harder more costly post of earnest pray-ers often lies unfilled!!!!!!!


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