Mega Presbyteries

The Church of Scotland is in the process of presbytery reform; restructuring and reducing the number of local Presbyteries from 43 down to 12. This is part of an important attempt to improve the governance of the Kirk and to devolve resources down from the Church central offices, affectionately knows as 121. I have some … Continue reading Mega Presbyteries

Why is church so disappointing?

There are probably many reasons that we find church dissatisfying. Often the real-world experience fails to meet expectations. This may be due to a genuinely poor experience where the Christian community fails to meet the moral or ethical standards outlined in Scripture. But on other occasions it is possible we have set our expectations too … Continue reading Why is church so disappointing?

Culture eats strategy…

I’ve heard the saying ‘culture eats strategy for breakfast’ repeatedly in church meetings (apparently it’s attributed to Peter Drucker). Ironically, these meetings are often strategy meetings, or meetings to develop a strategy for improving culture. This evening I was part of a large meeting to discuss a strategy to rationalise and centralise resources in an … Continue reading Culture eats strategy…

Should churches push to reopen?

According to the headlines, some churches in Scotland are deeply concerned that the Scottish Government has overreached by insisting that churches cannot currently gather for worship. Today there is a suggestion of legal action from the churches. It would be naive to assume that decisions made during the Covid crisis could never have unintended repercussions … Continue reading Should churches push to reopen?

The Production of Worship

In recent years, events based mission has fallen out of fashion; relational mission is now en vogue. But events based worship is still generally preferred to a more relational approach. In most churches, the primary activity of the community is the delivery of a weekly event. The Sunday morning service is the main expression of … Continue reading The Production of Worship

Getting back to Church

Leadership in the Christian community is largely focussed on the provision and administration of the Sunday gathering. Church leaders lament that that members are ‘Sunday Christians’ and we regularly preach that they need to be followers of Jesus every day. And yet the entire Christian community and its leadership are centred on the Sunday service. … Continue reading Getting back to Church

Parish Minister or Parish Manager?

I recently flicked through the Church of Scotland’s in-house magazine ‘Life and Work.’ It was the September 2020 issue and as usual it asked a ‘Big Question’ of a group of parish ministers. The specific question related to how the respondents had maintained spiritual health during lockdown. And although a breadth of theology was represented, … Continue reading Parish Minister or Parish Manager?

What’s in a name?

In Scotland we have many different words for rain. They all refer to water falling from the sky but the different terms introduce nuances in the way and speed the water is falling. Some translations of the New Testament use the word ‘preach’ where the original text recognises more nuance. For example where the NIV … Continue reading What’s in a name?

Some Questions about Preaching

For more than a decade, I’ve been preaching almost every weekend. In preacher terms, that qualifies me as a relative noob. In that time a number of questions have stuck in my mind concerning what I’m doing when I attempt to preach. Here are a few. When does speaking become preaching? What is preaching trying … Continue reading Some Questions about Preaching


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