One more serious challenge facing the congregation in the next five, or so, years is a lack of men who can serve as elders and deacons. We have only two elders, and one other male member who has recently joined the congregation. Our other men are committed in many ways, but stand at arm’s length from fellowship in the Gospel, expressed in a profession of faith. Developing new leaders must therefore be a priority for our congregation in the coming five years. We aim to do this through:
We are persuaded that in God’s Church, the body of Christ, he will raise up suitable leaders to pastorally care for his people, and manage the affairs of the congregation. We will ask him to provide such men for us.
- Building the Covenant Community
As we have said in our Mission Plan, a portion of our current work and witness lies in reaching both adherents and the husbands of women who attend regularly. It may be that among these people are the men who will grow to take on servant leadership roles in the congregation.
- Outward Looking Evangelism
As a congregation, we recognise our mindset may have to adapt to see the real benefits in leaders coming in with little background in the faith, but just solid Christian gifts.
Possessing leaders without the more traditional hang-ups common to long-term adherents may actually be a strength: particularly in our community where there has been a very high degree of inward migration. We are moving beyond being a congregation made up exclusively of local Skye-born “Free Church people” to be more ethnically diverse and inclusive. Our leadership should reflect that.
The overarching theme in this is perhaps one serious question that comes from our vision statement: As a community of worshippers, instructed by God’s word, are we integrating newly evangelised people into our fellowship?
Our leadership development plan therefore hinges firstly on the question of fellowship. Thereafter, we can begin to:
- Identify people with the gifts outlined in Scripture
- Gently bring such people into growing responsibility
- Cultivating that sense of responsibility as commitment grows
- Implement good programs of ongoing mentoring and training