The Faith Action Plan

John Chalmers speaking at the 2020 GA
Very Rev Dr John Chalmers, Convener of the Assembly Trustees, introduced the Faith Action Plan in the Trustees' report to the General Assembly in 2020.

The Assembly Trustees introduced the Faith Action Plan in their report to the 2020 General Assembly.

Underpinned by the Five Marks of Mission, the Faith Action Plan follows on from the Radical Action Plan and sets high-level outcomes for the faith-related work of the National offices. This is to be done through a single, integrated programme that incorporates the work of the Faith Nurture and Faith Impact Forums. To facilitate this work, Rev Dr Scott Shackleton was appointed to the new post of Head of Faith Action Programme in 2021.

The Faith Action Plan, outlined below, will act as a framework for establishing priorities and determining future budgets. It will continue to be refined as we learn more moving forward.

Our clear focus

Recruit and train for inspirational leadership in our Church.

The Faith Action Plan

Inspiration rooted in theology is the most important leadership trait for our church.

Our culture, values, behaviours and standards are a key factor: we need to know what we stand for.

If we can't inspire people towards Faith and the Good News through our actions, then everything else we do will have limited impact.

A community of Faith, God calls us from widely varied backgrounds with different gifts to learn together, work together, and care for each other.

Together we can:

  • Stand up and speak out
  • Make disciples
  • Spread God's Word—The Good News!
  • Care for others
  • Help people grow in grace and knowledge

We need to be:

  • Fuelled by passion and purpose to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ
  • Guided by the core values we stand for as a Church

Inspiring God's people to:

  • Be more like Jesus
  • Do more prayer, worship and loving service
  • Become more confident about evangelism and ways to speak about God and faith
  • Believe more in the power of God's love to transform individuals and the world
  • Dream more about a hopeful future
  • Unlock their motivation to be disciples of Jesus Christ
  • Foster engagement and commitment to working in partnership with others
  • Truly model our culture and values

Five Marks of Mission

The Church of Scotland has a unique role. Our vision seeks to inspire the people of Scotland and beyond with the Good News of Jesus Christ through enthusiastic worshipping, witness, nurturing and serving communities, underpinned by the Five Marks of Mission:

  • Enthusiastic Communities: To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
  • Nurturing Communities: To teach, baptise, and nurture new believers
  • Serving Communities: to respond to human need by loving service
  • Witnessing Communities: To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and pursue peace and reconciliation
  • Worshipping Communities: To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth

Faith Action Plan Summary

Vision Part 1: To be a Church which seeks to inspire the people of Scotland and beyond with the Good News of Jesus Christ…

Vision Part 2: …through enthusiastic worshipping, witnessing, nurturing and serving communities

Kirk Session, Presbytery, Assembly Trustees and General Assembly generate robust plans for the future that are integral to delivering the Faith Action Plan outcomes.

Inspirational Leadership

Grounded in Good Practical Theology and guided by the Holy Spirit.

Local Church

  • Enthusiastic: Source, train, deploy and develop enthusiastic and inspirational Christians at every level in our Church
  • Worship: Reshape how and where we worship with approaches that impact and engage on young and old alike
  • Witness: Our value, standards, behaviours and, most importantly, missional actions in spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ
  • Nurturing: Progressing Faith Formation in the community and active discipleship in the Church


  • National (Scotland): Church at the heart of the local community, supporting local needs and contributing to national life
  • International (Beyond our borders): Demonstrable, affordable support to our international friends and partners—accompanying, listening, and sharing with world church.

Underpinning Activities

A single, integrated training programme that supports all levels and aspects of church life. Inspirational leaders for worship, witness, nurture and service.

An affordable Faith Action Plan where we have actively:

  • Stopped duplication where others are best placed to lead
  • Adapted others' best practice
  • Sized our programme to match what we can afford from our income