Hundreds sign up to new online Learning platform to help expand the Kingdom of God
Published on 23 August 2023 3 minutes read
Nearly 300 people have registered to join an exciting new education platform to encourage Church members to be bold and take risks to expand the Kingdom of God.
Church of Scotland Learning is comprised of a wide range of online training modules designed to help people in congregations imagine a dynamic new future for the Church, grow faith, stretch minds and explore possibilities to make a real difference in their communities.
Set at an introductory level and accessible for all, topics include:-
- Conversations in Discipleship - Helping us to think about what it looks like to be a follower of Jesus.
- Exploring Discipleship - Enabling us to begin or deepen our experience of following Jesus together.
- Talking about your faith - Becoming more confident in sharing Jesus with others.
- New Ways of Being Church - Learning how to pioneer and take early steps in our own venturing.
- Knowing You, Knowing Me. Theological Reflection for Everyone - Learning to understand more fully where God is and what God is calling us to do.
- Equality, Diversity and Inclusion – Three mottos for best practice.
The Church is constantly reforming and the integrated training platform, endorsed by the General Assembly and launched last week, seeks to help congregations to thrive in confidence to grow their faith and encourage them to reach out to people indifferent to the Church, providing an opportunity to turbocharge the calling to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Kay Cathcart, People and Training Manager for the Church of Scotland, is encouraging people to sign up.
"The Faith Action Programme wants to equip people to live out the mission of God, following Jesus and serving our communities," she said.
"The materials provided in Church of Scotland Learning seek to help people grow in confidence in, and knowledge of, their faith and equip them to make a real difference where they are.
"We believe that a Church being reformed and transformed will see a major transformation in the communities they serve and in the world.
"We hope that people who learn together will also grow and serve together, making the difference we're called to by using the gifts God gives us, wherever we are sent."
The ethos of the platform is collaborative, aiming to promote sharing ideas, resources, discerning future opportunities and needs.
Resources already used by congregations and presbyteries can be shared through the platform.
Early in 2024, new learning materials around discovering spiritual gifts and supporting leadership, eldership and session clerks will be introduced on the platform.
Mrs Cathcart said: "We're ready to begin developing materials for people's continued development and invite people to get in touch and tell us what they would like to see introduced."
From September 2025, the Church of Scotland Learning team expect to resource those training for, and deployed in, national ministries.
Rt Rev Sally Foster-Fulton, Moderator of the General Assembly, has endorsed the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion module.
"How we treat, celebrate and respect each other is an embodied expression of our faith," she said.
"The Church of Scotland learning platform offers insightful and engaging resources that help individuals and groups explore issues of equality, diversity and inclusion.
"It stimulates discussion and guides participants to consider practical ways to live out the radical welcome of God."
Rev Stuart Finlayson, a Community Pioneer Minister in Forres and West Moray, added: "Whether you are new to pioneer ministry or have already begun exploring, the New Ways of Being Church module is a great resource to help you on your way.
"Most importantly you will learn that pioneering takes time, teamwork and trust as you listen to what the Holy Spirit is already doing in your context and try to come alongside Him."
Rev Scott McRoberts, minister of St Columba Church in Inverness, said: "Jesus said ‘Follow me' to all kinds of different people at all sorts of different starting places.
"What's great about the Conversations in Discipleship module is that anyone and everyone can join in.
"Give it a go and see where its simplicity, openness and mutual encouragement will take you."