On Monday, at the General Assembly 2004 of the Church of Scotland, an meaningful project Church Without Walls 2005 - FOLLOW ME! was introduced.
The idea of the project was first initiated by a report entitled Church without Walls (CWW) written by the Special Commission about Review and Reform in 2001. The report was highly supported by the General Assembly.
The theme of the project stimulates the church to consider how it can be the church which is relevant and meaningful for the people of Scotland in the new millennium.
The project urges the church to breakthrough the old mindset which has become a hindrance to the expansion of mission and ministry. For instance, the church should change from church focus to Christ focus. Instead of waiting for people to come in, the church needs to go where people are to find them.
David Denniston, convener of the Assembly Council addressed, “Most people would agree that the CWW report in 2001 grabbed the imagination of the Church. The key phrase that is often used to describe the report is that ‘it has given permission to think outside the box.’”
He continued to explain the challenge of this project to churches by referring to Apostle Paul’s teaching in Colossians Chapter 2.7, "Since you have received Christ Jesus as Lord remain rooted in him, then you will become stronger in your faith, and be overflowing with thankfulness" Only the branches that are rooted well with the vine can bear new fruit.
He said: “in John chapter 15, Jesus speaks of the importance of the branches being cut back, not in order that they wither and die, but in order that they might leave room for the new fruit to blossom.”
The report Church without Walls restates the primary purpose of the Church is to follow Jesus Christ. Looking upon the fair bit of pruning in the life and structure of the Church at all levels over the past few years, the project encourages the Church to seek to be shaped by the gospel of resurrection and hope; living Christ-like in locality, living truthfully through trusting friendships and growing in grace and humility through the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.
The project will be carried out through a number of celebrations, musical worships and seminars during 2005. Presbyteries are joining together to celebrate the event but ideas are still at early planning stages at present.