A former Moderator has officially become the Church of Scotland’s first ever digital minister.
Very Rev Albert Bogle will use his ground breaking new role to create an online Kirk congregation, made up of people who may never set foot in a “real world” church.
He hopes to vastly increase the number of congregations that use social media and other online apps because at the moment only around 20 out of more than 1,300 congregations stream their services online.
Mr Bogle, whose weekly Sanctuary First podcast on faith has a global audience, was officially welcomed into his new role by Falkirk Presbytery recently.
The 69-year-old, who was Moderator of the General Assembly in 2012-13, said: “This role is about getting online worshipers to attend church and also to support those who have no intention to go on a Sunday.
“There is a growing Christian audience online who seek quality content to nurture their faith.
“My role is about helping to provide an online community for those who have left the buildings and committee structures far behind but not the Church.”
Mr Bogle, who stood down from St Andrew’s Parish Church in Bo’ness in 2015, said every minister should be equipped with digital media skills but acknowledged that every congregation would have different needs.
He added that there is “a God-shaped blank in all of our lives” and recognised that many people are seeking spiritual fulfilment online.
Mr Bogle said he plans to meet with congregations across Scotland and urged parishes the length and breadth of the country to reach out for his support.
He will also be holding offline ‘touching places’ where people can join him for Bible study, music, poetry and prayer.
Three years ago when he was Moderator, the Church of Scotland’s Principal Clerk, Very Rev Dr John Chalmers, challenged the Kirk to find 100,000 new members by 2025 through the power of online platforms.
He said he “greatly admired” Mr Bogle’s energy and enthusiasm in developing a new form of ministry.
Dr Chalmers, who preached at Mr Bogle’s ‘service of introduction at Trinity Church in Falkirk, said: “What comes next for the Church is fraught with difficulties and it will be scoffed at by some.
“But we cannot dodge the column and avoid a serious discussion about what we mean by ‘being a member’ and about how we add to our membership people who do not connect with what is our existing, traditional pattern of Church.”
Dr Chalmers said Sanctuary First helped people “live balanced lives” and allowed people to “deepen their discipleship without bashing them into the shape of the church of the past”.
To read or search stories in our other categories please choose from the following:-
Concept designs revealed for Wall of Answered Prayer
An ambitious project to build an iconic National Prayer Landmark in the UK took its next step forward yesterday ...
God and the Big Bang launched in schools
A new resource that encourages school students to explore the relationship between science and faith was launched last week (26 Jan) ...
Pray for entertainment industry, churches urged
Churches are being asked to support those working in entertainment by recognising Arts & Entertainment Sunday on 9 April ...
National campaign aims to share God's love with UK households
A campaign to share the Father's Love Letter with every household in the UK is launching on Valentines Day ...
Sports mission pack aims to equip churches
Christians in Sport is making a collection of resources available for free to help churches reach sportsmen and women with the gospel ...
Christians must be 'equipped to live out their faith in every sphere'
The Church of England needs to undergo a major "culture shift" to mobilise lay members to spread the gospel in their everyday lives, according to a new report ...
Easter: eggs include Easter story activity book
The new look Real Easter Egg 2017 range has been launched and churches are being encouraged to order early ...
How fresh expressions has reimagined Church
A major study by Church Army's Research Unit of more than 1,100 fresh expressions of Church (fxC) is providing vital insights into the future of the UK Church ...
Methodist training college to team up with BRF
Cliff College, Sheffield, one of the training colleges used and supported by the Methodist Church, has announced a new partnership with the Bible Reading Fellowship (BRF) ...
XLP leader and singer-songwriter tour tackles tough times
What do you do when your life falls apart? When it feels as if God has left you? The ‘When Faith Gets Shaken’ tour gets stuck into these deep questions ...
Christian Publishing & Outreach, registered in England & Wales (Charity no 221462).
Company limited by guarantee No 588731. VAT no 860 219 341.
Registered office: CPO, Garcia Estate, Canterbury Road, Worthing BN13 1BW, UK