I love making unexpected discoveries. Being surprised in a good way by something you didn’t expect and weren’t even looking for. These are the discoveries that put a smile on my face.
Recently we made some unexpected discoveries at Go For It. We asked the Rev. Fiona Tweedie to do a little research for us and look at some of the statistics coming back to us through the reports that funded projects were sending in to us. I thought you might like to know about some of the unexpected discoveries she made.
It appears that congregations which have a Go For It funded project running are younger, welcome more new Christians and have more young people in worship. Well, there are three unexpected discoveries in that for us. Whilst we haven’t completely explored the link between the projects and these statistics (and the skeptics amongst you will tell me you can use statistics to demonstrate anything), it does look as though the Go For It Fund is in some way contributing to growth in these congregations.
Professions of Faith in these congregations average more than double the professions of faith of other congregations and the projects that identify with the criteria of forming new ecclesial communities average 2.4 times the professions of faith of other congregations. We discovered that the average age profile of a congregation that had received Go For It funding was 4 years younger than other congregations and that they have 25% more children than other congregations.
It’s all very exciting to discover and we need some more time to see if this becomes a trend and begins to influence congregational statistics over a longer period of time.
So a word to those of you who are running projects partly funded by Go For It: keep going because the work you are doing is having an impact in terms of congregational renewal and that’s something we long to see across Scotland.
And to those of you who haven’t quite managed to work out how Go For It might be useful to you in your mission as a congregation, don’t hold back from being in touch with us, even if you just have a tiny seed of an idea at the moment. We are happy to chat it through with you and see if it can be shaped into a fundable project. Our learning and training programme too is a great asset that could help you develop these seed thoughts into something really amazing for your congregation and community.
Maybe it’s time for you to make some unexpected discoveries that will put a smile on your face, as you explore how Go For It could partner with you in your area.
Rev Jane Howitt
Convener, Go For It Fund
About the Author
Jane is the Convener of the Go For It Fund and has had a varied ministry: pioneering work in the Baltic States for Scripture Union, being a Parish Minister in the Scottish Borders, serving at Edinburgh: St Catherine’s Argyle as their full-time locum minister and now at St Rollox Church of Scotland in Glasgow.
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