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Celebrating our 140th Anniversary

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Living out our Vision, Mission and Values

Tuesday 28th April 2020

So our young people can experience the truly abundant life God has for them!

Some of you may have spent time since the start of the year looking back over the previous twelve months asking yourself “how did we get on?” But in 2020 it is different to any other year – we are now in a new decade, we have entered “the roaring twenties”.

A century ago this meant, for most places, the growth of cities, the rise of a consumer culture, the upsurge of mass entertainment, and the so-called “revolution in morals and manners”. This represented liberation from the restrictions of the country’s Victorian past.

Gender roles, hair styles and dress all changed profoundly during the 1920s. But for many other factors the nation seemed to be changing in undesirable ways. The result was a thinly veiled “cultural civil war”, in which a pluralistic society clashed bitterly over such issues as foreign immigration, evolution, racism, women’s roles, and race.

How far have we come forward?

I started this year thinking it would be a year for perfect vision (20:20, see what I did there?). A year that God reveals a vision for us all moving forward, an inward glimpse to his Kingdom. But it has been a very different start to the year. The nation is on lockdown, the typical rhythm and patterns don’t exist and we are all wondering what a world post-Covid might look like. Are we ever going back to “normal”? After the Spanish flu pandemic of 1920 they probably were thinking the same thing.

We still need to ask ourselves if our mission and values are fit for achieving God’s vision for us… because I believe we are agents of change, people who can affect the lives of young people so profoundly, especially considering the abundant life God has made for them to encounter even more so in a new landscape.

The Boys’ Brigade’s mission is to provide young people with opportunities to learn, grow and discover in a safe, fun and caring environment which is rooted in the Christian faith. Is the way we are executing this mission in line with God’s vision? Our mission is to set them up in such a way that next year, next decade or next century people are forever changed by the investment we have made in sharing God’s vision with this radical generation regardless of what they may face!

Dez speaking at Unite 2019

We have a call upon our lives to develop values of being inspiring, caring, trusting and rooted in faith. Are these values shining through in all that we do? Because the reality is the issues of a century ago are just as much issues today as they were then. If we want to make these truly things of the past our young people need these values to be in their DNA!

I believe if we live out our values for these young people, we are serving and driving the mission we have forward and this in turn will provide space for our young people to experience the truly abundant life God has for them! That is what I want to see throughout the rest of this year!

Dez Johnston

Director, Alpha Scotland

Dez heads up Alpha Scotland supporting churches all over the nation. He also lives as part of an incarnational urban mission team with his wife Fi, daughter Amber and their new wee boy, Cody. When he is not cooking for his fam, Dez loves music, the PS4 and sunglasses! He also has a small addiction to really, really old books and working out new ways of communicating to our culture.

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