Wrecked in the Valleys

Apologies that the Rant has been somewhat quiet of late – I’ve been kinda busy! Last Monday 4 fantastic Americans arrived in Wales with a view to coming over to plant churches with New Breed. Therefore I spent most of last week as their tour guide, cultural commentator, missional visionary…and also just their friend! They’ve been such good company – a real joy to hang out with and a real blessing to myself, my family and Hill City Church.

However, it hasn’t been the easiest 7 days days of my life…far from it!

Driving my American bredrinz around South Wales (and especially the Valleys) with a view to both highlighting the scale of spiritual and social need, while at the same hoping they’ll fall in love with the place, is dangerous for me! In fact it’s been wrecking me!! Why? Because I love this region with a deep, relentless passion that could only come from God. Therefore spending a week focussing on the scale of need in my beloved mission-field is heart-breaking and making the need for a fresh wave of Spirit-filled, gospel preaching, Christ exalting churches to be planted across this region starker than ever to me.

There’s only so many boarded up churches, derelict town centres and burdened, joyless faces that I can cope with seeing before I can’t take any more and genuine tears start to flow. You’d have thought that living where I do, coupled with the life-experiences that I’ve had, I’d be hardened to it by now. In reality, however, the opposite is true! The truth is that my estate is home to around 4,000 people and yes, it has massive needs, and yes my church has its hands-full. But staggeringly there are 1.3 million people who live in the Welsh Valleys.

That’s A LOT of people!

The crime, depravity, unemployment and subsequent drug abuse, depression and suicide is a now the norm for many in the valleys. The need for church planting and gospel mission in this region is so urgent that I haven’t got the words to express it here on my blog. I also need to be careful that I don’t allow bitterness and anger to creep into my heart when I consider the vast quantities of resource that is enjoyed by the wealthier cities down south. Basically no one wants to plant in a place with no money, no glitz, no recognition, no support and no guarantee of apparent success!

There’s a few more blog posts coming on this subject in the coming days trust!

In the meantime, however, please join me in praying that God would once again have mercy on the people of the beautiful, broken valleys of South Wales.

For His glory!

13 thoughts on “Wrecked in the Valleys

  1. The situation in the valves has never been so urgent. We need God to give a fresh out pouring of the holy spirit to convict, save and to equip men and women. To move in a powerful way in the anointing of God.
    The time for change is needed now and for people to step out in faith and see the power of God.
    If we always do what we have always done then we will get what we have always got.

  2. Dude it’s awesome to hear your anguish for that which God has put on your heart (Galatians 4:19). You sound similar to Hudson Taylor (http://amzn.to/hYZOmh). Check out his autobiography and I’m sure that you will be blessed and encouraged.

    In Christ.

  3. Dai a very interesting post, while i am not against new churches or planting a relatively new word most like to use,maybe its sounds more exciting. Exodus 25-8..make a sanctuary that i may dwell in their mist, and people have build many churches over the years, now boarded up why? possible funds, falling members, commitments. Christians except Jesus as head of the church, but he never said build churches, only to baptize and make disciples of all nations teach them obedience and pray for the Kingdom of God to come, so maybe some except that obeying Jesus’s commands like praying is all that is required and planting new churches is not necessary. But i do wish you well and hope you succeed in your mission.

  4. Al : you might be interested in some teaching by Steve Timmis on planting churches without thinking about it as planting churches HERE.

    Dai, your love for the valleys is SO contagious! Everyone we met along the way that knows you agreed. Thank you for letting Christ work through you to bless so many of us.

  5. Zachary Anderson. Obliged for your comments.
    I have previously read what Mr Timmis believes, sounds a dedicated man. But going to church does not confirm it God’s way to reach the people, there is no calling for planting of churches found in the bible,and where would the new converts be coming from old closed down churches maybe?,i believe most third world churches close within 4 years,due to finance and professional leaders (wages training)Jesus only requested people finished what he began before he ascended into heaven, he gave us, the great commission to convert the world to make disciples of all nations, to pray and seek the kingdom of God and for the kingdom to come, no mention of planting Church’s if that was his goal i wonder why he never said so,to be witness for Jesus in your lives it looks like to me it is only necessary, talk about his final instructions.

  6. Al,

    I’d have to question the statement that there is no biblical mandate for planting churches. Jesus Himself stated that “I will build my CHURCH, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew16v18). Also, in the book of Revelation He addresses multiple churches that are found in different locations around Asia Minor (ch2-3) – those churches had clearly been planted at some point.

    Furthermore, Paul wrote this to the church in Ephesus:

    “To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things, so that THROUGH THE CHURCH the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 3v8-10

    and later…

    “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory IN THE CHURCH and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” (Ephesians 3v20-21)

    Paul was clear that both God’s wisdom and glory are revealed through the church. Personally, I think that our world is in dire need of both – so therefore we need more churches! I’d agree that we don’t need more churches planted where there are already gospel-preaching churches in existence. But in communities like Trevethin and Garn – we do! (I’m sure if you asked Margaret, Donna and the girls if they’re glad that we planted Hill City – they’d say yes.)

    The great commission you refer to (Matthew 28) tells us to:

    “make disciples of all nations…teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (v19-20)

    It’s impossible to teach and be taught outside of a community context (as it requires more than 1 person). The intention of Jesus is that we disciple others by teaching the gospel and demonstrating grace in community – that’s church.

    Hope you didn’t mind me sharing all that.

    God bless you Al.

  7. Hi Dai, the church invisible,
    The word church in the new Testament comes from the Greek word, ekklesie as you well know, means to call out. There was no church’s until the day of Pentecost, as the church is based on the Jesus he is the one who is calling out people who look upon Jesus for their salvation. All who do so are members of the body of Christ through the baptism of the Holy ghost.

  8. Hi Dai notice spelt ecclesia wrong .A word used by the roman empire when they establish new governing authority. A group of people that were called out to institute the will and demands of Romans. The call outs was responsible for training citizens with the will, rights, and privileges given to them by Rome.So the word ecclesia was well know to Jesus and his followers when he was explaining God’s rules etc.
    Matt 16-18..on this rock i will build my church..church/ecclesia.and not relating to churches today.

  9. Al,

    The church isn’t invisible, on the contrary it exists to be entirely visible – literally the physical embodiment of Jesus on earth (that’s why the church is also known as a body). If the church was invisible it would make no sense that Jesus and Paul would both address gatherings according to their physical location:

    “To the angel of the [ekklēsia] in Ephesus write…” Rev 2

    “To the [ekklēsia] of God that is in Corinth…” 1Cor 1

    “To the churches of Galatia…” Gal 1

    “To Philemon…and the [ekklēsia] in your house…” Philemon 1

    The term Ecclesia means a lot more than just ‘called out’, it means ‘called out to gather’ (check out: http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G1577&t=KJV)

    Also when Jesus said He would build His church he was talking to Peter, the leader of Apostles who were to bring the New Testament church into existence. It is universally accepted that he wasn’t talking specifically about the first century church alone – he was talking about the church universally – to the current day and beyond. So what we’re doing in Trevethin and proposing to do in Garn is all part of the same church movement. We are simply a 21st century ekklēsia.

    Don’t want to make a bigger thing of this than is needed, it’s just that I;m passionate about the church and planting is a huge part of my life and my focus now.

    God bless you Al.

  10. Dai I think you believe i am challenging you testing your belief..wrong,
    you missed my point, did Jesus ask us to plant churches or make disciples,… you know the answer.The word ecclesia has nothing to do with religion It is a governmental term of service. Jesus came to representative the Kingdom of Gods Government the church invisible, and them who except Jesus as our Lord and Savior are part of that invisible.church.(that i made ref:to).. Yes the church we know is needed as well, to worship learn about God.My point was there was no churches before Jesus died as we known them today and Jesus never asked us to start planting churches. Planting a new church from scratch requires someone who is a gifted evalagelist dedicated to bring God’s words to strange or rundown area’s moving the family and starts off maybe with a small group meeting in homes. A job i would never be able to do or want too

  11. I see where you’re coming from Al. I guess I’m just trying to explain how as I see it we can’t obey Jesus’ command to make disciples without it being in the context of a church as we learn in community. Therefore planting churches is all part of the same adventure.

    God bless you fella.

  12. Dai, maybe i did not express my point right, should have but it the church is not that of a building, its a reference to a body of people who are believers, your planting is a place to minister for their needs( don’t mean just charity). So yes we need buildings and we call them churches. Some churches have large attendance don’t mean a thing if its not growing spiritually,(maybe another reasons for church to close loss of interest) the point,..Hill City started with a few but the few have been growning in knowledge of Jesus..(well i know of 3)
    It’s not important who does the planting, or watering. God makes the seed grow. The plants and waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded…1 Corinthians 1-3-7-8..Hope you have an outstanding Sunday service
    Think i need to buy me a new bible maybe i am a bit rusty you were most likely in Juniors playing marbles the last one i owned(shameful)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s