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The toad was in the pan on the stove getting hotter and hotter.  It didn’t hop out because there was no sudden change to alarm him.  He became a tasty morsel.

There’s something similar happening in Wales.  Most churches do not see regular conversions among the ‘un-churched’ or ‘de-churched’.  Many are not actively seeking to reach beyond their immediate fringe and circle of friends (ever diminishing!!).  Most are not as certain as they once were that anyone would be converted if they did.  Some even say that conversions don’t happen today, but that everyone is on a journey instead.  Fine, but aren’t we supposed to know if we’re getting there?!  The toad is getting flushed and no one seems to be noticing.

Why are so few ‘lost people’ becoming ‘found people’ in Wales today?  How many do you know of that became Christians in 2010 from outside the church community?  Thank God for youth work I say.  It would seem to be the only regularly fruitful sphere.  But why were so few adults added to the church last year, and the decade before?  Do we need to rethink how we do evangelism in Wales?  Is there something different about the Welsh, compared to the English and the Americans?  If so what?  Do we need to do it differently here?  Or do we need to keep doing exactly what we’re doing, but just pray more and more?

This time you must register, log in and contribute!!  Who’d want to be a hot toad?

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I'd have to agree with David's blog on the 'toad'. The question is: what are we doing wrong, and how do we change it? We as Welsh people don't seem to have welcomed change in the last 30 years, so there isnt a successful model to follow. no-one is willing to change without knowing that it'll work. I think that that has a lot to do with it. You read a lot of American/English books about transitioning a Church but you know it will not work in Wales. How do we change that?! I think it's a lot to do with the baggage of tradition and we've got to realise that we are serving the Gospel, not the congregation. But I'd love to see a model/strategy for changing things.

[Peter Yeoman is currently working in America]  I was prompted to comment on the true statements of 'Remember the Toad'. Sadly, I don't think America has answers either but rather warnings. Are the current trends in the United Kingdom developing into, what is generally, the present spiritual condition in the United States? Following a survey of Christianity in America, D. Michael Lindsay, a Rice University sociologist of religion, said, "The survey shows religion in America is, indeed, 3,000 miles wide and only three inches deep." Although, like any other nation, there are pockets of good expressions of church life in America, the following observations are examples of the general spiritual condition in many parts.

Prayer practice - No weekly corporate church prayer meeting. Prayer is now the responsibility of individual ‘Intercessors’ as well as occasional groups that meet during the weekday mornings. Much of which are becoming less and less attended i.e. 5 or 6 in attendance.

Worship weakness - Spectators instead of participators – this is due to several reasons including the development of professionalism in worship teams and seeker sensitive presentation. In some places the worship team can either disappear from the service for coffee following ‘doing their bit’ or even fall asleep while the service continues and sermon is preached.

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I think we as the church have lost our bottle in Wales. We seem happy where we are in our little churches when there is a world out there that is in need of Jesus.

I think we need to come together as a group of people intent on shining and speaking for Jesus in the way we live our lives in a seven day week and not just on a Sunday morning in church.

We need to come together and invest in the close relationships we have with people who don't know Jesus because at the moment they aren't going where we are going when we meet Jesus and that is a very scary but real situation which should spark us into some sort of action.

Investing in the youth in our churches is massive because they should never be labelled as the 'next' generation but the 'now' generation of church and we need to encourage the young people we have in our churches to see that actually following God and living for Jesus doesn't only happen on a Sunday but its in fact a way of life. We need to excite them and refresh their faith again... but in order to do that we need to get more excited about living for Jesus and spreading his message ourselves.

Evangelism isn't merely about speaking words from the front of a chapel but its also about living it out in our communities and having a vision of seeing people come to see Jesus in the way we live, speak and act.

Where to start all of this... PRAYER!!! We need to embrace the prayer model that Jesus taught us all those years ago - its more relevant and important than ever now for us to pursue praying for and then going out and bringing forth glimpses of the glory of God's Kingdom for people we know in our everyday lives to experience and see that Jesus is more than a nice man, a teacher, a guy who wore sandals... and instead see and begin to relaise and experience Him as their Lord and Saviour.

Come on lets grab ahold of a new vision for real living and real church as Jesus crys out for us to have... and lets look to do it together...

fi'n casau gorfod anghytuno gyda David am ei flogiad - soi'n siwr os yw broga wedi ei ferwi yn gwneud 'tasty morsel'!!!!
[I hate it that I must disagree with David about his blog – but I’m not sure that a boiled toad makes a ‘tasty morsel’!!!]

anyway... wrth ofyn y cwestiwn: a yw'r Cymry yn wahanol i'r Saeson?  ydy hynny'n awgrymu bod pethau lot gwell yn y byd saesneg na'r byd cymraeg?  Yn amlwg mae yna rhai enghreifftiau - ond ydy hyn yn wir o hyd?
[By asking the question whether a Welshman is different to an Englishman, is there a suggestion that things are a lot better in English spheres than Welsh?  It is obvious that there are some examples, but is always true?]

[David Ollerton:  There are not many small towns in England, though more in English speaking Wales, where there is no church which is clear on the gospel and biblical authority, not to mention evidence of spiritual life.  In Wales, and especially Welsh-speaking Wales, there are many.  Yes, I think there is a difference, and there are certainly instances of rapid church growth by conversion in England, something that is currently rare or non-existent in Wales.]

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