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[Continued]

Sunday service - Sunday morning is the only service most attend – An interesting observation from one American pastor was, “Since having one service on Sunday we have lost a development tool for emerging leaders”. He then went on to say, “However, I would rather have a good service on Sunday morning without having another service for the few on Sunday evening”. Sunday is now degenerating as someone described it as the Lord’s half-day.

Football Fever - Sunday afternoon is for NFL Football while the annual Superbowl is sacrosanct – some will even wear the participating football teams jersey to the Sunday morning service.

Evangelistic Evaporation – There is no visible expression of evangelism or corporate witness and the true gospel is seldom preached. The streets are barren of public expressions of the gospel.

Congregation crisis - Little or no Body ministry. All contribution comes from the front. This will inevitably reduce spiritual growth (particularly the development of leaders).

Mega-Church mentality - Disciples are being replaced by attendees. A church was planted in a city, and within one year, over 1,000 were attending! Where did they come from as no revival has been reported? In Houston, Texas, a pastor was asked, ‘What is the biggest church in the city?’ He answered, ‘Probably Joel Osteen’s church". The pastor replied, "No, it’s the mobile church!’ (Intimating the masses of wanderers)

Occasional Ordinance - Irregular communion. Breaking Bread is not prominent, and sometimes, not even regularly observed.

Christian Calendar Demise - A pastor attended an evangelical mega-church over an Easter time. His report was that there was no sense that it was God’s gathering. The songs were almost exclusively about us, our feelings and our intentions to worship, obey and love, but it was not clear whom they were talking about or why. Although it was Easter, the message (with no clear text) was on how Jesus gives us the strength to overcome our obstacles. Instead of meeting God, and the announcement of a real victory over sin and death by Jesus Christ, he encountered other Christians who were being given fellowship and instructions for making their own Easter come true in their life. His conclusion was, "There was no gospel anywhere in that service that might convert me if I were unconverted…not even in the most liberal churches that I have attended, has the service been so devoid of Christ and the gospel. It’s like ‘God-who?’

On a personal note - Having experienced Easter during 2010 we could not find a church that was open to Break Bread on Good Friday! It was like any other weekend.

So what is the answer? Probably a reversal of the above. Back to basics! “Woe is me if I preach not the Gospel”

[Back to Remember the toad!!]

Pray for Wales

We are featuring here one church and asking that as you pray for them, you will pray for others like them in different places.

Machynlleth Community Church is a diverse group of Christians drawn from a wide area.  Most live outside the town and they are seeking to reach more people from the town itself.  Their longstanding pastor passed away at the end of 2016 and others have been relocating both into and out of the area.  Up to 27 adults and 6 children are attending regularly.

Give thanks for:

  • The continuing life and witness of the church.
  • More people using their gifts to serve the church.
  • The continuing Ribidirês (baby and toddler group) as part of the church’s ministry and outreach.

Pray for:

  • God’s leading and guidance for the newly expanded leadership team (Aled, Barry, David and Lynette).
  • Unity and a commitment to remain Christ centred.
  • Wisdom as they seek to care for one another pastorally across a wide rural area.
  • Training and mentoring opportunities for those who teach God’s word.
  • New outreach strategies (especially to young families), courage and boldness in personal evangelism and for more people from Machynlleth to start attending the church.
  • The church is studying the What is church? course developed by Waleswide.  Pray that this will provide a clear sense of changes that might need to be made for the growth of the church and the building of closer relationships.

Thank you.

Waleswide

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