We support church leaders across the country through our EQUIP programme. EQUIP groups meet three times a year, with up to ten church leaders in each group. Each group has a leader, who commits to visiting each of the members in their own locality between the meetings.
The main purpose of both the meetings and the follow-up visits is to provide teaching, training and encouragement in a number of major areas of church life. EQUIP groups also function as support groups, where people listen to one another, learn from one another and pray for one another.
We currently have EQUIP groups meeting in Hampshire, Kent, Leicestershire, and North Wales, with a group soon to start in Somerset. In North Wales the group is led by Canon John Benson, and John has sent the following update:
EQUIP IN NORTH WALES
“Making bricks without straw” was the starting point for a recent meeting of the EQUIP group in North Wales. The people of Israel in Egypt faced a seemingly impossible task. Many church leaders in North Wales (and other places) also feel that they face an impossible task. They are given responsibility for an increasing number of small and declining churches. One member of the EQUIP group has ten churches.
These church leaders are committed to doing their best to serve God in their ministry, but it is easy to become discouraged or to feel overwhelmed by the seemingly impossible task.
We pray, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven.” And then we look at the continued decline of many of the churches. Has the Lord given up on the advance of His kingdom in Wales? Is it possible for Welsh churches to grow and flourish again? What is the Lord saying to the church today? Do we just continue the present track of managed decline? Are there new approaches the Lord intends to bless?
I believe that there is a future and a hope for the church in North Wales and that there will be a harvest of people turning to Jesus as their Lord and Saviour before He returns in power and glory. In the EQUIP group, I have the privilege of working with a group of church leaders who begin to believe that this can be done. They are ready to take some radical decisions to make it happen. We pray, “Lord, what are you doing and what do you want us to do?”
My friend with ten churches has asked me to bring a team of intercessors from my church in Chester to spend a day praying in his area. We plan to do this after Easter. We will pray for the advance of the Kingdom of God. We will pray for the Lord’s blessing on his people. We will listen to what the Lord is saying.
Will you join us in praying for the Lord’s blessing on His church in North Wales?