Ysgol DAWN - Developing Leaders for new Ministries
As we seek to meet the need of effective ministry to large parts of Wales, we are immediately confronted by the realisation that the possibilities are hampered by a lack of trained people who are able to exercise effective leadership. This is particularly true of Welsh speaking Wales, those large areas where both statistically and practically the Christian message has to be presented through the medium of Welsh.
Over the past 50 years the number of people presenting themselves as candidates for full time ministry has rapidly decreased. This is in part a reflection of the spiritual malaise within the traditional denominations. But it is also a reflection of the unwillingness of individuals to be challenged as to what God might be calling them to sacrifice to take up leadership and the shyness on the part of churches and para church organisations to issue the challenge.
As both Christians and churches become more affluent, the emphasis and world view of parents tends to suggest that young people should seek safe and rewarding positions. Our theological affluence also leads to an inappropriate concern for the 'base line maturity' considered necessary for any kind of leadership in churches and the predominant thought becomes 'See me, send him'!! It is acknowledged that there are examples of people who have only been 'called' by themselves and that it is difficult to arrive at a process of assessment which guarantees that only those 'called' of God become leaders within the work. However, it is no doubt also true that we often err too much on the side of caution, expecting that we should see the finished product before any training or testing is done. Individuals with potential for leadership should be challenged and given the opportunity to 'prove' their calling. This is not only a Biblical necessity, but a practical necessity.
The number of individuals who are burdened to share the Gospel, whether in an evangelistic situation, pioneer situation, or in a transformation situation is practically zero. And yet there are great opportunities and the fields are white for harvest. By the providence of God, this is where we are today and we need to meet today's challenge with today's leaders.
So we intend to start training individuals who have potential leadership qualities using a 'life on life' model. Students who arrive at Llansannan in September will become acquainted both with the reality of the need in Welsh speaking Wales, and the cultural and religious situation which we are called in this generation to witness within. The focus of the training will be on practical experiences of different types of ministry in different locations where there is kingdom work in Wales today. Students will observe, reflect on and appraise those situations. Throughout, this will be supported by an academic element which will equip students to know God's Word and how to apply that Word to their own lives as well as to the work of ministry in the 21st century.
Although students will be trained primarily for work through the medium of Welsh, the placements will of necessity be bi-lingual, as at present there are very few situations where there is a growing work of the Gospel in a Welsh speaking context. We anticipate that students will have a burden and calling to different ministries within the body of Christ. Our goal is to identify that calling and to provide them with opportunities to exercise it.
Please join us in prayer and in practical support, as we seek to respond to the challenge of such an enormous geographical area of Wales where there is at present no effective Christian witness.
"And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent?"