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It is wonderful when something works just as it is supposed to. I am writing this in a café and not in my study because our boiler was not working as it should and is currently being replaced. Until something is broken, I don’t think we notice how marvellous it is when it’s working.

Nowhere is this more true than the local church. When a church is functioning as it should it is a truly beautiful thing.

As summer draws near outreach events and evangelism programs increase in number: beach missions, family fun days, youth and children’s camps, the Eisteddfod, fairs and festivals. I’ve had the privilege of joining in a few of these in recent weeks, and what a joy it is to be able to share the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ with people of all ages.

The missions and evangelism that bring me most joy are those by local churches to their local communities. There might be contact with fewer people, and there might be less seed sown than in some larger evangelism initiatives, but it all happens in a situation that is geared for follow up. If someone takes an interest and wants to know more, the church is right there. Or if people respond in faith to the gospel, their first contact is with the local church which, if it is working well, will:
‣ Welcome them
‣ Disciple them
‣ Bring them under the preaching of the word
‣ Teach them
‣ Worship with them
‣ Answer their questions
‣ Invite them into fellowship and community and the love of the people of God
‣ Give them opportunities to serve and identify their gifts
‣ Encourage them to grow and grow with them
‣ Encourage them in turn to join in the work of reaching the community with the good news that they have believed.

This reminds me why Waleswide’s focus is on seeing local evangelical churches planted, strengthened and multiplied across Wales. ‘Waleswide values highly the local church as God's primary vehicle for advancing his work on earth. We believe the presence of local church is the most effective context for mission and the making of disciples.’

Hopefully when I return home from this café the new boiler will be fitted and working as it is supposed to. The local church, however, when it is working as it should in regards to disciple making and mission, is truly beautiful.

Would you join with me in praying for all the evangelistic activity in Wales over the summer? Join me as well in praying that Christ would build His church here in Wales, that all local churches would be brides that reflect the beauty of their bridegroom and saviour.

Rhun Murphy

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