We know only too well about some of the disheartening features of the Christian landscape in Wales today: church closures, diminishing numbers of worshippers, scarcity of Ministers and too few people prepared to shoulder responsibilities in our church communities. In addition, it’s becoming increasingly common to see congregations of less than 10 in number. We are frequently challenged to ask questions, such as: why are we not able to attract people to the Christian faith? How will Christianity look in Wales in ten year’s time? How many Baptist chapels will there be? Will the Union and Associations exist? These are difficult and uncomfortable questions but questions that we must face. Is there an answer to our situation today?
One answer of course is mission work and responding positively to the various challenges that face us today. Easier said than done! How do we undertake mission work in a post Christian age where secularism is on the increase and people in general are quite apathetic about anything to do with Christianity?
The Baptist Union of Wales have agreed to work with an experienced mission thinker and trainer from Canada called Cameron Roxburgh in order to help us to better understand our context and what mission may look like for us here in Wales.
Cameron Roxburgh is the National Director for an organisation called Forge and is the leader of the Southside Vancouver Community Church. He also serves as the Vice-President of the Baptist Mission Initiatives of North America and is responsible for a number of publications. He has lectured at the Tyndale Academy, Regent’s College, Toronto and the Carey Theological Mission Centre. He has wide experience of working with denominations, groups of churches and individual churches to undertake mission work in their own local context.
Here is a short video from Cam explaining why missional training is an important journey for the church today:
In partnership with Forge, the Baptist Union of Wales is launching a two-year missional training program for churches and leaders who sense the need to understand the times and be better equipped for the missional challenges and opportunities ahead of us here in Wales.
The Ethos program is for churches who feel ready to commit to this two year missional training program.
The Explore Project is a parallel program for churches who are not yet ready but would like to take a year to prepare themselves for Ethos.