Originally from America, I embarked for the most unchurched part of the UK where I served as a Pastor/Evangelist/Church Planter for 12 years. It prepared me for just about anything.
Recently, a Polish photographer took photos in Wales’s capital city, Cardiff on a Friday night. I’ve tried to describe the level of binge drinking to American congregations, but knew that they thought I was exaggerating. In Swansea where I lived, the police often turned out in riot gear on weekends, and the streets were closed every Friday night for the 50,000 people that staggered drunk in the streets. Allowing cars to drive through them would have resulted in a blood bath. The photographer has traveled to over 20 countries on assignment but confesses that she’d never seen anything like what was witnessed in Wales. A few years ago, Swansea was voted the third most dangerous city at night in the UK
In addition, there is an incredible amount of fighting.
Take a Celt, put him in a test tube, mix in some beer, and the chemical reaction will give you a punch in the head. I bear on my body the marks of what I’m saying. Ten weeks into being on the streets of South Wales and one of em beat my head into the street until the world went black and I landed in the ER (maybe that explains a lot about me).
You might think no way would this happen in the good old US of A, but you’d be wrong. Wales has a richer spiritual heritage than America has ever known. Once known as the Land of Revivals less than 1% of the population attends church today.
Church planting there was front line. We found ourselves operating in first century apostolic methods. We only figured out we were doing it that way, because like the Apostle Paul in the pagan Roman empire, there was no other way to do it. Returning to America after twelve years in Wales was the equivalent of stepping off a time machine from the future. Because Europe is decades down the dark path of post-Christendom, ministering there was like ministering thirty years into America’s future. Now that I’ve returned I feel like Biff Tannen returning to 1955 holding the 2015 Almanac, to prepare the American church for the coming Evangelical dark. I want to train you to be able to meet the world as it is, not as you’d like to remember it. This isn’t the 80s anymore…or the 90s. Sorry. It’s not even 10 years ago when people flocked to the theaters to see Mel Gibson’s portrayal of Jesus on the Big Screen.
We live in desperate times. Churchill once faced the British people and told them that if they could stand heroically, and take on the enemy, this would be called their “finest hour.” It was.
Unless, like the book of Judges, some of the nobodies rise up to the frontiers of front line challenges of evangelism like the heroes of old, it’s only a matter of time until we’re reeling like Britain. The days of “Come to my massive church and dig my cool program” are done. Like the apostle Paul, Wesley and Whitefield, William Booth, we need a new breed of church planter willing to venture into the marketplaces, highways and byways, and interact with the lost. Many leaders have settled for an air-conditioned office, and Pastor’s parking, but they know in their heart of hearts, that this isn’t what they signed up for; nor was it what they were called to.
We want to train you to actually penetrate your community, and make a difference Monday through Saturday. Sunday just isn’t enough.
Buy Peyton’s newest book “Reaching The Unreached: Becoming Raiders of the Lost Art” over on Amazon.com. You can also download a free chapter and watch a cool trailer for the book HERE or click the image below.