church growth, Cwmbran, Cwmbran outpouring, Cwmbran revival, falling in love with God, falling in love with God's mercy, falling in love with sinful people, God glorifying worship, God's grace, God's presence, healing of sick, Holy Spirit, I am the vine, Outpouring, Preaching of the gospel, Revival, salvation of unbelievers, South Wales, South Wales outpouring, South Wales revival, The church in our nation, The salvation of our nation, Victory Church, What's happening in Cwmbran, You are the branches
What’s happening in Cwmbran, South Wales?
About a month ago Victory Church were having an ‘ordinary’ church meeting when they experienced the presence of God break out in a way than they’d not experienced before. Since then thousands of people have traveled to see what’s going on with hundreds of people getting saved and being healed.
Now I am one of those who firmly believes that God is able to break out in my own city and therefore don’t always consider it a good thing to constantly chase around the world the moment we hear of His presence manifesting somewhere else – in fact arguably a more suitable response is for us to get on our knees and cry out to God for our own neighbourhoods.
However, that being said, I love His presence and if it means travelling a couple of hours up the motorway to experience it in a greater intensity then I am happy to do so – especially as I have lots to learn about cultivating hospitality to the spirit of God.
So what was my opinion of what is happening in Cwmbran?
I am going to be nothing but completely honest with you. My initial reaction was that of disappointment.
Let me explain. Whenever I hear of ‘outpouring’ or ‘revival’ or anything that talks about God’s presence then my heart skips a beat and I long to meet with Jesus in a fresh and more tangible way than I’ve ever done before. My heart craves intimacy with the Godhead in ways I can’t say, so when it doesn’t meet my high expectation I am inevitably a bit disappointed. I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing either? It shows I’m longing for Heaven, I’m looking forward to the day when I see Him face to face.
However if I had written a list prior to the visit of what I would have wanted to see at an ‘outpouring’ then the list would have looked something like this:
1. The tangible presence of God
Was God tangibly there? Definitely – was it the most intense encounter I have ever had with God? Not even close, but God was there and people were very hungry for it. In fact the people’s hunger was probably one of the biggest challenges I experienced. The truth is I think we have lowered our expectation – our desires of God are far too weak. We’re not even scratching the surface of what is now available to us in terms of intimacy with the Godhead.
2. God glorifying worship
The worship time was brilliant, although if I was being ultra-picky I would have liked more cross centred worship songs. I also would have liked to have seen someone anchor the meeting just for the sake of guests who might not know what’s going on – but I’d far sooner have God’s presence than infrastructure – who’s with me?
3. The preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ
The preach was simple and effective. It might not have been the best exposition of the passage of scripture that I have ever heard. But it was challenging, it was Jesus glorifying and it unpacked the Gospel and the importance of loving the world – a message that the church in our country needs to hear afresh.
4. The salvation of unbelievers
If I remember correctly 3 people went forward for salvation, it wasn’t as much as on other nights but that’s 3 more people than my home church saw saved last night!! Many people at Cwmbran are coming forward to respond to the gospel and lives are being transformed – this is good news!
5. The healing of the sick
We didn’t see any healings last night but there have been lots of stories of healings at this church in the last month, including people getting out of wheel chairs – this is also good news!
6. All resulting in the growth of local church
One of the things that I am always hungry to see is the growth of the local church and that is definitely happening in Cwmbran, to the point where I hear they are discussing plans to church plant in the future.
All in all the meeting was raw and rough around the edges, but God was there and sinful people were loved. What I think struck me the most is that it didn’t feel like this was a church that was experiencing a one-off and unique move of God, it seemed to me that this is something that is available to all of God’s people, after all the bible says:
I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
I am convinced that if the church in our nation falls more in love with God and His acts of mercy for the unbeliever then we will experience more of what I saw last night.