Shine has been something stirring in seed form for decades among many churches and leaders who have prayed much for Wales; its valleys and cities. God loves the cities of men, even in their darkness. Jesus set His face toward the city and wept over it. Abraham pleaded for cities, and Jonah preached to a city that God spared. Peter, Paul and others preached the Christ to cities and laid down their lives for them. We believe God loves Swansea, and Christ wants to be revealed in this great city. We also know God already has people in Swansea, faithfully doing His work and serving Him well. The aim of Shine is not to repeat what others are already successfully doing; rather it is to do our part for the city and the land of Wales as a whole. So I hope, with the help of other leaders, to explain through this blog over the times ahead, our purpose, and to invite you to partner with us in this mission that God has given us.
Why the name ‘Shine’?
The word Shine is taken from the prophetic word of Isaiah (ch 60)
1“Arise, shine; for your light has come,
And the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.
2“For behold, darkness will cover the earth
And deep darkness the peoples;
But the LORD will rise upon you
And His glory will appear upon you.
3“Nations will come to your light,
And kings to the brightness of your rising.
4“Lift up your eyes round about and see;
They all gather together, they come to you.
Your sons will come from afar,
And your daughters will be carried in the arms.
5“Then you will see and be radiant,
And your heart will thrill and rejoice;
Because the abundance of the sea will be turned to you,
The wealth of the nations will come to you.
This is what happens when God’s Heavenly City touches the earthly cities of men. Darkness flees; God’s glory comes and causes the place of His visitation and habitation to touch the ordinary and earthly. It causes the Church in the City to radiate to others, turning many people to Him. There is nothing men can do to make things better, but when we go in His Kingdom power and Word, then the glory of God is revealed. Such is the power of the Gospel.
Why are we doing SHINE?
The theme of SHINE is ‘The Kingdom in the City’. What greater thing could we ask for? What greater thing to aim for? Our goal is for the City of God to touch the city of men. When God’s Kingdom invades a place, though it may come in small or insignificant ways, it always has a wide, powerful and multiplying effect in the place it touches. Many movements of the Kingdom have come and gone over the years yet without anything being established permanently. The permanent establishing of the Kingdom through mission and building the church is God’s heart for our cities, and it is what Jesus taught in the Gospels. We believe Jesus wants to establish His Kingdom rule in a place once again for all to know and see. We do not want to glean anything for ourselves. Our prayer is that many churches in Swansea and beyond will be filled with new harvest, and that if a move of God were to come that any new churches would only be planted on the basis that new barns would be needed to contain the harvest. Our heart is for God’s Spirit to do the following through SHINE:
- To release the high praises of God over the City and Wales.
- For a prophetic declaration of the heart of God over the City and Wales.
- An apostolic proclamation of the Gospel of the Kingdom over the City.
- To see a massive harvest of souls.
- To see a new generation of young people encounter God for themselves, trained in truth and sent into the City, Welsh valleys and other cities, and to the nations of the UK and World.
- To unify and mobilize the Church at large, of every background, tradition, young & old alike, toward winning Wales back to God, through the release of outdoor mission & the proclamation of the Gospel.
- To see the Kingdom and House of the Lord restored in Wales.
So as you can see, this is quite a task, but it is God’s heart. And it is as much for Wales as it is for Swansea. God wants the Cities and Valleys of Wales back to Himself once again. Jesus must become the evidenced King as He already actually is. This happens through us God’s people, as it did 2000 years ago in the early church, the first years after Christ’s ascension.
Over the future weeks we will take a look at some of the vision statements above: What are the high praises of God? What does it mean to prophetically declare God’s heart for a place? What is the apostolic proclamation of the Kingdom of God? We will see that they are God’s way; they are His weaponry, His wisdom to counter the enemy, not man’s. His Gospel is still the power of God.
May the will of God be done for Jesus’ sake, and for the sake of the City and Wales.