A year into the Transforming Wigan project and Team Wigan has formed a clear idea of the direction for this important initiative. As they launch their strategy for 2016 we get the views from Tim on the way forward.
“What’s encouraging is how many partners outside the church are getting excited by the vision they think it’s a good thing” says Tim “our challenge is encouraging ourselves to recognise that while we fear change we need to enable God to change us so we can be a bigger church making a bigger difference.”
For Transforming Wigan a bigger church doesn’t mean trying to do more of the same. It’s about having a vibrant church that is full of disciples. People who are seeking to follow what it means to be a disciple of Christ. People who are responding to Jesus’ call to make disciples of all nations.
For Tim this means being less protective about the way we work “we have to recognise that doing the same thing in the same way will produce the same results. We need to be doing different things to get different results. What has got us here won’t get us there”.
Tim is encouraged by those individuals and churches that are getting and championing the message. “It’s great when people get it. The reader who came to one of our discipleship sessions and then overnight reworked his sermon to explain our values was fantastic” Tim declares. “As is the church who are saying let local at local missional leadership in our worshipping community so the vicar can go and plant something new. They’ve got it. That’s great. We now need more.”
“it’s a bit like Gideon’s army at the moment. A small group working to establish this movement. But God does great things from small beginnings so I have a great deal of hope. We have to go on looking and responding to the call to make disciples.”
Tim’s aim is that the clear vision and strategy for growth will enable and encourage a six year journey to see Wigan transformed. He is firm in the belief that it will work if we remain firm on the plan. As he says “if we fix our eyes on Jesus and remember who we are and who He is in us and all that He promises to do to through those who are willing to invest the talents He has given them … then we will surely see His Kingdom come on earth as in heaven”
Transforming Wigan’s 5 goals for 2016
Establish the Team Wigan ethos
We want to build one big church with worshipping communities abandoning the idea of my building my vicar
Create the House of Prayer network
We want to establish a vibrant network of prayerful people forming a powerful prayerful community
Growing local Missional leadership
We are looking to train, resource and coach new leaders for a new way of church
Developing Deeper Discipleship
This is the core. We want people to shift from church attender to disciple and we will continue to help people make this shift and encourage others to make and grow disciples
New worshiping communities for young people
We want to plant new communities through schools and chaplaincies with an aim of nurturing the faith of our young people