"I am privileged to be the Mission Director of this audacious initiative to revive the spiritual heart of Wigan. As you walk throughout this borough you glimpse a place with a rich past, hardworking people, a proud mill and mining history, tight knit communities, and an underlying belief in a better future for all.
The Council's strap line calls us to 'Believe in Wigan' and sets out a better deal for everyone, Down the years, the Church in Wigan has played a key role in the life of the community but weekly Sunday attendance at church services is in rapid decline and the average age of those attending is only rising. On the whole, the Church is not connecting well or attracting people to engage in the important matter of faith. We need a renewed understanding and practice of 'worship' to make the Christian faith accessible and engaging in this generation. The Transforming Wigan movement addresses this challenge and seeks to help everyone encounter God in a new and relevant way so that many are enabled to journey with Jesus on the road of life. - Tim Montgomery, Mission Director of Transforming Wigan.
20,000 people on a discipleship journey with Jesus
The incredible vision of Transforming Wigan is to see 1-in-10 people in Wigan borough be on a discipleship journey with Jesus.
A 'disciple' is someone who follows, watches, listens, joins in, learns, and eventually becomes more like the one they are following. To be a disciple of Jesus is to be on a journey with him alongside others on the same road.
There are various stages on this journey from encountering, experiencing, and exploring the way of Jesus, through to engaging in faith in him and on to serving him as a Christian in the communities we inhabit.
We want to help at least 20,000 people - of all ages, styles, and backgrounds - to journey this road of discipleship with Jesus.
Making & Growing Disciples
'Church' is just the collective noun for a group of disciples.
Unfortunately, 'church' has become more of a religious institution that provides services for a few people who actually like that sort of thing. It is known in the community as an old building, a religious club, a place where you can get children christened, couples married, and hold funerals for those who have died.
But Jesus' vision for his Church was a far more vibrant, life-giving movement of people who, filled with his Spirit, would carry on his work and help others join in and do the same.
Our focus now, as Church in Wigan, is on being disciples of Jesus; people who are not confined to buildings, rituals or traditions, but rather people released with fresh faith to worship God, love one another and reach out to others with the good news of Jesus for today.
We gather to worship but go out for the service. We make Jesus known to those we meet and spend time with. We believe Jesus's promise that he will be with us, and we trust him to do his work through us.
Renew Disciples | Reorientate Church | Revive Community
Our aim is to focus on personal relationship over and above ritual religion.
We are creating a movement of disciples who want to renew their commitment to Jesus, following and serving him with their gifts and skills.
We understand 'Church' to be the collective noun for the disciples in one place ... and our place is Wigan! We will re-orientate church away from trying to preserve what we have towards transforming what will be in terms of worship, fellowship and service.
As the Holy Spirit does a new work among us we expect to see a spiritual revival among the people of Wigan.
Gather disciples | Germinate prayer | Grow leaders | Give love and care
As we seek to renew disciples and re-orientate churches to revive Wigan, we are doing four things:
We are gathering the passionate disciples together to pray and seek God’s way forward. We are listening, obeying and building on the rock.
We are germinating prayer and developing a whole new network of prayers across Wigan. We are calling this a ‘House of Prayer’
We are growing leaders. This includes the current leaders as well as the potential servants willing to take leadership responsibilities together.
We are giving love and care. This is not an easy time. Change may be exciting to some but to many it’s a little bit scary. We can’t avoid change but we can help and encourage one another. As Jesus is with us, we can be with each other helping one another and extending His Kingdom in love and grace.