Jesus burst into the community revealing God’s love for His world. His story changed everything. Jesus turned everything rightside up. He had kind words for the poor, broken, outcast and rejected. He had harsh words for the religious, satisfied and self-important. He healed the sick, forgave the fallen, freed the intimidated and raised the dead. He taught real love, truth, faith and hope. He died for it and came back to life because of it.
His story weaves through our lives. Wise people still seek Jesus. ‘Those who seek will find’, said Jesus. His first followers – called his disciples – learned from being with him and were devastated when he was killed. They were amazed when he came back to life and overjoyed when he gave them his Spirit to live in them. In the power of his Spirit the disciples of Jesus breathe his life into the world around them so that others might catch the breath of the Spirit and step into this life themselves.
‘Church’ is just the collective term for a bunch of Jesus followers in one place who live their lives in the same way that Jesus would live his life if he was them. That might not be the description of ‘Church’ that you recognize! The story of ‘Transforming Wigan’ is essentially about restoring that description in action over words. When the followers of Jesus live out the life of Jesus in their community life gets turned rightside up and the Spirit of Jesus continues to do amazing things among them and more people get caught up in the story and follow Jesus themselves. This is the story we want to become the story of a revived Wigan.