Our Story

Our story about Imagine in the North West area of The Methodist Connexion

In the North West Training Region we were interested in the LICC Imagine Project and at the same time LICC were in conversations with Martyn Atkins and the Discipleship & Ministries Cluster to see if they could find ways for the two organisations to work together.

Therefore a Connexional grant was given for the NW Training Region to Pilot the Imagine Project in 7 Churches; each one different, and for us to observe the process and evaluate the learning and apply the learning for the whole of Methodism to benefit from. This website is part of us sharing our learning.  

The process has been energising, and liberating for us as staff as well as for the churches we have been accompanying.

The staff involved have been the Regional Training Officers and Lancashire Districts' Evangelism Enabler.

Each of us has been accompanying a church, or Circuit involved in Imagine, and with the LICC Consultant, Chick Yuill we have supported the churches in their commitment to make significant but small, one-degree shifts.

The purpose of Imagine is to equip us when we are gathered together as church so we can live as whole life disciples when we are scattered church.

This first diagram is us as gathered church

 Gathered Church

 

Whilst this second diagram is us as scattered church, where we are all Full Time Christian Workers.

Scattered Church

Therefore the shift from the church's mission being something which the church 'puts on', to something which each of us is living in our daily lives has been a huge
shift.

But this can be broken down into one-degree shifts - thus not tipping the boat over as we alter direction.   

Compass

One challenge is that as people affiliated to our local church, our spare time should not be spent assisting  the Minister whose full time job is mission, but that the work of the Minister and gathered church is to assist and equip each of us to be full-time-Christian workers as we live our daily lives. It is in our daily lives that we can be Missional disciples.

All our churches have changed both in how we run church meetings, how worship is and we are increasingly missional. Here is a list of over 50 one degree shifts we have made

Another one-degree shift is how we engage with our lives in the corporate worship. Is Sunday morning worship an escape from the world, or a time to celebrate the lives we are living and equip us to be salt and light? The Imagine churches have devised lots of great ways of bridging this sacred/secular divide; some of the ideas are within this website. See Worship

There have been so many one-degree shifts and some of the very moving and challenging ones have been where we have seen the shift from pastoral care to pastoral equipping. The shift from comforting people to equipping people to see God in the grim reality of the lives we are living. Rob Bell calls this being a 'tour guide'. Imagine calls this Pastoral Equipping.

Imagine has given us four questions...

  1. Where do I spend most of my time?
  2. What is God doing there?
  3. How can I join God in that?
  4. What can the church do to equip me?

Looking for God at work in the whole of our lives does necessitate us being in communication with God in our lives. Therefore, finding a prayer life which suits our personality and lifestyle is essential. See Prayer

Some of the personal testimonies which have come from these deceptively simple questions are here.

Mid-term reviews

Bramhall
Smithy Bridge
Leyland Road
Wigton 

Collated responses

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