The London Institute for Contemporary Christianity

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28.02.2017

Case Study | Today’s Community Church, Wigan

There’s a key question that churches return to time and again: are we growing?  The default is to respond to that question numerically, or look to finances for indicators. But what if the growth question was explored primarily through the lens of formation? How are we growing as disciples? This is what Today’s Community Church did a few years ago and they’ve been on an intentional discipleship journey ever since.

TCC is a charismatic church based in Wigan with an innovative building project under its belt. With over 400 people in the community, there was no doubt that TCC was a growing and successful church. But the question that kept coming back was this; ‘Are we growing whole-life disciples?’ It was a question the leaders didn’t want to ignore.

It was LICC’s privilege to accompany the church on its journey towards becoming a ‘whole-life disciplemaking community.’ LICC was able to help bring fresh perspectives and offer new practices that were attuned to TCC’s culture. The church began to look at the question of ‘success’ qualitatively as well as quantitatively. The leadership moved away from a focus on programmes to a focus on people and their development. They worked hard to embed new language that brought everyday discipleship to the fore in a way that suited their context and they told stories from the everyday places of people’s frontlines. These stories have become deeply valued within the community.

The journey has led to much change and a delight in the kind of community they are becoming. Of course, they feel there’s much more to be done. There always will be. But they are committed to raising and wrestling with the important questions around formation and whole-life discipleship. This is not just a journey of numerical growth, though that’s happening too. It’s a journey fuelled by their desire to be a certain kind of people with a heart for their everyday places, in their town. Can you imagine how a town like Wigan can experience Jesus first-hand through his people? They can. This is Today’s Community Church’s story.