One of the precious things about the group of people in this picture is that we all came together from completely different places: Reading, Cambridge, Suffolk, Northampton, Leeds… For a number of us, however, our paths met at Trent Vineyard, Nottingham.
There we all fell in love, be it for the first or hundredth time, with Jesus.
On the 26th June 2016, many of our number stood alongside Paul and Steph to be prayed out by the church family which had come to mean so much to us. You can watch the commissioning in full [here]. Some had already moved, packing up homes and lives and heading North. Some still remained in Nottingham, taking a little longer to finish well due to work commitments or marriage celebrations. However long this leg of the journey, all those standing here had one thing in common: God had called them to love Manchester.
Being part of the Vineyard means being open to the possibility that God may one day call you to another place. It means, as Wimber says, accepting that we are loose change in God’s pocket, ready to be spent as He pleases.
There is, of course, no guarantee this will ever happen, nor that if it does it will be a comfortable experience. The pain of moving away from loved ones, homes, careers, stability, should not be understated. For those of us for whom the very idea of change causes our heart to cry out in protest, this was not the choice we would naturally make for ourselves.
But our life is not our own.
And so, with no expectations for ourselves, but every expectation of seeing Jesus move, change lives and transform a city, we packed up our lives and followed His call to love Manchester.