James Sloan is our Liverpool Catalyst Community Champion for Community Transformation. James’ big question is what does it mean to love our city and our communities well? In his ‘Imagine If’ role with Frontline, James oversees many areas of community provision, both local and international, stirring the church into action and enabling the wider community to come together to meet its own needs; to see communities transformed from the inside out.
God is love (1 John 4:16) and God so loved the world that he gave his only Son so that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16). Jesus came proclaiming good news for the poor, blind, oppressed and the captives (Isaiah 61, Luke 4:18) and when we choose to follow Christ we are joined into the same mission, however, we only love because God first loved us (1 John 4:19).
Community transformation is not something we do because we agree with Jesus’ good ideas, it is the result of our submission to Jesus and our own transformation. We become children of God and are part of His Kingdom. (2 Cor 3:18).
Jesus announced the coming Kingdom of God which we enter when we let Jesus be King. Jesus is the rightful King of all creation, but we live in a tension between the kingdoms of the world and the Kingdom of Heaven. Living in the Kingdom, we are first heirs to the throne of Christ and then citizens of whatever nation or community we may be a part. Romans 12:2 says “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” The way in which we live, interact with and love the world around us as citizens of the Kingdom of God determines the reach and influence of the Kingdom of Heaven. As Ambassadors of Christ, we want to see the whole world come into the Kingdom of God as more people choose God as King and His ways are established across the nations.
Heal us where we need healing. Help us to let our guard down and let your love in every area of our lives
Renew our minds and our lives as we submit each area to you - gives us your heart and your eyes to see ourselves, our relationships and our society as you do.
Help us to love one another as you have loved us, speaking truth and living out the kingdom, so others will recognise your goodness and choose you.
Give us the boldness to live as citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven, even where that may put us at odds with the ways of the world.