The London Gospel Partnership
Trevor Archer introduces us to a brand-new venture in London which is seeking to equip preachers, leaders and churches for their work in the Capital.
Around 20 years ago, the London and South East England Gospel Partnership was established.
The aim was to encourage churches to work together in three areas, namely: Training, Evangelism and Church Planting. Soon other such Gospel Partnerships were launched around England and Scotland which, over the years, have been wonderfully blessed by the Lord.
Many of these regional partnerships have now spawned new and more localised partnerships and acted as a catalyst for the development of local training courses, as well as church planting and revitalisation ventures. The national A Passion for Life evangelistic mission came out of Gospel Partnerships, as well as many regional Men’s and Women’s Conventions.
A New Plan
However, in the past five years it’s become obvious that the numerous sub-regional London Partnerships were less helpful for effective partnership, a fact recognised by the South East London & Kent Partnership splitting to facilitate the start of the Kent Gospel Partnership.
Moreover, in God’s goodness, we have seen the growth of gospel work in London expressed in the strengthening of various church groupings over the past two decades. So, when London leaders began to discuss what shape a London Gospel Partnership might take, it was recognised that the original formula of training, evangelism and church planting would need to be shaped and adapted to meet current-day needs among the churches in London.
After two years of meetings and consultations with church leaders to seek to clarify what a London Gospel Partnership might focus upon, William Taylor (Rector of St Helen’s Church, Bishopsgate and Chair of the original South East Gospel Partnership), Richard Coekin (Leader of the Co-Mission network of churches) and myself (as London Director of FIEC) agreed upon the aim of the London Gospel Partnership (LGP) to be:
“A partnership of church leaders equipping preachers, leaders and churches for mission in London.”
The two key phrases are:
A Partnership of Leaders – we want a strong, generous and growing relational foundation to the LGP.
For Mission in London – it is a partnership to encourage and equip the local church in the great task of bringing the gospel of the Lord Jesus to the diverse communities that make up our capital city.
This focus on partnership and mission takes into account the fact that many of the London networks and church groupings are well-resourced in church planting and training already. Therefore, leaders partnering together for mission is what’s most needed in London today.
We believe that comes down to three things which the LGP will seek to focus on:
- An Annual Leaders’ Conference under the leadership of Daf-Meirion-Jones (pastor of The King’s Church, Chessington) aimed at supporting and equipping local church leadership teams (elders, deacons, deaconesses, PCC members, small group leaders, etc.) in leadership.
- An Annual Preachers’ Conference chaired by Richard Bray (Rector of St Anne’s Church, Limehouse) aimed at encouraging and sharpening pastors and preachers in handling the Bible.
- An Annual Prayer Gathering for London (an afternoon and evening event) for leaders and church members from across all the evangelical “tribes” in London to plead for our city.
The Story So Far
The first Leaders’ Conference – God’s Message by God’s Means for London – took place on 2 February 2019 when more than 200 men and women from around 50 London Churches gathered at East London Tabernacle. It was a great day with Kevin de Young preaching and the conference hearing from a variety of men and women ministering in very challenging and diverse settings.
This was followed by the London Preachers’ Conference at Chesham from the 26 to 28 February at which Charlie Skrine (St Helen’s) and Johnny Prime (FIEC) led those attending in a very practical and stimulating 48 hours. Johnny spoke about keeping fresh in ministry before exploring how pastors can help others to stay fresh in ministry.
The first London Prayer Gathering is planned for Wednesday 6 November in a central London location (full details to be announced).
The prayer is that the LGP might, in God’s goodness, help foster a very relationally focused and generous partnership in the task of mission to which we are called as churches in London. We believe it will also spawn many more localised expressions of gospel partnerships in London that will serve the specific needs of the many diverse communities that make up this city.
We recognise that there are many other evangelical groupings in London, not least in the Black and Asian majority churches, who are also engaged in the great task of bringing Christ to this needy city and we would love to see closer ties between all of us in the future.
The aim is simply that the LGP and the churches it will serve can play some small part in this glorious task to which the Lord has called us to in London.