Friday, 16 December 2011

London handover

It has been a great privilege to serve and provide a lead to the Newfrontiers churches in London over the last decade. Many an hour has been spent travelling around this great city, meeting up with friends and grappling with the challenges and opportunities this city provides for the gospel. God loves London, its rich diversity and great people. At a time of transition such as this, one reflects on what we have achieved together, and I am delighted to say we have achieved much!

Following a period where we saw little church planting in the capital, the 13 churches we have planted together are a great joy - many of you have followed the prompting of God and, sometimes at huge personal cost, have moved, pioneered and established a church. What heroes!

While our church planting has increased, we have also been able to see our existing churches flourish. A decade ago the largest church in London had about 300 people attending - now we have a number of churches in the high hundreds and my own church has broken through the thousand barrier. Many have believed (and some are still believing) God for finance on huge building projects, and I trust you will agree that our local churches have been strengthened through our partnership in the last decade.

The establishment of a London training base under Mick Taylor’s leadership has been another step forward, and it has been great to see some of our excellent younger men emerge into ever-increasing maturity and fruitfulness. On that basis too the future looks good! Mercy ministry and the challenges of diversity have been common themes we have embraced, both of which I believe are right at the heart of God.

While sensing it was time to hand over, I am still totally committed to reaching this great city, and hope to continue, in a small role, encouraging growth in our London churches.

Following this season, it is with great delight that we shared yesterday with the lead elders of our churches that Dave Holden is picking up the reins again in overseeing the London churches. I am confident that Dave, with his rich leadership experience, will take us forward into an expanding future.

I was also delighted to announce that Pete and Nicky Cornford are to launch a new church plant in the borough of Ealing – this is in the early stages but they have already begun gathering a number of people.

My thanks to you all in the London churches and beyond - for your support, prayers and hard work in partnering together to reach our city.

Lastly, my thanks to the King’s team and to our church at Kings - we have embraced a big vision of serving London, and at times at real cost to our own home scene. But for what a prize!