Just over three months ago, I sat in a coffe shop in London, talking to a man who'd been planting a church there over the last five years. I was keen on church planting, but I had so many questions... there were so many obstacles in my mind. Yet God had blessed their work. As we talked, an idea began to be fixed in my mind, and weigh on my heart. Finally my remaining questions had been answered, and every objection removed, and the realisation hit me: "This is really what is needed... and it is possible! We have to try!"
So the plan to attempt a church plant in the centre of London had be born, but it was a long road ahead before it might look like a plan that had wings!
Then there was one of those 'it-just-so-happened' meetings. A conversation with a pastor friend when I was preaching in London one day. An introduction to a second pastor with an interest in seeing a work started in central London. A walking tour of some central London churches... and then a meeting with the trustees of an available building who 'just so happened' to be there that day.
Ross Orgill and I had sat 'church planting' classes together at seminary, and groaned over the needs of our country. We dreamed together about how to best meet those needs, and were frequently drawn back to the idea of planting a church in London. There the plan had been conceived, but now it was taking on a life of its own, and suddenly we were talking to the trustees about our putting together a team and coming to plant a church right in the heart of that great city... and they weren't closed to the idea! But what would our own church say? Would they commend us to such a task? How would we find the funds? A hundred questions like that filled our minds... but then yesterday was a good day!
"You might not realize it, but you may have come to see us about this at just the right time!"
So said the missions pastor at our church when he heard about our desire to plant a new work in London. And so it turned out! A committee who had been meeting to discuss just this kind of scenario suddenly had two men and their families who were ready to go, if the church would commend them to the work. But would they? How would we preach unless we are sent?
Then just over a week ago the email arrived. "So, everyone is solidly behind you, but there is no sure source of funding yet." "I'm not worried about the funding..." I thought, "it's enough for now that we have the backing of our own church!" Assurances of their prayers and help and advice mean a good deal more than any talk of money at this stage! Surely if God is in it, He will provide! Suddenly a church plant seemed a lot more possible... but then what would the London trustees say? Such a great building, in such a key location... would the Lord really open that door too? Yesterday really was a good day!
This came in an email from the chairman of the trustees: "I am pleased to tell you that we will fully support your plans as you outlined them in your Church Planting Strategy paper and as further discussed (in our skype meeting). This green light from our end will enable you to press on with planning and raising support."
That was yesterday! Two green lights. Finally we have the decision of the trustees of this central London church, approving our proposal to plant a church there!
And so it begins. A team is being assembled. The work of planning in earnest is beginning.
Please join us in praising God for this great beginning.
Please also join us in praying:
- That God would graciously provide for this work
- That He would add the other key team members required
- That He would give courage and work opportunities to those willing to move to London with us and seek work there, so as to become lay-workers in the church-plant.
- That we would be able to do all that is necessary so that we can hit the ground running as early as January next year.
Thanks for your interest in this new work! Please subscribe to this blog, and follow with us the unfolding story of how the Lord will use this work to bring glory to His name!
In His lovely Name