Until April this year I combined networking and consultancy through Partnership with supporting the Church Planting Initiative (CPI). Both strands have now come together through the London Hub, creating an amazing opportunity for a more integrated approach to supporting churches in London, helping them to grow and be effective in mission.
Previously, there was minimal cross-over between the two aspect of the work in London. Leaders of well-established churches would meet bi-monthly in one of three regional “clusters” or in ad hoc, one on one “coffee shop conversations” to talk about the challenges of “just doing church”. The focus was on shared experience, mutual support and prayer. Those involved in church planting or church revitalisation projects met in their own bi-monthly “hub” to talk about the challenges of growing and re-growing missional churches, drawing on a wide range of speakers from a wide range of church contexts. The difference between the clusters and hub was marked.
These two groups needed to be exposed to each other and the vision always had been to integrate them more. Now we are beginning to do just that.
The scope of the London Hub has been broadened to be more than just a bi-monthly meeting. We have created a forum for church leaders – whether in new plants, established situations or in need of revitalisation – to work strategically across the Capital, drawing on the expertise of Partnership, Counties, GLO-Europe, Church Growth Trust as well as other agencies working in London.
The lessons learnt in my own church context over the last 14 months have taught me that where there is a Big Vision, a Clear Path and Simple Tools there is a way back to effective mission for any church.
John Jenkins – Partnership Regional Coordinator (London and South East)