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Growing Church Through Resourcing & Planting – London Leaders’ Forum Report

On the 14th November Church Leaders from across London, and a few from further afield, 24 in all, met online for our second London Leaders’ Forum.  Building on the successful “Growing Out of Lockdown” forum held last July, the topic for the November forum was “Growing Church Through Resourcing & Planting”.

Mark Davies (Glo-Europe/Partnership/Highgate International Church) set the backdrop for our topic by presenting some headline findings from the recent London Church Survey and facilitated a short discussion around these findings.  We will be making these headline results available in due course as they highlight some significant weaknesses and strengths of our churches.  They will also form the starting point for the formulation of the London Hub’s Strategy as it looks at ways to strengthen and support churches

Graham Poland (Grosvenor Church, Barnstaple) was our keynote speaker.  He began by exploring the life cycle of a church, drawing on insights for “Taking Your Church to The Next Level” by Gary L McIntosh before setting out how the Grosvenor Story developed. He highlighted the impact, both positive and negative, of each of the key decisions they made and how they affected and shaped the church into what it is today… three very different congregations… in very different contexts. Graham also underlined the key lessons learnt along the way, not least: the need to be creative; planting congregations; a unified leadership; sharing resources and support; the need to allow for local vision.

A very helpful Q&A session, facilitated by Alistair Hornal (Partnership) followed after which attendees were split into breakout groups to discuss any points arising out of either the survey or Grahams’ talk and to look at some pre-set questions about how and why of working together as local churches.

Graham concluded with a fascinating story of one man, rather a lot of acorns and a huge forest, encouraging us to “see a tree in every acorn, and a forest in every tree”.

Feedback from the forum has been really encouraging and we would like to thank all those who took part for making it the success that it was.

The event was recorded, and the video will be accessible via in due course.  While you wait, you might want to take a look at the recording of our previous forum, “Growing Out of Lockdown”, which is also accessible there.

John Jenkins

Partnership Regional Co-ordinator London and the South East

London Hub Co-ordinator

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