If we’re going to keep seeing a significant number of new churches planted each year in our city, we’ve got to keep crying out to our merciful Father and we’ve got to keep raising our training game. Andy Harker explains some new initiatives in church planter training.
Co-Mission is, before it’s anything else, a church planting movement. Driven by compassion for those in spiritual darkness, church planting is what we do. We long to see healthy, enduring, gospel-preaching churches planted all across London. And for those church plants to stand the best chance of getting gospel traction and momentum, they need well-trained, well-supported church planters. So since the Antioch push of 2014, Co-Mission has been delivering training for planters, led by Richard Perkins as Director of Church Planting. We offer Bible-driven, practical training which pushes into the nitty-gritty of what’s involved in establishing a viable church: helping planters sharpen their convictions and work on strategy and walking with them through the rollercoaster of planting.
An exciting new development from September 2019 has been that Co-Mission has collaborated with other like-minded planting networks and training organisations to establish the London Church Planting Academy (LCPA). It’s an expression of our understanding that ‘we’re not the only ones’ and it’s an opportunity for us to be open-handed with the training resources and experience God has entrusted to us as a network. What this means in practice is that Co-Mission Planter Training has been opened up to other networks (e.g. there are FIEC planters who are not part of Co-Mission training with us), we’ve gone dual-stream (new cohort and old cohort have parallel sessions tailored to their different stages), we’ve added extra sessions in the afternoon and there are now other training options for planters to access from City to City, Crosslands and Union.
Coming up soon, as part of the LCPA and the expanded Co-Mission training is a brand new initiative: Planting Immersion (27-29 March). This is a chance for guys who are thinking about the possibility of church planting sometime in the future to experience, from the inside, what that could involve. It’s an immersive experience – attached to a Co-Mission church planter, staying with him, eating and talking together, attending a pioneering church plant on the Sunday morning, plus coming together for over 9 hours of training input over the weekend, unpacking the who, what, why, how, where and when of planting.
We’re really excited about the potential of the Planting Immersion. Perhaps this is something for you or a friend to seriously consider doing. If so, talk to your church leadership and check out the details on the LCPA website. And we’d love everyone to be praying for this:
- For a good number of keen applicants
- For Richard Perkins and others delivering the training – that it would hit the mark
- For participants to have a really helpful, realistic experience of the world of church planting
- For the Lord to raise up many more church planters and planting teams for London, for the sake of the lost, for the glory of Christ