Imagine a beautiful bowl of curry. Steaming hot. Smells amazing. A careful balance of spices and textures. Then imagine someone else brings along another dish. A blend of crunchy vegetables. Full of colour and flavour. Then someone brings along the rice. Light, fragrant. Then along come fresh naan breads and chapatis, the poppadoms and the chutneys. You get the picture.

Wouldn’t it be great to bring together the best training for church planters? High quality training offerings, different sizes, different flavours, from different networks and providers. A menu of great dishes to enjoy together.

Wouldn’t it be great to bring together church planters from across London? Working in very different contexts but with a common goal. Meeting together, eating together, training together, sharpening each other, learning from each other’s experiences, encouraging and praying for one another. A band of brothers.

This great city of London needs many more well-trained, well-rounded, robust, godly, Jesus-loving, servant-hearted, gospel-preaching church planters who are well-equipped to plant healthy biblical churches that will take root and last, and bring many thousands from darkness into the marvellous light of Christ to the glory of God.

Who are LCPA?

London Church Planting Academy, which launched in September 2019, is a training collaboration of Acts 29, FIEC, City-to-City, AMiE, Crosslands, Union, London City Mission, London Gospel Partnership and Co-Mission for the benefit of planters from all those different networks. It’s a great joy working together on something tangible like that. There’s a generosity of spirit. There’s an appreciation of each other’s strengths. There’s trust and respect and cross-fertilisation. And that can only be good for the future of church planting in the UK.

A menu of training options

The Academy is bringing together four offerings – ‘the menu’:

  1. Co-Mission’s planter training, which has been running for several years, is opening out to other networks – so you can come and be part of that without ever being a part of Co-Mission.
  2. City-to-City are running sessions unpacking Tim Keller’s Center Church material (which many of us have found very helpful) and, from 2020, the City-to-City Incubator training course, which is currently in Birmingham and Manchester, will be coming to London.
  3. We’ll also be supporting Crosslands Seminary-level training so you’ve got the encouragement of studying alongside and interacting with other church planters who are going through the Crosslands material.
  4. And we’re excited that the London Church Planting Academy now hosts a Union Learning Community offering access to the Union Master in Theology.

The idea is: a ‘one stop shop’ with a suite of training options where you can pick one or two or three options and plug the gaps in your training – whether that’s theology or practice or middleware – benefiting from material from different networks. Which has got to be good for sharpening you as a planter.

Sustaining church planters

There’s such potential that comes from being part of a larger cohort. The encouragement of being with other planters. Being able to share struggles and joys and tricky problems. One of the big things the London Church Planting Academy is doing is simply bringing together planters to listen to God’s Word together, hear expertise together, pray and eat and be encouraged in Christ together, learn from each other and build relationships which will help sustain us long term.

Union MTh

Church planting is one of the most stretching things you can do – emotionally, spiritually, theologically. Perhaps you studied seminary level theology but now you’re feeling the need to go even deeper, be refreshed in heart and mind, fill your tanks for the next phase of ministry.

We’re excited that the London Church Planting Academy will be hosting a new Learning Community, specifically offering the Master in Theology course - it’s part-time study; high quality, warm-hearted, reformation theology, and you’ll be studying alongside others involved in church planting.

If you’re interested in finding out more about LCPA or Union’s MTh, get in touch with Andy Harker

[email protected]