The London Theological Seminary (LTS) held a day seminar on church planting on 24 March. Barry King was the speaker.
Mr King has been involved in church planting work for many years, first in the USA and now in the UK. He leads Grace Baptist Partnership, an organisation that brings together various Grace Baptist organisations to focus on church planting.
The morning session concentrated on the requisites for church planting – which are not, as many might expect, large numbers of people and workers, and large sums of money. Barry mentioned a church planting conference he had attended, where someone suggested that a key element in successful church planting was having the correct ratio of parking spaces to size of potential congregation! The Scriptures say otherwise.
What is required is a sower (preacher), seed (gospel message), soil (unbelievers) and the Spirit. That’s all. With these, we are fully equipped for church planting.
In the afternoon, he spoke from Romans 15:22-29, on Paul’s duty (to go to Jerusalem), his desire (to visit the church in Rome) and his dream (to preach the gospel in Spain).
It is not wrong to think and plan for greater things in the Lord’s work, for his glory. Desires and dreams are legitimate, but we must first do our duty. Indeed, church planters need to have desires and dreams while they seek to fulfil their duty. Barry encouraged us to work, expecting great things from God.
It was a good day, attended by around 50 people from across London. Barry King will be lecturing at LTS on church planting in the coming year, and continuing his involvement with individual students interested in pursuing that kind of work.