London and the world for Christ
Our dream has always been to play our part in winning London and the world for Christ. That's our mission. We consider that the Lord has mandated us as a church of influence in London with an apostolic and prophetic call for Britain, Europe and the nations of the world. Where are we now in relation to this vision?
New Millennium Strategy
For years we have been pioneering new ways of doing church in London. The London City Church vision is unique. From 1985 - 2000, we planted around 150 churches together with 450 other groups and ministries networked together in one fellowship, one church - LCC. This meant we had achieved 30% of our total goals. We have never tried to become some mega church centred on one or two superstar preachers. Rather, we have always been about establishing the kingdom of God in people's hearts and discipling them into the body of Christ as active members.
The underachievement of our goals, however, meant we needed to find new ways of mobilising God's people. The goal is for every member of the KT/LCC network to be serving Jesus and fulfilling the vision of Christ - to make, mature and mobilise disciples of all nations. We fulfilled our vision for the 1990's, to become a fully functioning City Church. Now, the church is moving forward in the new cell strategy, continuing to win London for Christ and reaching out into the unevangelised nations of the world.
The focus is now on the cells as the principle means of becoming the church of influence which Christ has called us to be. We want to become a very effective discipling force in London. Our Mission Statement is 'London and the World for Christ' and we are passionate about seeing it fulfilled.
Blessings from Bogota
In the summer of 2000, Colin and Amanda Dye led a team of leaders to Bogota, Colombia in South America. They went to look at the ministry of Pastor Cesar Castellanos. His church, The International Charismatic Mission had grown from 8 members to well over 120,000 in just 18 years. By the year 2004 there were 55,000 reported cells taking the church into the hundreds of thousands. What was the reason for this explosion? The Lord gave Pastor Cesar a vision of the multitudes and a strategy to reach them. It is a cell church ministry based on the Government of 12 (G 12). Colin said that this strategy was the best method of training, releasing and mobilising the body of Christ that he have ever seen. It was a God-given strategy for the Church of the end times. But he saw it was much, much more than a strategy or a method. It was a vision from the Lord. The team came back from Bogota full of joy and ready for the public launch of KT's own G12 vision - Discipleship Cell Explosion.
Building bigger people
In line with the national vision of the Elim Church, Colin Dye has always emphasised the growth of the church by discipleship. This was his motivation in moving to a cell church model. Jesus never told us to build his church - still less our church! Instead he told us to 'Make disciples.' That means as we get busy with the business of building people, he will be about the business of building his church. When it came to the needs of the multitude, Jesus said, "the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few!" Again, the emphasis is on building people, and making them ready to go out and reap the harvest. The cell vision takes this emphasis of Jesus seriously and gives us a strategy in which the whole church can be built up, trained and released into the work of Jesus.
The fruit of the cell vision
Kensington Temple has seen remarkable growth seeing a retention rate for new believers grow from under 10% to over 60%. New believers are being added to the cells every day and hundreds of new leaders are raised up each year. The cell strategy according to the model of 12 is also being adopted by churches all over Europe where there are early signs of fruit as some churches transitioning to cell church are reporting a doubling and trebling of their numbers. The strategy is proving to be adaptable to cultures outside Latin America.
The cell church transition
In September 2003, Kensington Temple, London City Church completed a three-year transition into the G12 model of cell church, having grown to 11,000 people in 1,800 cells. With around 70% if the church active in cells the leadership were well on their way to achieve their goal of maximum mobilization.
Since then, the main thrust of the life and ministry of the church is through the cells. These cells are considered tiny units of 'church' doing everything that 'church' should be doing. Cells are now where the evangelism, discipleship, pastoral care and prayer life of the Kensington Temple takes place.
The missing element
This new emphasis on cells highlighted the missing element in the KT/LCC strategy up to the year 2000. While we have always had a vision for cells, we had not in the past made them our central focus. We didn't find a model that worked well or was adaptable to our needs. All that has now changed. We are now well on our way to becoming a 'fully-functioning cell church' with thousands of cells penetrating London and networking across the city. We have a godly goal of becoming the most effective disciple-making centre in London. We are moving forward in a united vision to win the lost, consolidate them as new believers, disciple them as leaders and send them into the harvest fields of the world.