Langham Partnership International

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Langham Partnership
Langham Partnership logo 2013.png
Founded 1969 (as Langham Trust)
Founder John R. W. Stott, CBE
Type 501(c)(3) religious non-profit corporation
Focus To see the Christian church equipped for mission and growing to maturity in Christ through the ministry of pastors and leaders who believe, teach, and live by the Bible
Location
  • Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, New Zealand, UK & Ireland, USA
Area served The Majority World of Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, Eurasia, the Middle East, and Pacific region
Method

Three integrated ministries:

  • Nurture national movements for training in biblical preaching (Langham Preaching)
  • Multiply the creation and distribution of evangelical literature (Langham Literature)
  • Strengthen the theological training of pastors and leaders by qualified evangelical teachers (Langham Scholars)
Key people
  • Mark Hunt, Executive Director
  • Chris Wright, International Ministries Director
  • Pieter Kwant, Director of Langham Literature
  • Paul Windsor, Director of Langham Preaching
  • Riad Kassis, Director of Langham Scholars
  • Trevor Cork, Chair of the Langham Partnership International Council
Revenue US$5 million (2012)
Slogan Equipping a new generation of Bible teachers
Website langham.org

Langham Partnership (formerly known as Langham Partnership International) is a nonprofit Christian international fellowship working in pursuit of the vision of its founder John R. W. Stott, CBE: to foster the growth of the global church in maturity and Christ-likeness by raising the standards of biblical preaching and teaching through equipping Majority World Christian pastors, scholars, writers, publishers, and other key leaders. TIME magazine named Stott among the 100 most influential people in the world.[1]

The name 'Langham' derives from All Souls Church, Langham Place, London, where Stott was rector for 60 years. When he launched the original trust fund in 1969 from which the whole global fellowship has developed, he named it after that street – 'The Langham Trust.' Although Stott was a Church of England clergyman, Langham Partnership is, and has been since its foundation, multi-denominational and multi-national. It operates through a wide network of Langham-related ministries, national members, and indigenous partners in more than 70 countries. These include:

  • seven supporting member countries (Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, New Zealand, UK, Ireland, USA); four of which combined to constitute the Langham Partnership (international) in 2001, to support the three major ministries globally – Langham Scholars, Langham Literature, and Langham Preaching
  • Langham Preaching movements established and developing in 70 countries
  • regional networks of leaders and trainers, established in Latin America and being developed elsewhere
  • the Fellowship of Langham Scholars, a total of about 350 men and women, including those currently studying for doctorates and those who have graduated and are in teaching and leadership roles throughout the world, strengthening evangelical theological education at multiple levels
  • major indigenous literature projects (such as regional language, multi-author, one-volume whole Bible commentaries) by teams in Africa, South Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and Eurasia.

Langham Partnership has an international council (Langham Partnership International Council), a staff team (resident in several countries), along with a literature warehouse and Langham service facility in Carlisle, UK. There is no single international headquarters.

History[edit]

The roots of Langham Partnership extend to 1969 when John Stott had a strong desire to help Christian pastors in non-Western countries (where he was travelling widely) more fully understand the Bible so they could preach its messages more clearly to their own people. "He saw lots of Christians, but not enough teachers; lots of enthusiasm, but not enough erudition."[2] By dedicating the royalties from his (eventually more than 50[3]) published books, Stott first established a fund he named Langham Trust (LT) to finance doctoral scholarships.[4]

In 1971, he founded the Evangelical Literature Trust (ELT) to provide books for students, pastors, and theological libraries in the Majority World. Both of these remained independent charities registered in the UK until, in 2001, Langham Partnership UK & Ireland was registered to amalgamate and replace the former LT and ELT[5]). The objectives and work of the two original charities – Langham Scholars and Langham Literature respectively – continue within Langham Partnership.

In 1974 Stott, with a group of friends, launched the Langham Foundation in the USA to encourage and enable people there to "help provide the resources needed to raise the standards of biblical preaching worldwide."[6] Around the same time, Langham networks were formed in Australia and Canada to help raise funds to support the ministries for which Stott advocated.

In 1996, the name was changed in the USA to John Stott Ministries to capitalise on the public stature of its founder.[7]) Considering the wishes expressed by Stott prior to his death in 2011, the John Stott Ministries board of directors changed the name to Langham Partnership USA in 2012.[8][9][10]

In 1999, as he approached his 80th birthday and contemplated the future of the ministries he had founded, John Stott wrote a "lengthy memorandum,”[11] reflecting on their underlying vision. In it he articulated what is now known as the "Langham Logic"[12]):

  1. God wants his church to grow up in maturity (not just in numbers);
  2. The church grows through God's Word, and
  3. The Word of God comes to people primarily (though not exclusively) through biblical preaching.
  4. Therefore, the logical response is to strive to raise the standards of biblical preaching so that the church may grow in maturity and fulfill its mission in the world.

In 2002, after Stott had led seminars on biblical preaching in Latin America, convinced there was a need for pastors to be motivated, trained, and equipped in the skills of biblical preaching in a more direct, 'hands-on' way, Langham Preaching was inaugurated as a distinct third ministry of Langham Partnership alongside Scholars and Literature. The new ministry expanded through a growing network of indigenous leaders and regional coordinators, and by 2013, operates in 70 countries.

In 2004, the first Langham Partnership Regional Consultation was held in Entebbe, Uganda, with representative advisors from around East Africa. Through a series of similar consultations around the world in the following years, regional development spread in 13 major continental regions. As local leadership and initiative was encouraged, regional coordinators were appointed in Latin America, Central America, Anglophone Africa, Asia, and the Pacific region. The Langham name, brand, vision and ministries are now 'owned' in a steadily growing number of countries.

According to The Guardian newspaper, Langham Partnership is a "threefold initiative...to strengthen the church in the developing world by training preachers, funding doctoral scholarships for the most able theological thinkers, and providing basic, low-cost libraries for pastors."[13] Christianity Today called Langham Partnership "preeminent among the organizations [John Stott] launched."[14] "[Langham Partnership] particularly encourages biblical preaching by offering study books for pastors and libraries, by inspiring biblical preaching movements, and by offering doctoral scholarships for evangelical scholars who will commit to teaching in their home seminaries."[15]

In 2006, the Africa Bible Commentary was published. Langham Literature and SIM were jointly involved in sponsoring this one volume commentary on the whole Bible written entirely by African authors for Africa. Langham has facilitated its translation into French, Portuguese, Swahili, and Malagasy. This publication in Africa has led Langham Literature to facilitate similar major projects for one-volume Bible commentaries in regional languages in Latin America, South Asia, the Middle East, and Eurasia.

Another example of the work of Langham Partnership can be seen in the 2007 Langham Preaching training course on expository biblical preaching taken by 150 pastors in Nigeria.[16] Since that initial event, the Nigerian movement has diversified to many different parts of the country, training thousands of pastors and lay preachers.

In 2008, Langham Partnership merged with the Eastern Europe Literature Advisory Committee (EELAC).[17] EELAC assisted Christian publishers in the former communist countries of Europe. Langham Literature continues that support, but has extended it in the form of publisher development in other parts of the world.

As described on the International Christian College website (of Glasgow, Scotland): "John Stott was not only concerned with the church in the UK…. A number of international students coming to ICC over the years have been supported by the Langham Partnership, an initiative begun by Stott in 1969 in order to support church leaders from the Global South studying at UK universities. The ultimate aim was the building up of the church globally, with well trained, theologically literate leaders involved in the rapidly growing churches of the Global South."[18]

In view of his influence through the Langham ministries, along with his many books, travels, and projects, and his acknowledged leadership of the evangelical movement worldwide, John Stott was described by church historian David Edwards as "apart from William Temple (who died as Archbishop of Canterbury in 1944) the most influential clergyman in the Church of England during the 20th century.“[19] And with Langham Partnership and his other works, Stott "is credited with doing more to change the landscape of global evangelicalism in the twentieth century than any other evangelical."[20]

Vision[edit]

"To see churches equipped for mission and growing to maturity in Christ through the ministry of pastors and leaders who believe, teach, and live by the Word of God."[21]

This vision statement springs from Stott's observation that the Majority World church lacked trained pastors, resources such as books, and qualified theological education.[22]

Activities[edit]

Langham Partnership operates three integrated international programs. Each of these has a director and a small number of dedicated staff, but much of the work is managed at national and regional levels, through teams of volunteer leaders, facilitators, trainers, writers, editors, etc. All three ministries are designed to be multiplicative by equipping those who, in turn, equip others.[23]

  • Langham Preaching: Partners with national leaders to nurture indigenous biblical preaching movements for pastors and lay preachers. With the support of a team of trainers from many countries, an ongoing series of multi-level seminars provides practical training. This is followed by training local facilitators. Local preachers’ groups and national and regional networks ensure continuity and ongoing development, seeking to build vigorous movements committed to Bible exposition.[24]
  • Langham Literature: Provides majority world pastors, scholars and seminary libraries with evangelical [Wikipedia style is to capitalise Evangelical] books and electronic resources through grants, discounts and distribution. The ministry also fosters the creation of indigenous evangelical books for pastors in many languages, through training workshops for writers and editors, sponsored writing, translation, strengthening local evangelical publishing houses, and investment in major regional literature projects, such as one volume Bible commentaries like The Africa Bible Commentary,[25] and fostering imprints such as Hippo Books[26]
  • Langham Scholars: Provides financial support for evangelical doctoral students from the majority world so that, when they return home, they may train pastors and other Christian leaders with sound, biblical and theological teaching. The Langham Scholars ministry also works in partnership with majority world seminaries in strengthening evangelical theological education. A growing number of Langham Scholars study in high quality doctoral programs in the majority world itself. As well as teaching the next generation of pastors, graduated Langham Scholars exercise significant influence through their writing and leadership.[27]

Key Dates[edit]

  • 1969 John Stott founds and registers the Langham Trust as a doctoral scholarship fund (known as Langham Scholars since 2001)
  • 1971 John Stott founds and registers the Evangelical Literature Trust, to provide books to pastors in majority world (known as Langham Literature since 2001)
  • 1974 Langham Foundation is launched as separate entities in the USA, Canada, and Australia
  • 1996 Langham Foundation name is changed to John Stott Ministries in the USA
  • 2001 John Stott Ministries merges with FACT (Foundation for Advanced Christian Training)
  • 2001 Langham Partnership UK & Ireland is founded through the merger of Langham Trust and Evangelical Literature Trust
  • 2001 Langham Partnership (international) is formed as an alliance of the national supporting movements in UK, USA, Canada and Australia, with Chris Wright assuming the leadership from John Stott as International Ministries Director
  • 2002 Langham Preaching is launched as a distinct ministry, with Jonathan Lamb as Program Director, alongside Langham Scholars and Langham Literature
  • 2004 Langham Foundation Hong Kong is established
  • 2004 The first Langham Partnership Regional Consultation is convened in Entebbe, Uganda, for East Africa, followed by other regions in subsequent years
  • 2007 Langham Partnership New Zealand begins
  • 2008 Langham Partnership merges with EELAC, and includes Publisher Development as a distinct objective within Langham Literature
  • 2011 John Stott dies
  • 2012 John Stott Ministries name is changed to Langham Partnership USA
  • 2012 Mark Hunt is appointed as Executive Director, working alongside Chris Wright, who continues as International Ministries Director
  • 2012 Riad Kassis is appointed as Director of Langham Scholars
  • 2013 Paul Windsor is appointed as Director of Langham Preaching

Criticism[edit]

Some have criticised Langham Partnership as "yet one more expression of Western dominance in the worldwide church,”[28] noting that, in the early years at least, Majority World students were brought to study in the West, books sent to pastors and seminaries tended to be Western, and Stott's own emphasis on expository preaching may have been unseemly in some cultures. However, the global ministry says its emphasis is to work indigenously with Christians in Africa (20 countries), Asia (10 countries), Eurasia (3 countries), Europe (12 countries), Latin America (7 countries), the Pacific (4 countries), and the Caribbean (5 countries)[29]), equipping leaders (indigenous pastors, scholars, writers and publishers) to effectively serve and equip others in their countries.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Graham, Billy (18 April 2005). "The 2005 TIME 100". TIME. 
  2. ^ Chapman, Alister (2011). Godly Ambition: John Stott and the Evangelical Movement. Oxford University Press. p. 150-151. ISBN 0199773971. 
  3. ^ "Books Published in US or UK". Retrieved 14 July 2013. 
  4. ^ Chapman, Alister (2011). Godly Ambition: John Stott and the Evangelical Movement. Oxford University Press. p. 150-151. ISBN 0199773971. 
  5. ^ "Langham Partnership History". Retrieved 28 December 2013. 
  6. ^ Chapman, Alister (2011). Godly Ambition: John Stott and the Evangelical Movement. Oxford University Press. p. 150-151. ISBN 0199773971. 
  7. ^ "Langham and John Stott Ministries in the US". Retrieved 14 July 2013. 
  8. ^ Chapman, Alister (2011). Godly Ambition: John Stott and the Evangelical Movement. Oxford University Press. p. 150-151. ISBN 0199773971. 
  9. ^ "Why we changed our name to Langham Partnership". Retrieved 14 July 2013. 
  10. ^ "John Stott Ministries returns to its roots by changing name to Langham Partnership". YouTube. 19 November 2012. Retrieved 14 July 2013. 
  11. ^ Dudley-Smith, Timothy (2001). John Stott: A Global Ministry: The Later Years. InterVarsity Press. p. 421. ISBN 0830822089. 
  12. ^ "Langham Logic: God’s Word for God’s World". Retrieved 14 July 2013. 
  13. ^ Turner, David (28 July 2011). "The Rev John Stott obituary". The Guardian. 
  14. ^ Stafford, Tim (27 July 2011). "John Stott Has Died". Christianity Today. 
  15. ^ Stafford, Tim (13 October 2006). "Legacy of a Global Leader". Christianity Today. 
  16. ^ Blake, Daniel (9 March 2007). "Langham Partnership International Director Trains 150 Pastors in Nigeria". Christian Today. 
  17. ^ "Langham Partnership merger good news for majority world churches". Christian Today. 15 July 2008. 
  18. ^ "Remembering John Stott (1921–2011)". International Christian College. 29 July 2011. 
  19. ^ "The Rev John Stott". The Times. 29 July 2011. 
  20. ^ "John Stott Remembered at London Funeral". The Christian Post. 8 August 2011. 
  21. ^ "Langham Vision & Mission". Retrieved 14 July 2013. 
  22. ^ "Why Langham is called to serve the global church". Retrieved 14 July 2013. 
  23. ^ Allen, Adele (9 July 2013). "The papers of John Stott". The Lambeth Palace Library Blog. 
  24. ^ "We equip pastors to preach and teach God's Word". Retrieved 14 July 2013. 
  25. ^ "Langham stimulates biblical study". Retrieved 14 July 2013. 
  26. ^ Abidemi (29 July 2013). "Interview: Luke Lewis, Pieter Kwant, Langham Partnership". Ready Write Mag. Retrieved 6 Dec 2013. 
  27. ^ "Langham equips scholar-leaders". Retrieved 14 July 2013. 
  28. ^ Chapman, Alister (2011). Godly Ambition: John Stott and the Evangelical Movement. Oxford University Press. p. 151-152. ISBN 0199773971. 
  29. ^ "Serving the global church". Retrieved 14 July 2013. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]