Why do we support Langham Partnership?
Langham Partnership was founded in 1969 by Revd. John Stott, then the Rector (or senior pastor) at All Souls Church, Langham Place in London, hence the name. John Stott was a Bible teacher in great demand world-wide. He frequently visited churches in the Majority World, – a more positive term than Third World or Developing World, encompassing Africa, Asia, South and Central America and the Caribbean. As he travelled, he understood the acute need for further biblical training for gifted local leaders.
Initially, a Trust was set up to sponsor young Christian leaders from the Majority World to study for doctorates at British universities, and to support them as they returned to teach at bible colleges in their own countries. Those who received scholarship funding from the Trust became known as Langham Scholars, a worldwide family that has now grown to well over 300.
Langham Partnership then expanded into producing Christian books that would be a resource for Majority World Scholars and pastors. In the UK we have a wealth of Christian literature, but these are in English and are written from a western perspective – that is, the outworking of bible truths reflects the issues faced in western countries, not necessarily those faced by people in the Majority World. Today Langham Literature helps develop ground-breaking commentaries written in local languages and relevant to local contexts. It also distributes biblical resources to churches, pastors, and bible colleges, and supports writers and publishers who translate and write books for the local context. From July 2019 – June 2020 Langham Literature supplied 49,122 bible-centred books to pastors and colleges in the Majority World. 18,740 of these books were supplied free of charge.
In 2002 a third initiative was begun. Langham Preaching partners with Majority World church leaders to nurture indigenous biblical preaching movements for pastors and lay preachers. With the support of a team of trainers from many countries, they provide seminars focusing on practical, biblically based training. In the 12 months up to June 2020, 610 local trainers led Langham Preaching training seminars in 69 countries, equipping 9661 pastors and lay leaders to teach God’s Word.
So, I hope you can see why this strategic ministry is supported by St Paul’s Church here in Little Eaton. Our small local church really can influence things world-wide.
2021 will mark the 100th anniversary since John Stott’s birth. Langham and others will be running several events to celebrate this, and to thank God for his life. Billy Graham called him “the most respected clergyman in the world today”. In 2005 he was listed in Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People” and was named in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list as Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE).