LICC role for Ken Benjamin
Current Baptist Union President Ken Benjamin is to take up a key strategic role with The London Institute for Contemporary Christianity (LICC)
Ken has long been an associate speaker for LICC and advocate of its whole-life discipleship message. He was approached this summer as a possible successor to Neil Hudson, who is stepping down as Director of Church Relationships.
After prayerful consideration, Ken has accepted the post, becoming the first Baptist to do so.
It means Ken will leave Chichester Baptist Church, the church he has served for 23 years, in May, the month in which his Presidency term also ends. He will take a sabbatical before the LICC role begins in September 2020.
Ken said there is a mixture of excitement at what lies ahead alongside sadness at leaving the church, but he believes God’s hand is on the appointment.
‘I am delighted and honoured to be taking up the position of Director of Church Relationships for LICC. Their whole-life discipleship message and agenda has been a vital part of my ‘where do we grow from here?’ theme as President of Baptists Together. This role with LICC gives both the ongoing opportunity to grow and develop relationships with those I have connected with and to expand and help develop their brilliant work across churches and denominations.
‘My wife Sue and I will miss being part of the church family at Chichester Baptist Church very much. For more than 23 years this has been our brilliant, encouraging and loving church community. There is a truly great team there and I am sure the best is yet to come for them. We will be cheering them on.’
Baptists have long worked closely with LICC, and Executive Director Mark Greene said he was ‘thrilled’ Ken was joining the team ‘to take up such a strategic role at this moment of enormous opportunity in the cause of whole-life mission.’
‘For over 20 years, Ken has been a shining exemplar and a fervent champion for whole-life disciple-making in the local church, and he’s shared that wisdom widely in the UK,’ Mark said.
‘But Ken also brings with him his deep understanding of, and commitment to, the Baptist movement and that can only serve to strengthen and enrich our long partnership and collaboration with Baptists Together on matters of discipleship and mission for our nation.’
His appointment was also welcomed by General Secretary Lynn Green, who said she was ‘delighted’ Ken was taking up the role.
‘The appointment of a Baptist minister in the role offers a significant opportunity for us to grow and develop the already strong links of Baptists Together with LICC.
‘The LICC whole-life discipleship emphasis fits so well with our Baptist understanding that every Christian is equally called to the service of God, in the world.
'This appointment gives Ken the chance to develop and expand the connections he has already made as our President with so many Baptist churches who want to fuel and sustain a whole-life disciple making culture in their congregations.’
In a message to his church members, Ken explained how the Presidency travels have ‘opened our eyes to the needs beyond our own church’.
‘We increasingly feel a burden to seek to serve church leaders and ministers in this wide variety of contexts,’ he wrote.
‘The role I have been offered gives an opportunity to continue and expand the work we have started, most particularly helping church leaders establish and develop a whole-life disciple making culture throughout the UK church. We are genuinely excited about the possibilities within this role.’
He added, ‘Wherever I have travelled this year I have found the LICC message and resources to be widely respected and increasingly requested but not yet consistently expected.
‘So often the unspoken default expectation is still that our church teaching and emphasis will focus on church roles rather than the majority of people’s lives beyond the church programme.
‘It will be great to join the team looking to redress this.’