The Ground Level Leaders Conference 2023 – 19 to 21 April – was a defining moment for this vibrant Charismatic movement. Stuart and Irene Bell who founded the Ground Level Network 40 years ago handed the baton on to Paul and Jeannie Benger, who were commissioned as the new church network leaders.
Ground Level had been transitioning the leadership of the movement for some years and they took time to explain the changeover process to those present in Swanwick. Paul had initially shadowed Stuart, then Paul took up leadership but with Stuart shadowing him and finally the moment came for Paul along with his wife Jeannie to assume leadership of Ground Level.
On a personal level, it was a great privilege to deliver a seminar at the conference on the theme “The future of working together for Kingdom advancement”. We were able to explore key ecumenical themes like unity movements and delivering social action together as churches. Alive Church Lincoln has been at the heart of a city-wide unity movement, so I knew I was in good ecumenical company.
I left the conference with a real sense that Ground Level was a movement that had experienced blessing and growth over the last four decades but the future was bright with so many young leaders taking up the mantle in the network. With so many examples of succession having been done poorly, it was refreshing to see it being done so well.
Finally, we are grateful for the commitment Ground Level has shown to Churches Together in England and are really excited that their representative Richard Bradbury is to become CTE’s Company Secretary in the Autumn of 2023.