In 1997, Bill Bethel, Don Hill (Christian businessmen) and Terry Sanderson (Pastor) were challenged by a Christian unity meeting in Toronto. These three leaders, along with six pastors formed a Steering Committee to consider how they might impact London with a unified presentation of the gospel and of the churches working together.
Subsequently and prayerfully, the Christian Churches Network of London began to take shape. A variety of Christian leaders from London got together and gave input, identifying priorities as leaders in regards to personal needs, ministry needs, and the needs of the communities they served. Organizational plans were created from these conversations. Prior research studies had shown a strong success rate with outreach and impact when the churches worked together to look at the needs within the community.
In October 1998, the steering committee presented CCNL’s vision and goals to the Church community, encouraging those in attendance to join the organization to fulfill the vision and goals. CCNL was incorporated on October 16th, 2001 and became a registered charity on March 19th, 2002. This work has been generously supported financially by churches, Christian laity, professionals, and business people in London. Leadership events, speakers, joint projects and city-wide annual prayer initiatives have drawn the Christian community in London together.
Over the last 20 years, the network has grown to include 200+ churches from London and area and 100+ Christian ministries.
For each new generation of leaders , we are compelled to discover emerging opportunities and means to connect, share, collaborate, and encourage one another as Christian leaders in new ways and new venues so that we may tangibly demonstrate who God is. May Jesus' prayer for his disciples be just as true of us as his disciples here in CCNL today, as it was in His last days on earth:
"I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me." John 17:20 ( NLT)