eNews and prayer update February 2021
Introducing Tayo Arikawe, Langham Partnership’s newly appointed International Director!
Tayo (pronounced “Tie-oh”) grew up in Nigeria, in a family that went to the local Methodist cathedral, and came to personal faith at university, where he earned a BSc in Geology and Mineral Science. He soon became involved in evangelism and preaching, and, feeling in need of some study to do these things more effectively, found the (Australian!) Moore College materials which he studied, and has followed up (on moving to the UK) with the Cornhill Training Course, an MTh (University of Chester, through Union School of Theology, Wales), and is now pursuing a PhD in Pauline Studies part-time.
Between 2000 and 2008, Tayo pastored a church he had planted in Gambia, and then pioneered training conferences for other pastors, evangelists and church leaders, whom he saw were desperately in need of Bible teaching. He ran such training conferences in Gambia, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone.
In 2008 he came to the UK, employed by Kensington Baptist Church, Bristol, as an Associate Minister, preaching and teaching there for four years.
In 2012 he was appointed European Director for Grace Evangelistic Ministries, again equipping pastors and evangelists, and travelling across 20 countries, seeking to align their practice with their vision (that seems to be another passion of his – aligning vision, strategy and practice), and developing an online Bible training curriculum.
In 2017 he was appointed as Director of Ministries at London City Mission, a 185 year-old mission agency, with a brief to do a complete review and revision of their vision and strategy and to implement a restructuring that would embody it. Tayo’s arrival coincided with the LCM CEO experiencing a family tragedy, and Tayo needed to step into a kind of default leadership role, both pastorally and practically.
As part of his work with LCM, Tayo reached out to the British churches with predominantly Majority World membership – the very diverse diaspora communities. He then started and led the Diaspora Network Alliance, with MW leaders in the UK, establishing a platform for mobilising them for greater unity and effectiveness in missional outreach.
He is also one of the directors of the Centre for Missionaries from the Majority World – i.e. MW missionaries in the UK itself, and is affiliated with the UK Evangelical Alliance.
The man himself
Tayo is not only hungry for good biblical theological study himself, but he apparently insists on it for his own senior team at LCM – reportedly, Tayo gets them all reading books and discussing them, and is comfortable with a breadth of views.
His referees and colleagues speak highly of him: of his hard work, ability to cope with pressure with a smile, wide range of international contacts and friendships. He is relational, Bible-centred and passionate, clear thinking, gracious and enthusiastic.
Tayo lives in London with his wife Calista and teenage son Mekus. He will continue to work with LCM until the end of March, allowing an effective “handover” there. In April, he will take a month’s study leave to work on his PhD. He will be working full-time for Langham from the beginning of May.
Chris Wright will continue to serve within the senior Leadership Team under Tayo’s overall leadership, in a more ambassadorial role, writing and teaching around the world.
As Chris says, “Please pray for Tayo and his family in these months of transition between completing his service at LCM and joining us in Langham, for LCM as they “mourn” the loss of a very valued senior leader and seek to replace him; and for us in Langham, that we may welcome this good brother well into our leadership and look forward to the Lord guiding him and all of us into the future, as we pursue into a new era the vision God entrusted to John Stott for the blessing of the global church.”
Join us in prayer
The Preaching Global Leadership Team were hoping meet in Turkey in March, but it looks as if they will need to meet online due to travel restrictions. Please pray for them as they discuss strategies and priorities for the year ahead. Pray also for Preaching events that have been scheduled for the next month or so in: SE Asia, Guatemala, Cambodia, Hungary, Latin America (online), Middle East, Croatia, Benin.
[NB: where countries are considered sensitive, the region is given.]
Please pray for the progress of the Central Asian Bible Commentary, the first such book for the region, which is currently being written and edited.
Pray also for the establishment of a new evangelical publisher in Rwanda: for pastor Joel, who feels called to establish this with some of his colleagues, that God would equip them and prosper this new ministry.
Pray for the Scholars’ Team and Selection Committee as they work through applications in order to select the next group of Langham Scholars.
Gillean Smiley writes…
We are used to seeing our kind and gracious Father bring good out of difficult circumstances. He delights in showing us that nothing surprises Him or is beyond His control. It has certainly seemed that nothing good could possibly come from the challenges and sorrows the world has endured in the past twelve months, however He has continued to build His church in both size and depth, and to grow His people in maturity. One particular blessing we have seen in Langham is the increasing “indigeneity” of national and regional Preaching movements, as Preaching clubs have flourished online and the focus on local networks and support has borne fruit. The move towards more online training and resources has been accelerated. However let us not forget those who have been “left behind” through lack of equipment and internet, and pray that even the least connected are able to grow in their ability to preach the Word faithfully, clearly and effectively.