KT – a great past and an exciting future

KT – a great past and an exciting future

We caught up with Mark Ryan a year into his new role as senior leader at Elim’s Kensington Temple in Notting Hill, London.

What do you do when you step up to lead a church with a rich history and huge leadership shoes to fill? Honour the past and serve the future, says Mark Ryan.

Mark is celebrating his first year as senior leader of Kensington Temple after the retirement of the church’s former leader, Colin Dye. He has spent the past 12 months revitalising several key areas of strength at KT.

“KT is a historic church with a rich pedigree in Word and Spirit, so I wanted to begin by honouring areas like prayer, intercession, outreach and worship, but also ask how they can play into the future,” he says.

With this goal in mind, Mark has built on and infused the church’s prayer culture. “This was something that was strong but not as vibrant so we have grown a strong intercession team and a really exciting midweek prayer meeting,” he says.

“We’ve seen healings, people getting jobs and even being delivered.”

Equally important has been growing the church’s gathered presence at its three Sunday services, which now include a new evening meeting.

“We wanted to connect with students so we launched an evening service in May called City Nights, which is exciting for young people.

“It has three strong elements – praise, prophetic and proclamation – where we speak into people’s lives, pray and preach the gospel.

“We felt a leading that the summer would be about harvest, when usually it’s about people going on holiday. We saw somebody get saved at our last meeting and someone come back to the Lord.”

Mark is also looking to inspire faith by bringing his own style of teaching to KT.

“My style of preaching is a little different than previously, being practical and a little more in your face with an emphasis on what you do with it, but the KT congregation have been really receptive and generous to this change in style.”

The approach seems to have gone down well, he says.

“The exciting gathering nature of KT has come back strongly and attendance is tracking up; we now get more than 1,300 people across our three Sunday services.”

Another big priority has been to nurture KT’s strong roots in discipleship.

“We’re developing a new discipleship pathway around three major elements because we want to take a fresh approach to what real discipleship can be like in a large church,” says Mark.

“The first one is ‘rooted’ – reaching people to be rooted in Christ, the church and God’s love, which is really important for people living in a large city like London.

“The second phase is ‘growing’ – in gifts, Scripture and wholeness – because people need a sense of growth in their lives.

“And thirdly, we have ‘fruitful’, where people can become fruitful in their ministry, serving and purpose, and feel fresh rather than worn out by activity.”

This pathway came after much agonising and prayer, but Mark felt clearly that God was showing him this was what KT needed. As such, he has been leading the whole church and all its small groups in this direction since July.


The approach, says Mark, is fostering growth in individuals, but also across wider areas of church life too.

KT is the mother church in a network of 29 congregations in the London area, where individual pastors run their own programmes but take strength and ideas from KT.

“I meet with pastors from the network each week to train or encourage them and mentor them in this discipleship pathway,” says Mark.

“The things we’re doing are having a wider impact because these pastors are joining in with our discipleship programme too.”

Meanwhile, Mark says God has also given him a desire to re-establish KT as a Spirit, healing and discipling centre.

“What’s on my heart is that KT takes its place again as a premier equipping centre. We have a Bible college here with 200 students that sends people out all over the world, but recently it’s lost that focus. We’ve got exciting plans for it to be reborn and to partner with Elim to make it a London hub for the Elim college.”

With a prayer culture being re-established, gatherings being reinvigorated and a discipleship direction being reshaped, Mark is excited about the future.

“There’s an old adage that we always overestimate what we can do in a year but underestimate what we can do in five.

“For me, it’s been about saying, ‘what a great past, but here’s how we can move to the future with exciting things that honour that past.”

From Direction Magazine issue 241


Back to blog

Read more great stories from New life Publishing...

News| Real Life| Views| Sport