We are a non-denominational organisation drawing on extensive church and leadership experience across the UK and beyond with a passion to see the gospel transform culture through the ministry of the local church. Benefiting from an extensive background in church leadership locally, nationally and in a wider international context, the Lead Academy team bring significant expertise and insight concerning church growth and development. We are also connected to some of the most innovative Christian thinkers and practitioners available and are able to utilise their resources and input to benefit all who take part in our programmes.
Chris has spent over 20 years in pastoral ministry in the UK, most recently at Aylesbury Baptist Church where he took specific responsibilty for mission and worship. He was one of the founders of RUN (Reaching the Unchurched Network) and served as it's Director until the end of 2009. He is part of the leadership team of Eurochurch, a European-wide leadership network and is also co-author of Church on the Edge. Chris is married to Liz, they have two daughters and live in Buckinghamshire.
Before taking on her role with Lead Academy Sally spent 11 years working as the church Administrator for Southcourt Baptist Church in Aylesbury. She is married to Mark and together they have 3 children, 6 grandchildren and Wilson the dog!
Nick is the founder leader of Riverside Church, Birmingham and a Lay Canon at Birmingham Cathedral. He is highly regarded as a creative communicator and teacher both nationally and internationally and is also the author of a number of books including ‘How to Survive as a Church Leader.’ Nick is married to Lois and they live in Birmingham.
Operations Manager - Gillian’s background is in education and church leadership support and her passion is to enable others to fulfil their calling. Gillian has been involved in educational leadership, coaching, professional development and adult literacy teaching in the UK and New Zealand. She has a PGCE in Adult Teaching and Literacy and a Masters in Educational Leadership. She and her husband Tim belong to Riverside Church in Birmingham.
Associate Director - Martin served as a second and first chair leader at St James Gerrards Cross over 17 years. He has extensive leadership experience in pastoral care, vocations, small group ministry, and leading a larger church. His passion is to see the local church flourish and grow and especially to support and nurture leaders.
Prior to ordination Martin was the Marketing Director for Gillette UK & Northern Europe. He is married to Sophie and they have three grown up daughters. He lives in South Bucks.
Eric worked at Accenture for 20 years, where he was a partner in their management consulting practice focused on the health and life sciences industries. He is one of the leaders of Christ Church, Tunbridge Wells and is passionate about the church becoming all that God desires us to be. He has four children and lives in Tunbridge Wells.
Prior to a career break to raise her children, Hannah worked in finance and strategy in both the UK and Asia. In addition to working with Lead Academy, Hannah is employed by her local church to implement it's multi-congregational strategy. She is married to Alex, has four children and lives in Stafford.
Chris is the Senior Minister of Easthampstead Baptist Church, Bracknell where amongst many other things he leads the ‘Cinema and Curry Cluster’. Prior to training for the ministry he travelled all over the world as a Management Consultant and lived in the USA with his wife Ruth.
Jim has worked in the healthcare industry in various roles across the world for over 16 years, most recently as European Managing Director for Johnson & Johnson Vision Care. He is one of the leaders of Finchampstead Baptist Church and is passionate about seeing the church make a difference in our society. He is married to Karen and lives in Finchampstead.
We have a superb range of contributors who share in different learning communities at various times. All of these have high levels of experience and expertise in their particular fields and their role within Lead Academy is to teach, inspire and provoke discussion that leads to action. Other guests are invited from time to time as the need and opportunity arises.
Sharon balances her time between 3 roles - Freelance Mentor and Leadership Coach, Church Leader at a Baptist Church in Sheffield and Senior Tutor at Moorlands Midlands Centre
Sharon was a medical scientist before going to Bible College and training in youth and children's ministry. She has been involved in youth and children's work in her local church for more than 25 years, also working for Crusaders and Scripture Union.
She has taught at various Bible colleges in the UK and seeks to empower and equip people to reach their full potential in Christ.
John Drane has spent much of his adult life wrestling with the challenge of being a Christian in a rapidly changing culture.
For more than twenty years he has played a leading role in ecumenical thinking and action on mission, and is currently co-chair of the Mission Theology Advisory Group as well as being a Fellow of St John’s College, Durham, Visiting Scholar at Spurgeon’s College, and adjunct professor in practical theology at Fuller Seminary, California.
His many books include works on mission and cultural change, as well as introductions to the Old and New Testaments which have been translated into more than sixty languages.
Dr. Samuel R. Chand serves Pastors, ministries and businesses as a Leadership Architect and Change Strategist. Dr. Chand has served as senior Pastor, college President, Chancellor and President Emeritus.
He personally consults, mentors and coaches some of the country's largest church Pastors, speaks regularly at leadership conferences, churches, corporations, Leadership Roundtables, Minister's Conferences, seminars and
other leadership development opportunities. He is named in the top-30 global leadership Gurus list.
His singular vision for his life is to Help Others Succeed. Dr. Chand develops leaders through Leadership Consultations, Leadership Resources - books/CDs and Leadership Speaking.
Being raised in a pastor's home in India has uniquely equipped Dr. Chand to share his passion - that of mentoring, developing and inspiring leaders to break all limits - in ministry and the marketplace. (www.samchand.com)
As the director of the CPAS development team and Arrow, James lives and breathes what he teaches. More than just the raison d'etre for Arrow and Growing Leaders, James really does exist to help church leaders to be led more by Jesus, lead more like Jesus and lead more to Jesus.
A former associate minister and adviser in evangelism, since joining CPAS he has fulfilled a number of roles, written several books and courses, as well as having a four-year secondment to the Springboard evangelism initiative.
Energy, enthusiasm and a commitment to excellence give you a good handle on James.
On top of his work promoting leadership development throughout the Church, James has a busy life full of his wife and three children and a fitness regime driven by a love of sport.
Pieter Van Waarde is the Senior Pastor at Woodcrest Chapel, Columbia, Missouri. Under his leadership, Woodcrest Chapel has received the distinguished “Small Business of the Year” Award in the non-for-profit sector from the Columbia Chamber of Commerce. Over the past fifteen years the average attendance has grown from 450 to 2200 weekend attendees (on two campuses).
Pieter is also the Executive Director and Senior consultant for Team Building Resources LLC. In this capacity he has taught at the University of Missouri Graduate School of Business on team-building and leadership development.
He has also authored two books entitled, “Building Ministry Teams that L.A.S.T.” and “unsettled” (to be released later this year).
Pieter has received his Masters in Business Administration and Masters in New Testament Studies from Regent University. He is married to Carol, they have three children and live in Columbia, Missouri since 1994.
Imagine Project DirectorLICC (London Institute for Contemporary Christianity)
Neil began working with LICC as the Church-life Consultant on the Imagine Project in 2006 and took over as Imagine Project director in 2010.
For the previous ten years he worked at Regents Theological College, serving there latterly as its Vice Principal. His main areas of teaching concerned the missiological relationship between the Church and wider society. He co-leads a church in Salford.
Murray was the pastor of Spreydon Baptist Church in Christchurch, New Zealand for 40 years along with his wife Marj and they saw a small struggling church grow to a worshipping congregation of over 1700 people. The church also gave birth to several other congregations and a large number of ministries in the local community along with an extensive commitment to mission overseas. He is now leading the development of the Leadership Network New Zealand.
Ruth is the Director of Growing Younger at the Church of England – Birmingham and has oversight of the Children’s and Families’ Missioners programme within the Growing Younger initiative. Prior to this role, Ruth was Pastor of Teaching and Discipleship at St John’s, Harborne, and has also worked at CPAS as a Leadership Development Adviser, at CMS as their National Children’s Work Adviser, and spent a number of happy years as a Youth and Children’s Pastor at St Thomas’ in Lancaster. Ruth has an MA in Leadership, Renewal and Mission and is the author of Ready to Lead and Growing Young Leaders, as well the Growing Leaders – Youth Edition course. Ruth is a West Wing aficionado and loves spending time with good friends over good food.
Simon Benham is the Senior Pastor of Kerith Community Church, initially based in Bracknell in Berkshire. Kerith is a growing multi-site and multicultural church with people from over 40 different nations. The church has a strong emphasis on being Jesus to the local community, through social justice and a contemporary presentation of the gospel, as well as having an international focus, working with churches in a number of nations including Albania, Lithuania, Estonia and Zambia
Simon's first book “The Peach and the Coconut”, describing the culture of Jesus which Kerith is attempting to recreate, was published in September 2012.
Simon is married to Catrina and they have three children, Zak, Jacob and Alice. He also has two Labradors and supports Newcastle United!
In 2004 Back to Church Sunday was birthed and Michael Harvey started to work with churches across the UK and eventually throughout the English speaking world. He has spoken to thousands of church leaders in his seminars and has to date seen hundreds of thousands of Christians mobilised to invite, resulting in 1 million+ accepted invitations. He is author of the books Unlocking the Growth and Creating a Culture of Invitation in Your Church. As an itinerant speaker Michael has a ministry across18 countries and 5 continents.