Nicky Gumbel

3 Things Every Church can Improve

About The Episode


“The only way to plant a church is through evangelism.” Meet Nicky Gumbel, pioneer of the Alpha course and former vicar of Holy Trinity Brompton (HTB) in London. Nicky’s enthusiasm for a better focus in church evangelism is life-giving and inspiring. He meets the challenges of today’s church with a sense of intentionality and strategy that will encourage you and motivate change.

Welcome to Episode 092 of the Leaders in Living Rooms Podcast with Sean Morgan.

Insights From Nicky Gumbel


  • We see a call outward to evangelism in all the gospels (individuals, churches, and nations).
  • Disunity is so off putting to people outside the church.
  • Focus on evangelism
    • When you focus on unity, you’ll end up discussing things you disagree about. But if you focus on evangelism, you have to be united because Jesus prayed that we would be one. The world won’t believe you if you’re disunited.
    • When you focus on renewal and being filled, you become like the Dead Sea-very salty and dead. There is water flowing in, but no water flowing out. But when you focus on evangelism, you have to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
    • When you focus on discipleship, you’ll fill your attics with notebooks and talks, but you’ll be in danger of becoming intense. If you focus on evangelism, you have to be discipled. No one will be interested if you are not exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit.
  • Water comes in - evangelism
  • Water goes out - church planting


  • Alpha provides a way for experiencing God, serving, leading, and replicating.
  • When planting a church, focus on evangelism. Don’t just shuffle Christians from one church to another.


  • Racism
    • People turned away from the church
    • Slave trade
  • Intellectualism
    • Discrimination based on education
  • Elitism
    • Discrimination based on your background
  • To combat this, the “Peter stream” in Alpha provides a year-long program designed to identify and encourage the gifts and calling of people from under-represented backgrounds.


  • Nicky shares the vision for the “Caleb stream,” which gives opportunity to experienced lay leaders to become pastors of churches. 
  • The “Caleb Stream” is a one-year pathway for ordained ministry in the Church of England, designed specifically for mature and experienced lay leaders.
  • With a great need for pastors, we can be strategic in how we raise up new leaders.

Episode Links

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Who is Nicky Gumbel?

Nicky Gumbel is the former vicar of Holy Trinity Brompton (HTB) in London. Together with his wife Pippa, they pioneered Alpha, an introduction to the Christian faith run by all the major Christian denominations in 169 countries. Nicky Gumbel has written several best-selling books including Questions of Life, The Jesus Lifestyle, Searching Issues and A Life Worth Living. He is the author of the free Bible reading app Bible in One Year. In December 2007, Nicky received an Honorary Doctorate for his contribution to church life from the University of Gloucester.


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Quotes From Episode

“If we focus on looking outward in evangelism, pretty much everything else follows.” 

“Choose the path of integrity, regardless of the cost.”

“Disunity is so off putting to people outside the church.”

“The only way to plant a church is through evangelism.”

“If you can run a small group well, you will be a good leader.”

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About the Host

Sean Morgan is a coach and speaker with a national reputation as a catalyst of fresh vision. His passion is to help ministries navigate obstacles and turn them into opportunities.

Throughout his career, Sean has pioneered initiatives impacting thousands of leaders across the country. He started out serving as Executive Pastor and CFO at New Life Church in northern California.

As host, Sean gives you access to amazing conversations, hard-won wisdom, and poignant insights from world-class leaders in intimate “living room” settings.

Your Host

Sean Morgan

Leaders in Living Rooms
Craft & Character

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