Canon Dr George Lings is an ordained Anglican and a leading thinker on church planting. He wrote the first draft of Mission-shaped Church, and now speaks on these subject areas at home and abroad. He became an honorary Canon of Sheffield Cathedral in 2010.
Until 1997 he was in parish ministry. Since 1997 he has been employed by Church Army to direct its Research Unit, known until 2012 as The Sheffield Centre. Its qualitative research into fresh expressions of Church was published from 1999 in a quarterly booklet, Encounters on the Edge. He is currently leading research into the size and nature of ‘fresh expressions of church’ within the Church of England, sponsored by the Archbishops Council. This is being conducted as part of a team led by Cranmer Hall.
He lectures at various theological colleges and national and diocesan conferences and has contributed chapters to various books and journals, such as edited by Steven Croft, John Drane and David Goodhew. He writes the occasional Grove Booklet, often with Anabaptist friend Stuart Murray. In 2013 BRF publish Messy Church Theology which he has edited.
His 2008 Ph.D. contends that the nature of the church includes the calling and capacity to reproduce and should be modified to include this. The case is argued from Trinitarian and Incarnational understandings, as well as themes in Scripture, and elements of the Christian tradition.