George Lings is an ordained Anglican with an interest in church planting since 1984. His first period of research in this area was awarded a Lambeth M.Litt. in 1993.
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. This published resource ended at 56 issues, but a slimmer online version is planned to continue. A reduction in the scope of its specialisms across the team led us to change its name to Church Army’s Research Unit.
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. His research was one major source of the 1994 report Breaking New Ground. He wrote the first draft of Mission-shaped Church, and now speaks on these subject areas at home and abroad.
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.
In 2013 BRF published Messy Church Theology which he has edited.
He became an honorary Canon of Sheffield Cathedral in 2010.