Building a diverse church
serving the communities of London

23rd March 2017

Invited Highlights and Prayers for London

What a fantastic Sunday we had last week, as we ended our series on diversity with a time of worship and celebration. I particularly enjoyed watching the short video of highlights from the series, put together by the creative team at King’s. It gives a taste of what INVITED has been all about, and I thought I would share it with you here – it is well worth a look!



As we broke bread together on Sunday, it was a reminder that in His death and resurrection, Jesus destroyed all barriers between us and brought peace. As I said last week, I believe we still have much to learn in the area of diversity, and INVITED has been another step in a longer journey. But I know that God is at work among us, and I trust that what He has started will continue over the next months and years.

This Sunday is Mother’s Day and we will be taking the opportunity to remember and honour the women in our lives. We are also holding dedication services, when parents come to give thanks for new babies and to commit themselves to bringing them up in God’s ways. Can I encourage all of you at King’s to come early and to be ready to welcome the many guests we are expecting? It should be a great Sunday and I look forward to seeing you there!

Steve

All the material from the series is available online at kingschurchlondon.org/invited.

As I was writing this blog yesterday, news was starting to come in of the tragic events in Westminster. It is always shocking when atrocities such as this take place, particularly when it happens so close to home. As London gets back on its feet, let us continue to pray for the friends and family of those who have died, for the people still recovering from injuries, for the emergency and security services, and for peace to come to this city.

Steve


Steve Tibbert

Posted by Steve Tibbert
17:27


16th March 2017

Everyone is Invited - Let us Celebrate!


"People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God." Luke 13:29

Around 18 months ago I began to sense God directing us back to territory similar to that covered in our Gracism teaching series of 2008. The subject of diversity is an important one for us at King’s. A large number of people who are attending now were not here in 2008, and if we were to continue to be intentional in our desire to build a truly diverse church, a new teaching series addressing the subject seemed timely. We called the new series INVITED.

I believe it has been an excellent series – Biblical, inspiring, challenging and at times, deeply moving. As we draw this series to a close, I would like to extend a few thankyous:

Thank you to all the preachers and group leaders who have served and taught us so well over these last seven weeks. Particular thanks go to Joel Edwards and Owen Hylton, our guest speakers, who each brought such helpful words.

Thank you to our fantastic creative staff team, who spent so much time and energy producing the rich content for us to discuss around tables.

Thank you to everyone who has shared their story and engaged in discussion.

Thank you to the numerous people who have extended hospitality and welcomed others into their homes to share meals.

And thank you to all who have travelled this journey with us. In many ways, I believe INVITED has been another stage in a longer journey, one that we continue to travel and which will ultimately end when we reach our final destination – when we gather together from every corner of the earth to take our places at the feast in the kingdom of God. We have made much progress, yet I know we still have a way to go. As we continue along this path, let us embrace Owen’s word to us on Sunday, and endeavour to develop at King’s a culture of acceptance, forgiveness, empathy and common identity. “For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility.” (Ephesians 2:14)

This weekend we mark the end of this series with a time of celebration. We are asking people to come in national or smart dress. I will be wearing my suit and tie, which is my culture’s dress for important moments of thanksgiving and celebration. We are working on a few creative ideas to help us celebrate, so I can promise you that this is another Sunday at King’s not to be missed.

So let us gather together as family this Sunday, and celebrate.

Everyone is INVITED.


All the material from the series is available online at kingschurchlondon.org/invited.


Steve Tibbert

Posted by Steve Tibbert
09:30


2nd March 2017

Our INVITED series

We are now more than halfway through our seven-week INVITED series, looking together at the important issue of diversity. It has been fantastic hearing lots of positive reports from people across the church about the Sunday teaching, the testimony videos, the daily devotionals reading through Acts and learning from the early church's experiences, and time spent in groups, sharing stories and discussing the material week by week.

It was a real privilege to have Joel Edwards speaking this last Sunday on the important topic of trust, and I'm really looking forward to us welcoming Owen Hylton on Sunday, 12th March. Owen is a former elder at King's and author of Crossing the Divide – A call to embrace diversity, which I highly recommend to you.

If you have missed any of the Sunday teaching or the group interviews, they're all available on our INVITED webpage. Each week we've also had members of the church sharing their experiences of diversity which have been enlightening and moving. This week there will be two contrasting stories of reconciliation and forgiveness – Paul's and Cindy's. These will go up online next week along with the previous ones that are already on the webpage.

Let's keep sharing our stories, stepping across the divides and meeting up with others from different backgrounds for meals/to chat. And I do hope you'll join us this Sunday – Phil Varley is speaking on the important topic of forgiveness and we'll be coming to God's table, breaking bread together at all meetings.


Steve Tibbert

Posted by Steve Tibbert
16:34


19th January 2017

Invited

In a few weeks’ time, we begin an important and exciting new series at King’s called INVITED, where we will be exploring some of the challenges and opportunities that come when trying to build a diverse church.

My preparation for this series has caused me to reflect again on what I have learnt about diversity in the 21 years I have been leading King’s. When I first came here, I thought we were already a very mixed congregation. Looking around the room then, some 10-15% were from the black community, predominantly first and second generation Caribbean, and the majority of the rest were white British. Fast forward two decades, and it is a very different picture. A recent church survey, conducted at King’s last year, showed that we are 60% black and 40% ‘other’. Roughly a third of that 60% are black British, another third from different African nations (mainly Nigeria), whilst the other third are from a Caribbean heritage. And if you came to our 11.30am service on the Catford site, our largest and fastest growing, it would be at least 90% black.

I love being part of a church like ours! I love meeting people from different cultures, whose background, life experience and outlook may be very unlike my own. But there are times when it can be a challenge – it is easy to misread and misunderstand one another and I know that I have made many mistakes over the years.

In the last two decades I have been on a steep learning curve. I realised fairly early on in this journey that I tend to see things through a white British lens. The moment a young black woman commented to me that she had never been in a ‘white majority church’ before (but I thought we were so diverse!) was a significant moment. I suddenly realised that from her point of view that is exactly what we were – and that in coming to us she was stepping out of her comfort zone. I wonder what it is like for people joining King’s now?

I am excited about this series. I know that I still have much to learn about diversity and I believe INVITED presents a great opportunity for us to continue to learn together, gain greater understanding of one another, and build closer community. To make the most of the series, we are encouraging everyone to do four things:

BE AT CHURCH EACH WEEK – it’s only seven weeks, but if you miss a week you can listen online or via the free King’s app.

BE PART OF A GROUP – a great place to make friends and discuss the topics. Sign up online or go to the Welcome Desk on Sunday – places are filling up fast!

EAT TOGETHER AND SHARE YOUR STORY – whether it’s a meal or just a coffee, we encourage you to meet up with others from different backgrounds to ask questions and listen to each other’s stories.

READ THE DAILY DEVOTIONALS – Join with others from across King’s to read through the book of Acts together. The INVITED booklet will be available to buy from this Sunday.

From this Sunday, we will also be selling Owen Hylton’s excellent book, Crossing the Divide. Owen was a pastor at King’s and now leads Beacon Church in Brixton. He will be speaking one Sunday during the series, and we are encouraging people to read his book to explore this subject in more depth.

INVITED starts on Sunday 5th February, and in the meantime, we continue with the excellent Devoted series. I hope you are enjoying it as much as I am, and I look forward to seeing you this Sunday.


Steve Tibbert

Posted by Steve Tibbert
11:20


Steve Tibbert leads King’s Church London, with sites in Catford, Downham and Lee. Over the past fifteen years the church has seen continued growth, both in size and diversity. Steve is also involved in Newfrontiers and regularly coaches other lead elders. His book, Good to Grow, was published in July 2011. He is married to Deb, and they have three sons.

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