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


2nd February 2017

The Power of a Story

One of the most memorable afternoons in my first year at King’s, was when I sat at the hospital bedside of one of our older members and attempted to talk with him about the prospect of dying. I felt my youth and inexperience – this was not something I had done before, and this gentleman was one of the faithful saints at King’s who had served the church for many years. He began telling me about his life as a young soldier during the Second World War, and how he had made his peace with God as he prepared to cross the Channel, knowing that he may not return. It was a moving and powerful story, and I began to understand how his experiences all those decades ago had helped shape the man he had become.

There is such power in a story. A famous quote from Harper Lee’s 'To Kill a Mockingbird' says that, ‘You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view…Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.’ Hearing someone’s story enables us to do just that – to take time to stand in their shoes and see things from their perspective. We cannot really know a person or understand them until we have heard their experiences.

This Sunday we begin our important new series on diversity, called INVITED. As part of this series we will be hearing testimonies from different church members, as they share their individual histories and experiences of diversity. You can read Cindy's story below.

During the series, we want to encourage you to share your own stories, and also to take the time to listen to others as they share theirs. One of the ways we can do that is by joining a group – it is not too late to sign up for one. If you have not already done so, let me encourage you also to buy a copy of the booklet accompanying the series, which has daily devotionals and prayer points. Books are available for £3.50 from the Information Desk on Sunday.

I am excited about INVITED, but also aware of the challenges that discussing the issue of diversity can bring. For many in our community, this is an area that carries pain and hurt, and many of us still have a lot to learn. I believe that the church should reflect kingdom values, where all are equal and barriers are broken down. Let us enter this series with an openness to God’s Holy Spirit, a willingness to be challenged and a desire to understand others. I look forward to seeing you all there on Sunday, when I will be preaching and opening the series.






Steve Tibbert

Posted by Steve Tibbert
09:30


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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