27th August 2015
A few years ago I asked an older friend, who had served in full-time gospel ministry for many years, how he had known that God was calling him full-time. He responded by taking a Bible out of his pocket and reading the apostle Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 9: 16:
Yet when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, for I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!
My friend paused. He then said, ‘God had laid on Paul a deep conviction that compelled him to preach. He couldn’t possibly do anything else. How do you know if you are called to full-time gospel ministry? When you know that you couldn’t possibly do anything else!’
Many of you know that last summer I left my job as a PE teacher to join the staff team at King’s. At the time, many people couldn’t understand the decision I had made. Some felt that this was too big a step, that I should work part-time for the school and part-time for the church. Others felt that I had simply made a mistake. But I knew that when I was given the opportunity to join the team, I had to take it - because God had laid on my heart a deep conviction to serve the church. I couldn’t possibly do anything else.
It has been a tremendous privilege to serve King’s over the past 12 months. After all, we are in the business of teaching and proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ to a world that desperately needs to hear about his amazing grace! I have been involved in a number of different ministries: leading a variety of Groups, overseeing the Alpha & New Life courses, leading Sunday services on the Catford Site and co-ordinating our trip to Newday this summer, when we took nearly 100 young people to the Norfolk Showground. It has been a joy to see people’s lives changed by the power of the gospel.
As well as the joys and privileges, I have learned that pastoral ministry can also be costly. I say this because a pastor’s role is primarily to serve others, and not themselves. This has a number of implications and can be difficult at times (as if you weren’t aware already!) but I have tried to follow Jesus’ example, who came not to be served but to serve and give his life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45).
I have learned a great deal about myself and what it means to serve Christ; but I have also learned a great deal about King’s Church and the incredible journey that we are on together. My ongoing prayer is that Christ would continue to be glorified in my own life as well as in the church.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21
Charles Kimbangi is a Trainee Pastor at King's. He helps run Alpha and leads numerous groups. He is married to Amy.
Steve Tibbert is taking study leave and summer holiday and will be back in September.
Posted by Charles Kimbangi
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.