1st December 2016
When I first felt a call to full-time ministry during my 20s, I had little idea of the many varied places to which God would take me over the years. Just two weeks ago, Deb and I were visiting a high security women’s prison in Harare. We were there to see a fantastic pre-school run by River of Life Church for the prisoners’ children – a beautiful example of mercy being shown in a very deprived and challenging setting. Then last week we found ourselves having dinner in the rather grand setting of The Peers dining room in The House of Lords – this is certainly a life of contrast at times!
We were at The House of Lords with The Richmond Group, a relational network of church leaders from across the UK, at the invitation of the Bishop of London. This was the second time Deb and I had attended the annual gathering of this group, although dinner at The House of Lords was a first for most of us! Our two days together were once again hosted by Nicky Gumbel from HTB, Gary Clarke from Hillsong, and Pastor Agu from Jesus House. After an interesting afternoon sharing news, praying for each other and discussing some of the current issues facing the church in the UK, we all smartened ourselves up a bit before making our way across Westminster Bridge to spend the evening at The House of Lords. It was a fascinating night and I enjoyed hearing from Richard Chartres, Bishop of London. It was great to be in a room of leaders from a wide spectrum of churches, joined in our desire to see gospel expansion across this nation.
The following morning the group were once again invited to Lambeth Palace by Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury. As I have said before, he is a gracious man and an impressive leader, with many challenges before him. Please do remember to pray for him and his family.
It has been a hectic few weeks, what with the trip to southern Africa followed immediately by The Richmond Group, and I have returned to find that Christmas is well and truly upon us here at King’s! Once again, King's Christmas Trees is raising money through tree sales for the ongoing work of the Jericho Road Project, and I understand that Big Red Box has already filled 484 hampers, which will be distributed to families in need. These are two excellent projects which serve some of the most disadvantaged in our community – do get involved if you have not already done so.
The theme for our carol services this year is Light of the World, and it promises to be yet another outstanding King’s event. Our carol services present one of the easiest invites of the year for friends and family, so can I encourage you all to be thinking about who to invite? Free tickets for all services will be available for collection at all sites on Sunday and there's more information at kingschurchlondon.org/christmas.
Posted by Steve Tibbert
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.