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2nd November 2017

Learning for Life

Over the past month I have found myself in no fewer than three different conferences, each of them presenting an opportunity to learn from others. It began with the Newfrontiers Global 17 conference, which I wrote about last week. No sooner had Deb and I returned from that than we were off to the Richmond Group, a relational network of churches in the UK hosted by Nicky Gumbel from HTB Church. Then this week I have been at Kings Gate Church in Peterborough with some of our King’s team and teams from over fifty other churches, for three days’ teaching on the subject of Biblical generosity. It has been a month of excellent input!

It is a huge privilege to hear great leaders and speakers share their stories of God’s grace and faithfulness. At the Richmond Group we were joined by Brian Houston, Global Senior Pastor of Hillsong. As he spoke I was deeply impressed with his heart, faith and vision. He believes in a big God and listening to him inspired me to believe God for more. At KingsGate this week we heard from Robert Morris, founding Senior Pastor of Gateway Church in Texas, who suggested a difference between preaching and teaching – that good preaching should answer the why question while good teaching should answer the how question. It was a new way of looking at the subject and certainly made me stop and think. Then today we have the joy of welcoming Geoff and Sherry Surratt to spend some time with our team here at King’s. Geoff is one of the leading experts on multi-site church, and we are looking forward to benefitting from his wisdom and insights. Geoff and Sherry have also just published an excellent book called Together, which draws on their experience of ministry and marriage.

I am hugely grateful for these recent opportunities to hear from such highly respected leaders. I have been in ministry for nearly thirty years now, but I know I still have much to learn – I am always looking out for people who are ahead of me. I believe it is important for each of us, no matter how experienced we may be, to continue placing ourselves in contexts where we can keep on learning. This Friday and Saturday, King’s will once again be hosting the GLS Leadership Summit videocast conference, which presents another opportunity to receive excellent input from some of the best leaders around the world – I highly recommend it to all of you! You will find more details here and if you are not booked in already, you can still turn up on the day. Let’s keep learning together!

Steve Tibbert

Posted by Steve Tibbert

21st September 2017

Leading and Learning

For the last few months, Deb and I, together with our Associate Pastor, Phil Varley and his wife Sarah, have been running a leadership development group with some of our young and emerging leaders. There is a great mix in the group, very much reflective of our King’s family – male and female, married and single, racially diverse. Once a month we gather to discuss topics such as knowing who you are, maintaining a healthy life balance and pastoral care. This last Sunday evening I spoke about the importance of stewarding our money well and took the opportunity to show the the video we made earlier this year which sets out King’s values on handling our personal finances. This could have been a rather dry and heavy subject, but as always it turned out to be a fun evening of lively discussion and excellent questions.

I love spending time with this outstanding group of young leaders. It is exciting to see so many high calibre people who are passionate for Jesus, keen to serve the church, and willing to give up their time to learn more. I believe it is vital for all leaders to be investing in the next generation.

This week we are delighted to have Steve and Cindy Nicholson from Evanston Vineyard, Chicago with us again. As some of you will know, Steve is a long-time friend and mentor to me, who has served King’s with his wisdom and insight over many years now. Deb and I continue to learn a great deal from Steve and Cindy and we are profoundly grateful for the time they give to us and the rest of the team here.

I believe all of us in leadership roles should be proactively looking to raise up and equip the next generation of leaders, whilst at the same time ensuring that we don’t stop learning ourselves. My role as a pastor requires me to be both leading and learning. So, my question to you this week is: Who are you investing in and who are you learning from?

We enjoyed another fantastic Sunday at King’s last week, with baptisms at all services. I was so impressed with the testimonies I heard and it was great to see so many visitors there. This week we begin our autumn term teaching series, We Believe, which will explore the core foundations of the Christian faith. It promises to be a fascinating series, and I look forward to seeing you for the opening week this Sunday. For a quick preview, have a look at the video below.

Steve Tibbert

Posted by Steve Tibbert

10th August 2017

Who Has God Used to Shape Your Life?

When I reflect on my journey of faith and leadership, I am aware that God has allowed me to walk alongside many great people. At different points along the way, He has used them to help shape me into the person and leader I have become.

My parents are among the biggest influences in my life, and I thank them for their godly, positive example. After giving my life to Christ in my late teens, my pastor, Peter Ledger, and my youth group leaders, Mr and Mrs Chris, were the first to disciple me. Mr Chris met with me for many weeks and laid a great foundation in my life; Peter Ledger gave me my first exposure to church leadership. I am grateful for the time they gave to me as a young man.

When my local church in Bedford joined Newfrontiers in the early 1990's, I began to be exposed to other gifted leaders, such as David Devenish, Dave Holden and Terry Virgo. I have had the privilege of spending many hours in the company of such people. The time spent praying, talking and sharing lives with such people has undoubtedly made me a better leader.

Steve Nicholson is another person I would count as one of my most significant mentors - his counsel to me as a leader and on the church here at King’s cannot be understated.

So, why not take a few moments to ask yourself: Who am I helping to grow? Who are the main influencers on my life? Let's continue to ask God to bring men and women into our lives who will help make us into the people He wants us to become.

Who has God used to shape your life?

This is an edited version of a blog originally posted on 23rd January 2015. Steve Tibbert is taking a break over the summer and will be back in September.

Steve Tibbert

Posted by Steve Tibbert

29th June 2017

Know Yourself

Last Sunday, Deb and I spent an evening with some of the younger leaders at King’s, talking about personality types. This is a fantastic group of young men and women, and we had a lot of fun doing a couple of personality tests and looking at the results, but amidst the laughter some important insights were emerging.

Knowing our strengths and weaknesses, having a realistic understanding of how others experience us, is vital if we are to work effectively as leaders. Below you will find a blog I posted in 2015 about the importance of knowing yourself. I hope you find it helpful.

'Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.' Oscar Wilde

Last week, I was fortunate to spend a few days at our ‘learning community’ in which leaders from several churches in the UK, the USA and elsewhere gathered for teaching and to spend time together as teams to reflect and plan for next steps. I particularly enjoyed hearing one of the guest speakers, Michael Fletcher. He leads a church of some 5000 people in North Carolina, USA, and I was eager to hear his insights on leadership. What would his advice be for taking your church to the next level? Powerful preaching? An effective outreach programme? Whilst all those are clearly important elements, it was reassuring that his first point was that good leaders know themselves.

The importance of knowing who I am is something I have been aware of for many years now. Of course, on first hearing it can sound a little like navel-gazing. Aren’t we in danger of becoming too self-absorbed, too introspective? Isn’t there a danger that spending too much time thinking about ourselves could prevent us from getting on with the real work of spreading the gospel and building God’s church? Naturally, if all you do is talk about yourself with others, you will soon turn your audience off. But I would argue that having a realistic awareness of who you are, your strengths and weaknesses, will make you a more effective leader in the long term. If spending time understanding yourself is part of an ongoing reflection on how you experience life and how others experience you, then it can lead to significant personal growth.

Recently, another leader came to talk to me about the options for his future. He shared some thoughts and possible paths for ministry and then asked for my comments. I paused for a while, wanting to give good counsel and then answered that at this stage in the process, self-awareness was crucial. To ensure a good fit wherever he ended up, he needed to consider who he is. These are some of the questions I suggested he ask himself: What season of life and ministry am I in? How do I process life? How do other people experience me? What are my primary and secondary gifts? What is my personality type? Having an understanding of all these aspects can ensure that we place ourselves where we are most likely to be effective for God and his church.

This blog was originally posted on 1st October 2015.

Image: Self Portrait in Vienna by Luca Sartoni, used under CC

Steve Tibbert

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.

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