20th July 2017
At the Newfrontiers UK Prayer Day at Westminster Chapel last week, I shared what I believe are some of the key prophetic words over us in this new season of family life.
Jonny Mellor, author of an excellent review of the prayer day posted by Catalyst, summarises these well:
God had told us years ago ‘you can do more together than apart’, and as we gathered to seek God, He gave us a bit more clarity on what this may look like in this new era. John Groves shared a picture of a dry stone wall on a countryside hill. We’re like those dry stones. Not stuck together with cement and even able to be moved around individually if necessary, however, when put together, strong enough to withstand the strongest hillside gale. [Guy Miller] saw the different spheres like Red Arrows planes at an air show: at times, they fly freestyle in all sorts of different directions, but then they come back together to fly in formation.
You can read the full version of Jonny’s review of the Prayer Day here.
I also believe the new apostolic wineskin requires a reinterpretation of the key historic word about us being 'more together than apart' – where in the past this word was applied to churches working together under Terry’s leadership, now I believe it applies to our different apostolic ‘households’ working together.
I believe God is speaking through these prophetic words: we are called to stay together. Next week, a few thoughts on the purpose of our togetherness will conclude this mini-series which follows on from our Newfrontiers Prayer Day.
Posted by Steve Tibbert
13th July 2017
A couple of weeks ago, Deb and I spent a few days in Cornwall with my parents, my brother Martin, and his wife Dawn. Although it rained most of the time, the six of us had a fabulous time together.
Being back in Cornwall brought back many memories for me. When I was a child I spent numerous summer holidays on the north Cornwall coast with my parents and brother, the days spent playing cricket, surfing and building dams on the beach. Years later, when my brother and I were both married with children of our own, we returned to Cornwall for holidays as an extended family, only now Martin and I were the dads building dams and playing cricket with the children while Mum and Dad sat back in the deck chairs and relaxed a bit more.
Three different seasons of Tibbert family life.
As a part of our Newfrontiers Prayer Day last week, I shared my conviction that we can and should draw a parallel between what happens in a biological family and the new season in our wider Newfrontiers family. Just as I left my father’s house and established my own autonomous household when I married Deb, so my eldest son Ben has now married and set up his own home with his wife Alice. When I married, the way in which I related to my father changed – I still valued his advice but I was now responsible for my own family. My relationship with my brother has also changed: as boys, we would play cricket in our family garden for hour upon hour – his top score of 485 will never be beaten! But that has now been replaced by regular phone calls, occasional games of golf and family days – the right rhythm for the season we are now in. How we all relate has changed, but we are still family.
Our church family, Newfrontiers, has been through a huge transitional moment, with sons setting up their own households, their energy rightly focussed on laying foundations for the next generation; sons have become fathers and fathers will have spiritual sons. Each household will have its own style, emphasis, and flavour. This is what happens as new families are established – it gives room for increased freedom, responsibility and multiplication.
In the Tibbert family, as the number of households has multiplied through the generations, it has become increasingly difficult to arrange a wider family day. It requires intentionality, flexibility and long-term planning. The same is true for the Newfrontiers family! Following the UK Day of Prayer last week, our first Newfrontiers family day in six years, I am delighted to announce we are inviting everyone to gather again to pray on Wednesday 20th March 2019 at Westminster Chapel. It may be a long way ahead, but I would like to encourage you all to put the date in the diary now.
These are exciting times! I have always believed that ‘we can do more together than apart’ and I will share more on our prophetic journey in next week’s blog.
Posted by Steve Tibbert
6th July 2017
One of the first events that Deb and I ever attended here at King’s Church was the annual picnic. It was July 1995, and we were visiting one Sunday in preparation for our big move to Catford the following September. Back in those days, the summer picnic was a casual affair, where 100 or so people gathered in a corner of a local park after church to share food, spend time with friends and play some football. I seem to remember my skills on the pitch were pretty good back then!
Today, the summer picnic remains a highlight of our church calendar. But as King's has grown, so has the event. Nowadays we hire a local sports arena for the afternoon in order to accommodate the hundreds of people who come along and ensure that we can provide a safe venue for young children. This year’s picnic is taking place this Sunday, 9th July, from 1pm to 5pm at the Ladywell Arena in Catford. There will be a BBQ, ice cream van, bouncy castles, as well as sports and games for all ages. The event is free – just bring your lunch or some money to buy food. Have a look at the video below for some highlights from last year.
The weather is looking good, and Sunday promises to be another great King’s picnic. Sadly my football-playing days are in the past, but I shall enjoy watching from the sidelines. I look forward to seeing you there.
Posted by Steve Tibbert
29th June 2017
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
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.