27th July 2017
In my last two blog posts, I have endeavoured to summarise what I shared at the UK Day of Prayer on 5th July. In the first, I talked about how I believe we are still called to be family, and in the second that we should continue to be led by the prophetic. In the final blog of this three-part series, I will share three key areas which give real purpose to our togetherness.
While most of the life and multiplication happens naturally in the newly established households, we will expect to occasionally gather as an extended family at key moments. As I said on the day, coming together in this way brings several benefits:
Firstly, we should never underestimate the power of unity and the value of apostolic fellowship, friendship and accountability. Our togetherness protects, provokes and propels us forward.
Secondly, although relatively small compared to some UK movements and networks, I believe that the 300 churches that we represent together still have a significant part to play within the wider body of Christ. We must not lose our restoration roots, the strength of our collective voice and our potential influence for good.
Thirdly, we must remain open to far greater collaboration between different households. In time, church planting and additional national initiatives could flow out of our partnership.
Lastly, family names are important – they give identity. I believe the name 'Newfrontiers' still opens more doors than it closes.
Newfrontiers is a group of apostolic leaders partnering together on global mission, joined by common values and beliefs, shared mission and genuine relationships.
Posted by Steve Tibbert
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
22nd June 2017
In December last year, I was in a meeting with a number of UK apostolic leaders to discuss and pray about the ongoing partnership between the different spheres. While we were talking, Roger Bye leant across a map of the UK which had been laid out on the floor and stated: “We should gather the leaders of all our Newfrontiers churches in the UK and pray for the nation.”
Six months later, with only 13 days until our national Newfrontiers Day of Prayer for the UK, it is clear that Roger’s suggestion was both timely and prophetic. Our nation is facing numerous challenges in the context of what seems like political impasse: In the last three months we have experienced the shock of several terrorist attacks in the cities of Manchester and London, with another taking place just this week outside Finsbury Park Mosque; following the terrible fire at Grenfell flats, people are rightly asking how something so horrific could happen in this country, in 2017; the political ideologies of tax and spend versus austerity are being discussed at length, with the younger generation engaging in new numbers and flexing their muscle; our nation seems more divided between rich and poor, city and rural, young and old, than ever before. And all this is taking place under the shadow of the beginning of Brexit negotiations which will shape the UK for years to come.
It is in this context that we gather to pray. We will pray for our government and leaders, for peace and protection, for mercy and justice and for the church to rise up to serve and reach our nation. We will pray for a mighty move of God in revival.
The UK Day of Prayer takes place in less than two weeks, on Wednesday 5th July and I am delighted to say that Terry and Wendy Virgo will be joining us. Let us gather as His people and seek Him for our nation. I look forward to seeing you there. For details and booking go to prayerday.uk.
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.