12th September 2019
I’m known for being a planner. I like to set my diary weeks, months, even years ahead. Meetings, preaches, preparation time, evenings off, all of these are in my diary well into 2020, some as far as 2021, and holidays are booked at least twelve months in advance. But sometimes, despite the best of intentions, life doesn’t go according to plan.
On Monday morning I visited my dentist, expecting to be told I would need some minor treatment for a niggling problem. I was not expecting her to say, ‘Steve, that tooth is cracked, I’m afraid it will have to come out.’ It was not what I wanted to hear, and not the best start to the week. I had things to do, meetings to get to! After a brief discussion about the options available to me, we decided to deal with it immediately. After all I thought, the sooner it’s done, the sooner I can get on with my day. If only life was that simple…
I will spare you all the gory details. Let’s just say things did not go to plan and my dentist was only able to remove part of the tooth. She quickly concluded I would need to see a specialist and made an emergency referral. I was advised to take heavy-duty painkillers and am due to have the rest of the tooth surgically removed under sedation on Thursday morning.
So my week has been somewhat different to the one I had expected. However, I am a firm believer in finding the opportunity in every crisis, and this experience is teaching me that actually, most things can wait a week. I am very grateful to the fantastic team who have covered for me. And I have a new appreciation for dentists – what would we do without them?
Posted by Steve Tibbert
5th September 2019
I love the start of the autumn term in church life. For many of us in church ministry, the first week of September feels more of a ‘New Year’ than January.
Following a ministry trip to Kenya and a week’s holiday in France, it was great to be in the King’s office again this week. Across August, the team is scattered between Newday and annual leave, and at times the offices can feel very quiet. But September marks the beginning of a new season of ministry with everyone back and raring to go, having benefitted from a change of pace. Our staff prayer meeting on Tuesday was a particular highlight this week. As I looked around the room, I felt blessed to be surrounded by such a passionate, committed and gifted team. It was especially good to welcome Phil Varley back from his sabbatical.
Our first preaching series this term is centred around the theme of Home. Andrew Wilson got us off to an excellent start last Sunday, and if, like me, you were away, I recommend catching up with it online. After a few weeks off, I am looking forward to being back at King’s this Sunday as Andrew continues the new series.
Finally, September is a month when we have always had a high number of visitors on Sundays. It’s easy to forget that walking into a new church can be a daunting experience. Let’s keep looking out for new people over the coming weeks and be ready to give them a very warm welcome.
Posted by Steve Tibbert
22nd August 2019
Deb and I have just returned from a fantastic trip to Kenya visiting Edward and Fridah Buria in Meru, a city five hours north of Nairobi and right next to the Equator. It was a privilege to spend time with this amazing couple. We loved learning more about the Kerith movement, which is made up of hundreds of churches across Kenya and in neighbouring nations in East Africa.
Our time was spent visiting a couple of local churches and projects and attending the annual leaders’ conference at Edward and Fridah’s home church in Kambakia, a village on the outskirts of Meru. The conference gathered several hundred (predominantly young) leaders from the Kerith movement, many of whom had travelled long hours by bus to be there. The focus of the conference was mission, and their commitment and passion for the Gospel were impressive. A highlight for us was the worship, which was lively, vibrant and Jesus-focussed.
Towards the end of the week, Edward and Fridah told us the remarkable story of how this family of churches began. As we sat in their living room one evening, we heard how the church had started with a small group meeting in the room in which we were sitting and grew rapidly following a revival in their village. The church that started in a living room now meets in a 1000-seater building down the road; the church birthed in a village revival now reaches thousands across Kenya and beyond!
This visit to Kenya has been yet another reminder of God’s love for people. He is about a great work across the nations, calling many to His name. Let’s keep sharing the Good News of Jesus and praying for God to move in revival again!
There will be no blog next week as I will be enjoying a short holiday, but I’ll be back the week after that.
Posted by Steve Tibbert
15th August 2019
Forward planning is something I do quite instinctively, but my experience of managing others has shown me this does not come naturally to most of us.
If you are aware of the Myers Briggs personality test, you may know that this can be a particular challenge for those with a ‘P’ (Perceiving) preference in their decision-making processes. People with this preference (such as my wife!) like to have as much information as possible before making a decision, leaving them free to be flexible and responsive. Or as I like to put it, not wanting to commit in case a better option comes along! Joking apart, these are good qualities, but make planning and committing your diary in advance a problem. You won’t be surprised to learn that I have a ‘J’ (Judging) preference in my Myers Briggs – I like to make decisions quickly and have things settled in advance. Deb is always encouraging me to enjoy the moment and not spend so much time thinking about the future!
When we have busy lives with multiple responsibilities, I believe detailed planning is essential. It is important to pause from time to time, step back and take a moment to look ahead. This morning I was asked if I could speak at a seminar next January. I immediately got my diary out and was delighted to be able to accept, knowing that I have already pencilled in my other commitments.
These are some of the key principles I take into consideration when planning ahead:
1. Days off and holidays are first to go in.
2. Date nights with Deb are next.
3. Local church responsibilities go in after this.
4. Any ministry outside King’s fits in around what is already in the diary.
I give priority to family and home church responsibilities over any outside or trans-local ministry. Once these have been met, I then have the freedom to serve churches beyond King’s, following boundaries agreed with both Deb and the elders and trustees.
Whatever our personality preferences, whether we like to be very ordered or more flexible, I believe some good planning helps us meet our responsibilities and avoid overcommitting.
Posted by Steve Tibbert
Steve Tibbert leads King’s Church London, with sites in Catford, Downham, Lee and Beckenham. 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.