13th December 2018
Christmas is almost upon us, and our carol services kick off this weekend, starting at Lee this Sunday at 5pm and 7.30pm. The following weekend we have a further six opportunities to come along, with services taking place at Catford on Saturday and Sunday, and at Beckenham and Downham on Sunday. Please check the website for details of times and venues. As I have said before, these are great events to take your friends, family, work colleagues and neighbours to – every year we have people attend who have never been to church before, and for many it is has been a first step in their own journey of faith. You can help us by collecting tickets for the service you intend to come to – tickets are free and are not needed for entry, but really assist us in our planning.
FAMILY CHRISTMAS SERVICES
Don’t forget we also have a further six Family Christmas services happening – at Catford, Beckenham and Downham this Sunday morning, and at Lee the following Sunday. These are fun events suitable for all the family, and last just over an hour.
We are also busy planning for New Year, and for the first time this year we are ticketing our New Year’s Eve Watchnight services. This is to ensure we can accommodate everyone safely, as last year we were packed to the brim on our Catford site and still had to turn people away – not something we like to do. We have two Watchnight services this year, one at Catford and one at Lee, with 500 tickets available for each. Although tickets are free, you and every member of your party will need one for entry. Tickets can be reserved through the website.
This month is a busy and often tiring time of year. But the carol services are always a highlight for me, a moment to pause and remember the wonder of Christmas. I highly recommend coming along and hope to see you there.
Remember you can find details of everything happening at King's over the Christmas period on our website.
Posted by Steve Tibbert
6th December 2018
As I was driving into work early Tuesday morning, my attention was caught by the sight of a bright planet in the sky with a crescent moon beside it. It was still dark and for once the sky was clear. It was a perfect picture, one which I wish I could have photographed somehow. For a moment my attention was drawn away from the busy day ahead of me, as I reflected on the magnificence of God’s creation. And since we are also approaching Christmas, I was naturally reminded of the Magi following the star in the east to worship Jesus.
I am no expert in astronomy, but a quick Google search tells me the planet I saw on Tuesday morning was Venus. Apparently, it shines brightest in the morning sky in late November and early December and is, according to one piece I read, ‘a star in the east which shines like a modern-day Christmas star’. It is there each year, yet this is the first time I can remember really noticing it. How many other times have I driven to work at this time of year and not seen it?
When something becomes very familiar, we often fail to notice or appreciate it. The stars and planets are there all the time, but I rarely take the time to stop and gaze at them. The same can be true of the Christmas story itself. Christmas has become a secular celebration for the majority of this country, but I suspect most people could give a rough approximation of the story of Jesus’ birth. But for many it has simply become another part of the Christmas season, along with Father Christmas, turkey and mince pies.
This Christmas at King’s we want to offer people a moment to stop and think. We want to invite them to pause and wonder, to ask themselves, could the Christmas story be true? Could it be more than a nice story for children? What if it is, as many of us believe, a true account of God loving us so much, He was prepared to come to us as a human, to live among us and die for us?
I want to encourage you to invite your friends, family, neighbours and work colleagues to come along to one of the eight carol services we are putting on over the next few weeks. We also have six Family Christmas Services, which last just over an hour and are always lots of fun. Carol services are taking place at all four sites and include carols, performance pieces, readings and a short talk. Details of times and venues can be found on the King’s website and invites are available to collect on all sites. They are always fantastic events, and the video below gives a taster of what to expect.
Maybe this will be the year the person you invite stops and wonders. Maybe this will be their moment to start asking those big questions and uncover the true wonder of Christmas.
Posted by Steve Tibbert
30th November 2018
This week Deb and I ordered our King’s Christmas Tree, a sure sign that Christmas preparations at home are underway. We love a real tree at Christmas and it’s great to know the profits from our purchase will help provide meals for homeless and vulnerable people through the coming year. We have also been shopping for food items to contribute to Big Red Box, which distributes Christmas food hampers to local families who might otherwise go without.
An integral part of our vision at King’s is to extend God’s love and mercy in practical ways to those in our community who are hurting or in need. King’s has been running Kings Christmas Trees and Big Red Box for a number of years now, and it is exciting to see how each project has grown and developed. I have asked Alice, our Jericho Road Project Manager, to give us a quick update on how things are going so far this year:
Big Red Box
Once again, we have been overwhelmed by the generous contributions from people at King’s Church and in the local community. With the help of a fantastic group of volunteers, we have already distributed 478 boxes across south east London through our contacts with social services and local charities. Many companies are getting involved and at the end of this week we will be at J P Morgan packing boxes with donations collected by their employees - this year they hope to beat their previous record for number of boxes filled. On Monday, Lewisham Good Gym will be joining us to help sort and pack donations. We also have more schools taking part than ever before and we are looking forward to collecting their donations over the next couple of weeks.
If you would like to take part or donate, you will find more details at bigredbox.org.
King's Christmas Trees
This year marks our tenth year selling trees to fund The Feast and we are hoping to sell 700 this year, beating all previous records—I am excited to report we have already sold more than 400! More trees sold means even more meals can be provided for homeless and vulnerable people in the local area.
Our 700 trees arrived this week, and some have already been distributed to local schools and businesses. To mark our tenth anniversary, we have produced a short video about our work, which you can check out below. You may also like to take a look at this recent Huffington Post article profiling our work.
It’s not too late to order your tree! We have four collection sites in Beckenham, Catford, Deptford and Dulwich, and you can also order for home delivery. Go to our website kingschristmastrees.org for more details.
Posted by Steve Tibbert
22nd November 2018
On Tuesday I had the privilege of spending the day with a young leader called John Harbour. John is due to take on the leadership of King’s Church, High Wycombe, sometime next year when their current lead pastor, Neal Bartlett, hands over the reins after 25 years of very fruitful ministry. Neal is a good friend of mine who has clearly trained his successor well.
Over lunch John and I found ourselves talking about the tricky issue of finding and maintaining a sustainable life balance. This seems to be a question each generation of church leaders returns to again and again. How do we run the race, fulfil all that we believe God has called us to do, without failing to prioritise family life and rest? I have written about this before, but it is clearly something many of us struggle with and is worth returning to from time-to-time.
A year ago, I made a significant change to my weekly rhythm by moving my day off from Monday to Friday. As I have written before, this meant changing a habit that was quite ingrained, and has been common practice among Newfrontiers’ pastors. One reason it works for me is that we now record each week’s preach on Thursday, ready to be shown at some sites on Sunday. I am aware that it does not suit everyone, as most Fridays many of us are focussed on getting ready for the coming Sunday, but for me it continues to be a very productive move. In fact, I have found it to be so beneficial that I have become quite an advocate for it.
After a year of working this new weekly pattern, these are my top five reflections:
1. Having Monday to work means that I am better prepared for the many meetings we have on Tuesday.
2. Friday is a better day for rest, as I have fewer interruptions.
3. Thursday night has become a more effective ‘finishing line’ (everybody needs these!) and, if we are not working Saturday, we get a two-day weekend.
4. Monday now starts with reading, prayer and sermon preparation, a great start to the week.
5. It has led to me feeling more tuned in to God. By starting my week with unhurried time for personal prayer and study, rather than a hectic day of meetings, I am noticing more prophetic leading.
These are all good steps forward for me. Finding and maintaining a healthy life balance is a constant challenge and is something we all need to review occasionally. Perhaps it is worth asking yourself if there are any adjustments you could make to your week which might have similar effects.
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.