14th June 2018
This Sunday is Father's Day and we hope you'll join us in praying this prayer for fathers, which also reminds us about our Heavenly Father.
"A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families." (Psalm 68:5-6)
The video was produced by the Comms Team at King's and is free to download, share and re-use.
Videography by Anthony Hurren and music by Tariq Fernandes. Thanks to Donald Hill for praying.
Steve Tibbert is on sabbatical and will be back in September.
Posted by Brett Melville
7th June 2018
It’s amazing how much the media found to say about the Royal Wedding – whether that fascinated or bored you, it was reassuring to know that every family, however grand, has its challenges!
We had a wedding in the family recently – not quite on the same scale but with all the fun of catching up with relatives we hadn’t seen for a while and getting to know the ‘new’ family that’s joining ours. As the bride and groom made their vows, it was a great moment to reflect on how our marriage is doing. As we ate together with family, it was a reminder how important family is – mum or dad, son or daughter, sister or brother, uncle or aunt – we belong.
On the day of course, weddings are filled with joy, but as a pastor I get to look behind the scenes, meeting with couples to prepare them for the big day. Some couples have been through many challenges to get to their day; for some marriage is a discipleship choice, moving from living together to a lifelong commitment made before God; others are just full of heady optimism as they start the journey of marriage.
William and I celebrate 40 years of marriage this summer. We had no idea what lay ahead when we made our vows – I was still a teenager! We have lived in three different countries (well four counting Wales!), thirteen different flats and houses and one caravan! In it all we can testify to God’s amazing grace and faithfulness over the years. In the frustrations and disappointments, the surprises and successes, our heavenly Father has led us and provided for us. The hardest challenges have been dealing with our own characters and choices. There has been such tender joy when we have chosen forgiveness over resentment, and perseverance over giving up on each other. We can still look each other in the eye and gladly promise to love, honour, comfort, and cherish each other – choosing to be faithful for as long as we both shall live.
If you’re married, why not take a moment to review how you’re doing – what can you celebrate together this summer? Or reflect on your family life – is there someone in your family who would love to get a call from you, a relative you need to forgive or invite round for a meal? Let’s build family in a way that points to the preciousness of human relationships.
As a church we are God’s family, He is our Father, we belong together – every Sunday and group meeting let’s keep intentionally welcoming and including new people into the family.
Hilary Dalziel assists in leading the Catford site and is the main driving force behind Groups at King's. She is part of the Pastoral Care Team, oversees marriage mentoring and organises much of the training of pastoral care staff and volunteers. Hilary is married to William and they have three grown up children.
Steve Tibbert is on sabbatical and will be back in September.
Posted by Hilary Dalziel
24th May 2018
Over the years, I have seen too many pastors go through emotional breakdown. In fact, the pastor of the church where I grew up had two such occasions over the course of his leadership of our 300-member church. The experience of watching this happen made an impact on me, and when I entered full-time ministry myself, I knew I had to prepare to run a marathon, not a sprint.
When a pastor goes through emotional breakdown, recovery can be slow. It brings real challenges, not only for him personally, but also for his family and church. From my earliest days in ministry, I committed to putting certain things in place so that hopefully, I could avoid becoming burnt out. It has been my practice to build in regular periods of rest, relaxation and reflection, by ensuring that the first things to go in my diary are days off, time with Deb, and holidays. In addition to this, our pastoral staff are given a three-month sabbatical every seven years to give them a longer period away from the demands of ministry and allow more time to recharge. As many of you know, my next sabbatical is due and begins tomorrow!
It is actually eight years since my last sabbatical, and a lot has changed in that time. I think I see this most clearly when I compare photos of our boys from 2010, with photos of them today. Back then, Ben, Josh and Sam were aged 18, 15 and 10 and were all still in full-time education. Today, they are 25, 23 and 18; Ben is married, Josh gets married in June and Sam leaves school this summer! As the pictures above show, our family has grown up and expanded!
A lot has changed in the church I lead as well. Since my last sabbatical, King’s has grown by over 600 people. We have also moved from being a church on one site with three meetings, to a multi-site church on three sites with six meetings, and a fourth site being added in October this year. We have been involved in a £6,000,000 building project and Newfrontiers, the family of churches we are part of, has gone through major transition. You could say that King’s, like my family, has also grown up and expanded!
The years since my last sabbatical have been exciting, but they have also been demanding, and I know this is a good time to step back from hands-on ministry and recharge. During my three-month break, members of the King’s team will be posting guest blogs on this page, which I hope you will enjoy.
So, I am now going off-line for three months! I look forward to returning in early September.
Posted by Steve Tibbert
17th May 2018
I am sure we can all think of occasions when we have walked into a venue we have never visited before. I had this experience on Monday when I hosted a dinner for six people. It was an important meeting, and we had arranged to meet in a restaurant that was new to me. I had already checked the place out online, but as soon as we arrived I had a look at the table we would be sitting at. I was greeted by someone as soon as I walked in (always a good start) and shown the table they had reserved for us. I wanted to be sure that it was the right size and located somewhere that would facilitate conversation. I quickly felt the restaurant was a good choice – busy but not overly so, tables spaced to give diners privacy, and with a relaxed atmosphere. We had a fantastic evening, and I am sure some of these things helped.
I am renowned at King’s for being passionate about chair layout in our auditoriums. In fact, I recently discovered that some of my staff have started calling this Steve’s ‘chairology’. I love this! In my mind, 'chairology' is all about helping new people feel comfortable and welcomed so they can experience God.
The experience of walking into a church for the first time is not dissimilar to my experience of walking into the restaurant. Research shows that new people decide if they will return to your church within the first ten minutes of arriving, such is the power of first impressions. How many times have you walked into a restaurant and quickly decided to try and find an alternative? It can be the same with churches – we are remarkably intuitive and can pick up the values and emphasis of a church very quickly. This is where a little bit of chairology comes in!
Here are three reasons why chairs are important:
1. New People
When a new person walks through the door of our church, one of their primary concerns is where they will sit. Will there be enough space for me? Will I feel uncomfortable walking in? Will I have to sit at the front or can I hide at the back? Will it be obvious where I should go? The way we lay out our chairs influences how a new person feels when they enter. You cannot underestimate the importance of having a great welcome team ready to show people to a chair – one which is easily accessible and where they feel at ease.
2. Aiding Corporate Worship
I am passionate about leading a worshipping church, and chairs can influence our experience of corporate worship. On our Catford site, we have three Sunday services, each a different size. At the start of our larger morning meetings, we section off the back chairs and encourage people to sit nearer the front and centre of the room, only using the chairs further back as the auditorium starts to fill up. Our evening meeting is smaller, and so we put some chairs away and rearrange the rest to bring people closer together. We want to avoid having one side full and the other empty, or having a hundred people randomly scattered across a room of 500 chairs. Sunday worship is a corporate experience, and the decisions we make about chairs can either help or hinder this.
3. Maximising our Resources
This is where the 50% to 80% rule comes in. If you have an auditorium that seats a maximum of 500 people, you should avoid having fewer than 250 people or more than 400 in that space – below 250, you will rattle, above 400, it can be difficult to move around. In an urban context such as King’s, acquiring additional space is so expensive that we must ensure we are getting the most out of what we already have. Chair layout has financial implications for a church. Recently, I spent a Friday afternoon with a couple of other team members rearranging the chairs on our Catford site. Not the most exciting plan for an afternoon, I agree, but with some careful thought, we managed to make space for an additional 60 chairs! That is a lot less expensive than hiring another building or launching an additional service. An afternoon well spent!
So it’s not that I’m just passionate about chairs. I’m passionate about making new people feel welcome, aiding the corporate worship experience and maximising our financial resources for kingdom extension.
And that’s why the Senior Pastor of King’s is an expert in chairology!
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.