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22nd September 2022

Vision Sunday - Let's Do This Together

King’s continues to recover from the legacy of Covid, and I am very encouraged by the strong start we have made to the new church year. We had a remarkable Sunday last week when we baptised 23 people across our four sites. God is at work transforming lives.

This Sunday, 25th September, I am looking forward to speaking at our Vision Sunday, and I am asking everyone at King’s to make every effort to be there. I will be preaching out of Acts 2, which I hope will inspire us to rediscover God’s heart for the church as his primary agent for the Kingdom of God.

Although we have much to be encouraged about, King's, like many other churches in the nation, faces real challenges as we rebuild. For our recovery to continue, we are going to need your time, treasure and talents more than ever. As you will hear me say on Sunday, we can only do this together.

We have endeavoured to pace our return following this once-in-a-century global pandemic, but now I appeal to each of you to fully reengage with church life. If you are able to come to worship in-person, then come to one of our venues and worship with God’s people - make the decision to step back into fellowship. Our serving teams continue be stretched. Let’s serve one another and rebuild the church community spoken of in Acts. It will require a massive team effort - we need you all to play your part.

I thought you would be encouraged to know that over the last two church years, King’s has given away £688,000 to ministries outside our local church community. These include food projects, JRP and the Love Your Neighbour initiative; vital relief projects delivered through partner churches in Kenya and Zimbabwe; financial aid for our Ukrainian brothers and sisters, driven from their homes by war; and support for our global church family, Newfrontiers. We plan to give away another £200,000 in this coming year.

However, your consistent, generous giving is even more important now. We are all facing increased costs, and we are all having to make decisions on the priorities for our finances. The increased pressure on our incomes brings a fresh test to our togetherness. We will need to remember the Bible’s teaching of giving from our first fruits. We must continue to steward the resources God gives us. I will be talking more about this, and the challenge we are facing, at our Vision Night on 27th September. I encourage all of you to come along to this as well.

Our collective response over the coming months will determine whether we continue to move towards the fulfilment of the vision God has placed upon us. I look forward to seeing you this Sunday, 25th September, for our Vision Sunday. Let’s do this together.


Steve Tibbert

Posted by Steve Tibbert
12:00


15th September 2022

Baptisms

I have been greatly encouraged by the last few weeks at King’s, as people continue to return to in-person services. In fact, our numbers have now returned to around 85% of what they were pre-pandemic, while some 200 people are joining us online each week. After the challenges of the last two and a half years, it’s still a joy to just be in the room with God’s people again. There’s a reason Paul exhorts us in Hebrews 10:25 to not give up meeting together – he knows that when we come together, we are encouraged.

A lot has happened in the UK in the last few weeks: the death of the Queen, the awful shooting of a young black man, Chris Kaba, by a police officer in south London, a new Prime Minister, and a looming energy crisis, which could plunge families and businesses into severe financial difficulties. It’s a lot to deal with. At times like these, it’s important to make time to keep drawing close to God, to remember that we stand on solid ground. Our hope and security is placed in Jesus, who rules and reigns and is sovereign over all.

Let’s also encourage one another by continuing to meet together. In fact, if you have not yet made it back to in-person services at King’s, this would be a great week to take that step. On Sunday, we have baptisms at all of our sites and more than 20 people will be bearing witness to their new-found faith in Christ. God is on the move! He is regathering his people.

So I hope you will join me this Sunday as we come together to worship Him. I look forward to seeing you there.


Steve Tibbert

Posted by Steve Tibbert
19:00


8th September 2022

A Changing Context

I've had the privilege of leading King's for over 27 years. At the beginning of 2020, we were growing both spiritually and numerically. Then Covid hit.

As John Maxwell says, momentum makes leaders look better than they are, and lack of momentum makes them look worse. Covid was a massive momentum stopper.

Thankfully, two and a half years on, life is more or less back to normal for most of us. However, there is no doubt that much has changed since March 2020. I love what I do, but I have never known a more demanding time to be leading God’s people than right now. At the start of this new church year, I have been reflecting on what some of these challenges might be. Let me give you five for starters:

1. The tone of discussions has shifted. There has been a broad cultural shift away from nuance, dialogue and an appreciation of different theological perspectives towards more emotive language and wider polarization of positions. Pastors who are navigating discussions on issues such as race, roles of men and women, or sex and gender, are needing to do so with great wisdom. The risks attached to entering any debate on these issues, especially in the public arena, are far higher than they were a few years ago.

2. The legacy of Covid on church life. At King’s, our in-person attendance has returned to around 85% of what it was pre Covid. I am still not sure if I should be pleased or concerned that a few hundred continue to watch online each week. People’s willingness to serve has changed, and like many churches we are struggling to find enough volunteers to run key ministries. I find myself wondering if this reflects the wider drift in our culture towards a more individualist and consumerist outlook. Are we asking what we can contribute to our church communities or what we can receive?

3. The cost of living crisis. While many of my friends in other parts of the world live with the daily challenge of high inflation, churches in the UK have been protected from this for a generation. Now costs are up everywhere – housing, energy, food – and time will tell what effect this will have on church giving.

4. The loss of a vision for the church. I know of more pastors who have left ministry or are thinking of leaving ministry than at any other time. On a recent trip to New York, my brother Martin was fortunate enough to get some time with Jon Tyson. He observed that 25 years ago, a young leader would hope to become a pastor; now he wants to be CEO of a justice based charity. I became a Christian in the early 80s, at the height of the church restoration movement. I wonder if some of the passion for building the church has been lost. We must continue to cast a vision for the local church as the primary agent of the kingdom of God.

5. The multiple demands on our time. Each week, probably because of my dual roles leading both King’s and Newfrontiers, I am approached by gifted leaders of God-inspired organisations inviting me to a meeting or an event. These initiatives tend to have a single focus. King’s has benefited from many of these organisations, the CAP course being just one example of an excellent programme we have integrated into our vision to serve this part of London. However, I have limited time. So if I decline your invite, it’s probably because I am already struggling to find space in my week to fulfil what I believe God has called me to do. My lack of comment on a particular issue or attendance at an event does not reflect a lack of interest. It is because, as pastor of a church, I have limited capacity and am constantly having to make decisions on how I use my time.

For me, the call upon my life to build the church and reach the lost has not changed. But there is no doubt the context in which we are ministering has shifted. Let's continue to pray for God's help as we rebuild the church following the pandemic.


Steve Tibbert

Posted by Steve Tibbert
11:00


1st September 2022

Fresh Starts

Let us not give up the habit of meeting together, as some are doing. Instead, we must continue to encourage each other even more as we see the day of the Lord coming.’ Hebrews 10:25

I love this time of year. My children may be past school age, but I still pick up the air of anticipation around the start of the new academic year. Like most churches, the programme at King’s tends to mirror school terms and holidays, so September carries an element of excitement for all that lies ahead in the new year. It’s another opportunity for fresh starts and recommitments.

It’s with that in mind that I am encouraging any of you who have not yet returned to in-person services at King’s to commit to doing so this term. And for those of us who have returned, let’s reach out to any of our friends who haven’t made it back yet, and encourage them to come along. Let this be the term that we commit to meeting again on Sundays with the family of God. Watch the video below for a few more words from me.


Steve Tibbert

Posted by Steve Tibbert
10:00


Steve Tibbert leads King’s Church London, with sites in Catford, Downham, Lee and Beckenham. The church has seen continued growth since the mid-1990s, both in terms of size and diversity.

As well as leading King’s, Steve hosts and leads Newfrontiers, a fellowship of apostolic leaders with hundreds of churches around the world.

Steve is married to Deb. They have three grown up sons and one grandson.

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