13th June 2019
Some years are uneventful, with seasons coming and going – others have a turning point that defines everything. This last year has been one of those eventful years at King's, with the launch of the Beckenham site from Catford and the opening of the 1.30pm meeting. The drive to Reach others with the good news of Jesus has led us to recruit many new volunteers to replace those going to Beckenham and to serve the 1.30pm meeting. It’s been exciting to see people willingly step up and get involved in a team or take responsibility for leading a team. In our children’s and youth work alone over forty people have started serving this year. We’re so grateful for every person who serves and makes mission possible – they are an answer to many prayers. Their serving has meant the Beckenham site is flourishing, new people have been welcomed at the 1.30pm every week since it opened, and the 9.30am and 11.30am meetings have also stayed healthy.
Reaching out isn’t just for Sundays – the Catford building is busy all week! Alpha runs each term – we praise God for people finding faith for the first time, and prodigals coming home to God the Father. Many of those who got baptised over the year trace their journey of faith through Alpha.
Our community-focused ministries such as Rainbow Rhymes (for parents and young children), Wednesday Welcome (for older people) and The Feast (for those disadvantaged or rough sleeping) provide friendship and hope week by week across our local community.
This year has been a tough year with violence on our streets. We have had the sad privilege of hosting two funerals for victims of stabbing – with hundreds of people gathering to remember and pray for hope and justice. Our young people desperately need our support and prayers. We have launched a TLG project in a second local primary school and a partnership with XLP, both involving King’s members mentoring children and young people who are under pressure. These projects aim to bring long-term hope. We are also in the early stages of working with several King's members on Restore projects – watch this space!
When we celebrated Diversity Sunday recently and read from Revelation 7 about the great multitude from every nation, tribe, people and language praising God, I looked around and saw an echo of heaven right among us at Catford. (By the way, it also featured a Zimbabwean playing Amazing Grace on the bagpipes – we expect the unexpected at Catford!) What an amazing work of grace to bring so many different types of people together. What an amazing work of grace we have experienced this year at Catford – Praise God!
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.
Please note there will be no blog next week – back as usual the following week.
Posted by Hilary Dalziel
6th June 2019
Back in September, at one of our one-church prayer meetings, Annie Twort, who was a Pastor at King’s for over 20 years, had a prophetic word regarding the Downham site.
She had a picture of a seed being scattered very evenly on the ground in a large field, giving it the best chance of survival. The seed was still there, waiting to germinate in season. Annie went on to explain how this represented huge amounts of seed that have been sown over decades at Downham, affecting two generations. Prayers, acts of kindness, words of comfort and of truth that have been sown and are still being sown. She encouraged us that many of these seeds are not dead but are just lying dormant, and at the right time, they will produce a great harvest.
There is a great legacy in Downham of Kingdom people serving God faithfully and planting seeds. It is how I came to faith, being baptised in our current Downham building over ten years ago! There is a huge gospel legacy at the Downham site, and it is honestly a great privilege to be able to lead there.
Annie’s word for Downham immediately resonated with a number of us at the site, and it is one that we have revisited often at our early morning Friday prayer meetings. It truly feels like these last nine months have been a part of the harvest season Annie spoke about. Although we believe there is more to come, there is no denying that there has been much fruit, and God has blessed us immensely since then.
Not only has there been lots of numerical growth (we recently experienced our biggest ever regular Sunday, with 305 people there!) but there has been much going on in the community, and incredible stories of local people being saved.
We have managed to build fantastic relationships with the local primary and secondary school. They have invited me in for assemblies, and we have partnered with them for our Big Red Box scheme. Rainbow Rhymes, our parent and toddler singing group, continues to draw a huge crowd on Friday mornings, and we have recently launched our first Restore project at Downham: a coffee morning running on Thursdays for anyone who is lonely in the community - it has been going really well.
Our prayer is that we can keep pressing on. Like those who have gone before, we want to faithfully build God’s Kingdom in South East London. We want to keep sowing, planting and watering, trusting that God will make it grow and bring about a great harvest.
We long to reach more people with the good news of Jesus Christ and see hundreds of people in our community impacted. I’m excited about the year ahead and, as ever, am full of hope that God is building his church, and nothing can stand against it!
Joe Macnamara is a pastor at King’s and has been leading our Downham site since September 2018.
Posted by Joe Macnamara
30th May 2019
‘After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.’
I am looking forward to speaking out of Revelation this Sunday at King’s. It is also Diversity Sunday which is always a highlight in our church calendar for me. As usual, we are encouraging everyone to come in national dress or, if you do not have one, to dress smartly or in the colours of your nation’s flag. I will wear my suit—a rare event!
Cultural diversity is a feature of the New Testament church and a high value of King’s—we are a church made up of people from many different cultures, nations and backgrounds. In 2017, our Invited teaching series focussed on this important issue, and you will find some helpful resources from that series on our website. As we approach Diversity Sunday, I thought I would post a video interview Charles and I did at the beginning of the series.
I love being part of a church that is so diverse. I love meeting people from different cultures whose background, life experience and outlook may be very unlike my own. As I was reading the passage above in preparation for my message, I reflected what an appropriate verse it is for Diversity Sunday. Revelation paints a picture of heaven where 'a great multitude that no one could count from every nation, tribe, people and language' will be joined in worshipping Jesus. As we come together at King's this Sunday, let's take this opportunity to celebrate and appreciate our cultural differences and our unity in Christ. I look forward to seeing you there.
Posted by Steve Tibbert
23rd May 2019
In 2013, Phil Varley, our Associate Pastor, and I had a breakfast meeting we would not forget for a long time. We had arranged to meet Rich Nathan, who leads the largest Vineyard church in the USA in Colombus, Ohio. It regularly gathers 10,000 people each week and we were looking forward to seeing what we could learn from him.
The conversation was going well until he started asking some probing questions about King’s planning cycle:
“When do you discuss the aims for the church year with your senior leadership team?”
I replied confidently that we take our team away each September to agree on goals for the year ahead. It went downhill from there!
Rich was unimpressed. “Why do you take all your key leaders away at the beginning of the new church year, when you need your full focus at a key growth moment in the church?” My confidence began to ebb away. He continued with a series of quick-fire questions:
“When is your budget year?” My answer of April to March left him looking puzzled.
“So, your financial planning cycle is not linked to your church year?” By now I knew I was out of my depth. In a few moments, he had discovered that we were taking our key staff away at the wrong time of year and that there was a disconnect between the setting of annual goals and the setting of the budget. Things were about to get worse:
“Then how do your site leaders and department heads integrate their aims for the coming church year with the overarching aims of the church?”
Ouch! My cover was blown. It’s a breakfast meeting I will never forget.
As a result of that meeting with Rich, we reworked the whole planning cycle at King’s. We still take the senior staff away for a week, but we now do it in May, agreeing the objectives for the year starting the following September. This year we have five key goals and we spent the majority of our time in France last week discussing and finalising them. On Tuesday I presented them to the rest of our fantastic staff. Over the next few weeks, senior staff will be writing papers detailing the objectives for their own department or site, in line with the five key goals agreed last week. And yes, following that infamous breakfast meeting with Rich Nathan, we have now reworked our financial budget to run from September to the following August to correspond with our annual goal setting.
These adjustments have ensured that all of us – elders, trustees and staff – are working from the same page.
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.