17th June 2021
I am extremely grateful that King’s invests in its pastoral team by offering a twelve week sabbatical every seven years. It’s probably one of the main reasons I’m still serving as a pastor in the local church. During my three decades of pastoral ministry, I have taken several sabbaticals and have found them invaluable for restoring my spiritual and emotional health. However, the first couple of days back in the office following the break often leave me with a headache, as I absorb three months’ worth of pastoral news in one go – that’s twelve weeks of news, both good and bad. It’s a lot to take in at once.
Across the summer, we hope to emerge from any form of lockdown and increasingly move from being a church that meets online, to being the gathered people of God meeting in person. But I suspect one of the greatest challenges as we come back together, will be hearing 15 months of pastoral news in a very short period of time. To differing degrees, it is likely that we will all experience what I have felt on returning from a sabbatical.
The lasting impact of Covid on church life will take a while to fully understand, but as the church begins to regather in the coming months, we are bound to discover that some of our friends have moved on. At the same time, many new people who have joined us online are now beginning to attend our in-person services. Last Sunday alone, I spoke to ten visitors who have been enjoying our online services and are now coming along to one of our venues.
It’s worth being aware that pre-pandemic, we estimated that in any given year around 200 people would join King’s and around 100 would move on. This constant movement of people, saying goodbye to old friends and welcoming new ones, is part of the natural ebb and flow of life in a growing church. As we come back together, we will begin to notice 15 months’ worth of movement in one go. That’s a lot to take in at once. My counsel to you is not to worry too much if you get a headache - I promise it will pass quickly.
Posted by Steve Tibbert
10th June 2021
As a teenager, I once asked my mum what the pastor of our church did all week, because as far as I could see, he only worked on Sundays. I think I imagined he spent Monday to Saturday playing golf! I have now been in pastoral ministry for 31 years, and while Sunday is certainly the high point of the week, I now know that most pastoral work takes place outside this and is largely unseen.
At King’s we are fortunate to have a wonderfully gifted and committed staff team, who I obviously meet with frequently. However, two key leadership meetings I attend each month are with our elder and trustee teams. Our monthly elders’ meeting took place online this week. Our subject matters included an ongoing discussion about the issue of race and justice, and we looked again at a draft questionnaire which will facilitate a listening exercise within King’s during the autumn term. Another agenda item was around staff culture and the care of our staff as we emerge from lockdown. The other important monthly meeting is our trustees’ meeting, which I attend but is chaired by Simon Linley, who is not on staff. This is a more formal meeting, with reports on expenditure and giving, debt management, HR and safeguarding and buildings. The work of the trustees is a part of church governance which is rarely seen but is critical to the health and care of our family.
We are privileged at King’s to be served by such excellent staff, elder and trustee teams, and we value your ongoing prayers.
Posted by Steve Tibbert
3rd June 2021
This week, a short video update about our plans to rebuild and regather the church over the next few months.
The church is the primary agent of God’s kingdom. We believe in the importance of the gathered church, God’s people. As restrictions are lifted, vaccinations are rolled out and the number of Covid cases remains relatively low, we will continue the journey back to our normal church experience. I appreciate there are lot of changes happening at the moment, so here’s a quick summary of our plan for in-person services for the next few months:
Sunday 6 June – Kid’s family services, 9.30 and 11.30, Catford, Downham, Lee (book tickets here)
Sunday 13 June – Regular adult services, 9.30 and 11.30, Catford, Downham, Lee (book tickets here)
Sunday 20 June – Kid’s family services, Catford, Downham, Lee (tickets available from Sunday 6 June)
From Sunday 27 June – Regular adult services each week at all venues, with kids’ ministry available (tickets available from Sunday 13 June)
Of course, online services will continue for those of you who are not able to attend one of our venues just yet, but I want to encourage all of you who feel comfortable to start returning to our in-person services. I look forward to seeing you there.
Posted by Steve Tibbert
27th May 2021
I was talking with Scott Marques on the phone this week and we began by hearing about what we had each been doing over the weekend. I told him that on Saturday I had been in Milton Keynes delivering a day’s teaching on leadership for the Catalyst training course. When he quizzed me about the content I confessed that I really only have one talk on leadership, most of which he has probably heard many times before. Whenever I speak on the subject, I emphasise the importance of knowing yourself and use material aimed at increasing people’s self-awareness.
During the day, I introduced five key themes from five voices that have shaped my understanding of leadership. These are:
1. Tim Keller’s excellent paper on Leadership and Church Size Dynamics
2. I have always found Belbin’s test on team contributions extremely helpful.
3. The personality types found in Florence Littauer's book, Personality Plus
4. Gordon McDonald’s teaching on the underlying questions in each decade of life, found in his excellent book, A Resilient Life.
5. Jack Hayford’s teaching on Seasons of Ministry, from Christianity Today, 1996
Teaching this material again made me realise afresh that multiple voices have shaped my leadership philosophy. It’s worth asking yourself what voices are shaping you? What are you reading on leadership? Who are you learning from?
THE KING AND HIS KINGDOM
I am looking forward to attending an in-person service at King’s again this week – remember to book a place in advance if you intend to come along. Our current teaching series on The King and His Kingdom continues, and Charles Kimbangi will be speaking. We also have the privilege of watching an interview with Alice Bell, a long-time member of King’s and inspirational servant in God’s kingdom. For those of you who don’t want to wait until Sunday, here’s the full interview below.
Posted by Steve Tibbert
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.