9th August 2018
It almost sounds cliché, but if there’s anything I’ve learnt from my time as a Trainee Pastor thus far, it’s that one must know his/her God. It sounds simple on the surface, but I mean it, this has been the greatest lesson – learning to know my God.
Before starting as a Trainee Pastor at King’s, I had worked in investment banking for three years. And though I was a follower of the Lord Jesus, and already serving within the church, I realise now, that for the most part, my service was at my convenience and in areas of my preferred choice. Now I do believe that comfort is good at times, and that gifting is important when considering where to serve, but when all you do for God and His people, is solely dependent on what brings pleasure to yourself, then something is wrong.
Part of my role, when I started as a Trainee Pastor, involved setting the chairs for a Sunday morning. And in all honesty, this was tough, as I had conjured up many reasons why I shouldn’t be the one doing it. But in those moments, the Holy Spirit reminded me that the Lord Jesus went out of His way to serve me, and not in an easy manner, but by ultimately paying the price for my sin, by His death on the cross. I concluded in that moment that knowing God meant serving Him and His purposes, even at the expense of my own convenience and preferences.
But not only that, I’ve come to see that knowing God must be my utmost priority when it comes to the relationships I forge. The title ‘Pastor', let alone ‘Christian’, brings to mind various expectations. Most of all, the notion that I should have something of worth, from God, to give to His people is likely foremost. And though true, I have been struck with the humbling reality, that if I don’t know the Helper Himself, how can I provide any help for those in need? If I don’t pray, how can I teach others to pray? And if I don’t know God and His promises, how can I start to teach others about such matters?
I am still on a journey, but I thank God for what He has done so far. Through my experiences as a Trainee Pastor, He is calling me away from hypocrisy and into deeper knowledge and fellowship with His Son. And do you know what’s stark about this? This calling isn’t just for me, for Trainee Pastors, or for others involved in church ministry. But for all those who believe and claim the name of Christ.
Therefore, ‘this is what the Lord says: “Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches, but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the Lord.’ (Jeremiah 9:23-24)
Moses Nwanji has been a Trainee Pastor at King’s since September 2017 and is based at the Catford Site. He is married to Francesca and they have a baby daughter.
Posted by Moses Nwanji
2nd August 2018
I’ve recently reread some of the stories in the book of Acts about how the first Churches started and grew. They faced many challenges and their members and leaders were often moved on by persecution or the call to share the good news across the Roman Empire. In the short period of the book of Acts, the church experienced many changes.
As I reflect on the last year at the Catford site and look ahead to the coming year, I see a lot of change happening. Some of it is totally positive – who hasn’t been excited to see Moses, Jason and Gary (new staff members) step into leadership and service – they have done so well. Gary has finished his one-year internship and is looking to work in research, but Moses and Jason will continue working at King's, growing in their pastoral gifts. We have also seen many volunteers step into serving. Thank you – without you King's would not be King's! Week after week new people continue to join us.
There has also been the joy of changed lives month after month. One hundred and forty nine people have attended Alpha this year - forty eight have put their faith in Jesus for the first time since September at King's, many others have recommitted themselves to love and serve Him, others have been baptised. We rejoice in what God is doing in people’s hearts - we set the scene, but it is the work of the Holy Spirit within that truly changes people. Hallelujah! Let’s never lose the joy of being part of God’s life-changing work.
The last year has not been without challenges and loss though: Annie Twort, who served on staff at King's for many years, retired; after much prayer and deliberation we have closed the 5:30 meeting; our work among the disadvantaged is growing, a sign that all is not well on our streets; people within our community have lost loved ones to knife crime; many amongst us face the pressures and difficulties of life in the city.
The call to serve London and spread the good news of Jesus Christ, building a community of all kinds of people changed by the love of God is as pressing as ever. That’s partly why we have chosen to regroup and pull everyone back into the morning meetings, ready to launch a new site in Beckenham this autumn. We want to reach more people for Jesus. We know at Catford sending over a hundred people to the new site will call for many more to step into serving – but we must continue to look outward. The harvest field is there – ripe and ready. We pray God will continue to draw new people to us, so we are planning a third meeting at Catford in the New Year. Change is coming! The gospel is spreading – let’s take every opportunity to play our part.
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
26th July 2018
The Lee site began in March 2011, when Phil Varley led a group of around 160 people over to the newly purchased Lee building to begin meetings on a Sunday morning. This, along with the simultaneous launch of the Downham site, was the start of King’s multi-site journey.
Since that time, and after a significant building project to increase the auditorium size from a 200- to a 500-seater, Lee has gone from strength to strength. From an initial group of 160, the site has grown steadily over the years, and now regularly gathers around 340 on a typical Sunday morning led by Tristan Newman. On Sundays there is a real sense of God’s presence, a buzz of community, and the many new people who visit the site week after week often comment on how friendly and welcoming the site is.
The King’s offices also moved across to the Lee building in October 2016, and the large King’s staff team can now enjoy working in a more spacious environment on the second floor. This great facility has also served us well as a place for people to meet through the week.
One significant ministry to emerge on the site is Rainbow Rhymes, a parent and toddler singing group, which started over two years ago. This draws in many mums (and a few dads) from the community, and for many this is their first contact with church. It has taken time, but recently a few of these mums have begun to attend on a Sunday morning, and many friendships are being formed.
Alpha is now a regular fixture on the Lee site and we have run one Alpha course a year for the past five years. We have seen a good number of people attending each year, including one of the mums from the school that meets on the first floor of the Lee building. There has been a steady flow of people committing their lives to Christ and getting baptised through Alpha.
There is a good committed core of people who serve the site diligently, both on Sundays and midweek, through various groups and ministries. This group has been expanding, particularly over the last few years, as tens of people have committed to becoming members of King’s.
Our prayer is that, rather than resting on our laurels, we continue, as a site, to reach out, make further inroads into the community, and see hundreds of people reached for Jesus and become His disciples. Though the building is somewhat hidden, we pray that the community that gather there each Sunday will be gloriously visible and well-known, as we spread the fragrance of Christ in all the spheres of influence we are involved in throughout the week.
Andy Floyd is one of the Pastors at the Lee site, overseeing the Welcome Team, Youth, Alpha and Groups for the site. He will be taking on the leadership of Lee from September 2018. He is married to Sarah and they have three young children.
Posted by Andy Floyd
19th July 2018
The year was 1938 and Great Britain was on the verge of what would become known as the Second World War. Along with many others, my great grandma had to move from her inner-city home in Bermondsey onto the recently built ‘suburban’ Downham Estate. In fact, she moved onto Roundtable Road – just 220 metres from the current Downham site!
My great grandma and great grandad with my mum in their garden in Roundtable Road
My nan and grandad's wedding photo at St John's Church at bottom of Whitefoot Lane
Who would have thought that 80 years later, her great grandson would be going there to lead the Downham site as a part of King’s Church London! God had a plan.
In fact, there is a remarkable synergy with my family’s history in Downham. As I said, my great grandma moved there in 1938. Sixty years later, in 1998, my mum became a Christian at what was then Downham Way Family Church. Ten years after that, in 2008, I was baptised (I was only 15) and now, in 2018, I am preparing to lead the site. Who knows what God will do by 2028!
My wife, Sylvia, and I could not be more excited about going to lead the Downham site. As many of you will know, we were previously at the Lee site where we were married last August, and in April this year we joined Downham. It’s been an exciting year to say the least.
We have been made to feel so welcome by everyone and have settled in quickly – we already feel like part of the family. There are some incredible people at the Downham site, who have been serving faithfully for many years – we consider it a privilege and joy to serve alongside them as we press on.
Looking ahead fills me with lots of excitement. If you know the area, then you’ll know there isn’t much in Downham – but the one thing it isn’t short of is people! There is a community there that we want to serve and see come to know Jesus. People often say this, but I am convinced that the best is yet to come in Downham. Let’s pray that the impact we have on the local community is vast, and that we continue to follow the command of Jesus to ‘make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit’ (Matthew 28:19).
Joe Macnamara joined the King's team in January this year and is based at the Downham site. He will be appointed Downham Site Leader in September 2018. He is married to Sylvia.
Steve Tibbert is on sabbatical and will be returning in September.
Posted by Joe Macnamara
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.