10th September 2015
If you were to travel back in time to 1995, you would discover a world with few mobile phones, slow internet and no euros. We were young back in those days, Deb in her late twenties, me only 32. We had been married just over six years with a boisterous three-year-old Ben and six-month-old Josh. It seems a very long time ago now. In September 1995 we moved from Bedford to Catford.
The church we joined had around 200 in attendance, meeting in a run-down building. It had seen a decade of decline but the remnant were strong and had shown remarkable faith during a period which had been difficult for the church. Following our arrival there was slow progress in the first couple of years, with as many people leaving as joining.
The first five years were demanding. There were many sleepless nights at home due to young children, but in the church we gradually started to get some momentum. With our third son, Sam, born at the end of 1999 and the church moving into a refurbished building in September 2000, London was feeling like home. It took us a few years to establish our roots, but by the time we moved into the new building both our family and the church had a strong foundation from which to move forward.
Over the next five years the church started to grow steadily and by the beginning of 2005 it had grown to a size similar to the one we had left a decade ago in Bedford. Hindsight is a wonderful thing - little did we know what God was about to do amongst us! Those first ten years had been early steps, childlike steps. Now we were about to enter the teenage years in our household and see a period of growth and maturity in the church. By 2015 King’s had experienced remarkable growth, growing by another 1,000.
It is difficult to summarise that decade of ministry in a single paragraph. One meeting that became two, then three, and ended with us as a church meeting across three sites with six meetings; a mercy ministry launched and people being saved every week – these are just a few highlights. The opportunity to purchase the massive building at Lee and the move to become a multi-site church in March 2011 changed the church we had become and laid a new foundation for all we will see together in the future.
So now King’s enters its adult years, full of potential and promise. Only God knows what is before us. He calls us to follow Him with eyes and hearts full of faith, daring to believe the best is ahead. But as we look back we also look to the future. I believe we have been given an opportunity and the responsibility to serve God in our generation, just as King David did. Who knows what the next decade will bring? Only God!
We are very grateful to God that He called us to London; we are very grateful to Him for all the blessing we have seen in our own family and in this, our church family; and we are very grateful to you as well for your part in this exciting journey. Whether you are new to King’s or have been here for many years, I hope you’ll enjoy this term and the year ahead. And I hope also that you will take the opportunity to come this Sunday to give thanks for all God has done here, and pray for all He has in store. Only God knows our future, and in Him we put our trust, for His name and glory.
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.