13th July 2017
A couple of weeks ago, Deb and I spent a few days in Cornwall with my parents, my brother Martin, and his wife Dawn. Although it rained most of the time, the six of us had a fabulous time together.
Being back in Cornwall brought back many memories for me. When I was a child I spent numerous summer holidays on the north Cornwall coast with my parents and brother, the days spent playing cricket, surfing and building dams on the beach. Years later, when my brother and I were both married with children of our own, we returned to Cornwall for holidays as an extended family, only now Martin and I were the dads building dams and playing cricket with the children while Mum and Dad sat back in the deck chairs and relaxed a bit more.
Three different seasons of Tibbert family life.
As a part of our Newfrontiers Prayer Day last week, I shared my conviction that we can and should draw a parallel between what happens in a biological family and the new season in our wider Newfrontiers family. Just as I left my father’s house and established my own autonomous household when I married Deb, so my eldest son Ben has now married and set up his own home with his wife Alice. When I married, the way in which I related to my father changed – I still valued his advice but I was now responsible for my own family. My relationship with my brother has also changed: as boys, we would play cricket in our family garden for hour upon hour – his top score of 485 will never be beaten! But that has now been replaced by regular phone calls, occasional games of golf and family days – the right rhythm for the season we are now in. How we all relate has changed, but we are still family.
Our church family, Newfrontiers, has been through a huge transitional moment, with sons setting up their own households, their energy rightly focussed on laying foundations for the next generation; sons have become fathers and fathers will have spiritual sons. Each household will have its own style, emphasis, and flavour. This is what happens as new families are established – it gives room for increased freedom, responsibility and multiplication.
In the Tibbert family, as the number of households has multiplied through the generations, it has become increasingly difficult to arrange a wider family day. It requires intentionality, flexibility and long-term planning. The same is true for the Newfrontiers family! Following the UK Day of Prayer last week, our first Newfrontiers family day in six years, I am delighted to announce we are inviting everyone to gather again to pray on Wednesday 20th March 2019 at Westminster Chapel. It may be a long way ahead, but I would like to encourage you all to put the date in the diary now.
These are exciting times! I have always believed that ‘we can do more together than apart’ and I will share more on our prophetic journey in next week’s blog.
Posted by Steve Tibbert
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.