24th August 2017
It never fails to amaze me how, each year, we put up a big blue tent in the middle of Norfolk and God turns up!
This summer, I attended Newday for the 14th time. Having attended Newday every year since it started in 2004, when I was 11 years old, it has always been the highlight of my year and this year was no different.
This year we took 124 young people from King’s alone, along with 25 youth leaders, eight catering team members and a host of other servers! 22 of our young people also went up five days before the event to lay carpet, hang drapes and put up marquees, ready for 7,000 people to turn up – these young people did us proud as they worked long, hard days!
The vibe on our campsite was excellent, with new friendships being made, volleyball tournaments, water fights and my personal highlight – random explosions of worship and praise in our marquee.
It’s always fun to see our new year 7s attend Newday for the first time. The range of activities, the food available and the freedom to roam and explore, all within a safe environment, is, in part, what make Newday so fun for our young people – with different sports tournaments every afternoon, cafés and the food court, a cinema to chill in, the Rhythm Factory to get your rave on, the Lounge to hear some great live music, and the Extreme – a great new roller coaster-type ride. On the last evening, a load of the youth leaders went on the Extreme and I must confess, I did scream a little bit. Ok, a lot!
As great and fun all of this is, none of it compares to that moment when you see Jesus take hold of a young person’s life – that moment when you see unconditional love break into their hearts, when you see past pains and hurts removed and healed.
20 of our young people made first-time commitments
24 of our young people made re-commitments to Jesus
8 young people now want to be baptised
23 young people have expressed interest in doing Alpha
This is why we go to Newday each year.
This Newday was also special as we had our very own Joe Macnamara, based at the Lee Site, speaking on the opening night in the Big Top. He spoke on having confidence as we approach the throne of grace, and after he spoke some 200 young people gave their lives to Christ on the opening night. On the second evening, our King’s worship team led worship in the big top; what a privilege to stand on that stage and see 7,000 people worshipping Jesus.
If you would like to listen to any of the talks from Newday, you can by going to the Newday website – I highly recommend you do.
Newday 2018 will be from Monday 30 July to Sunday 5 August. Parents, please put these dates in your diary now and make sure your young people get to this event. It has been life-changing for many of us who have gone.
To finish this post, I want to take a moment to say a few thank-yous on behalf of King’s.
To the Newday leadership team – Thank you for building a fun, safe, God-centred event. Every year you review, adapt and make the event better than the previous year. I particularly want to honour Phill Gray, who is stepping down from leading the event, since he took it on in 2012. You have shown incredible passion, integrity, perseverance and character, and we want to honour you for all you have done.
To every server at Newday – Thank you for every toilet cleaned, milk shake made, every carpet laid, every meal cooked, every song sung, every game planned, every prayer said, every early morning and every late night. Heroes!
To the Youth Leaders at King’s Church London – The commitment, skill, resolve and love you showed our young people this year was outstanding. Thank you to every single one of you for taking time off work, praying for the event, sitting and chatting with young people, staying up late into the evening, camping and not sleeping. For those who serve our young people all year round, but weren’t at Newday, a huge thank you to you too. Keep serving, keep praying and keep being an example.
Finally, to our young people at King’s – Thank you for being fun, full of life and energy. Thank you for teaching us leaders how to dance! Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your journey, for opening up to us, being honest with us, praying with us, asking us for help. Our prayer is that you continue to fall more in love with Jesus, that you allow Him to be Lord of your lives, that you find true joy and satisfaction in Him, and that you would serve Him wholeheartedly.
Posted by Neal Glanville
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.