I was surprised to be reminded this week that today is actually the third anniversary of King's Church going multi-site. How much has happened in that time! It made me consider the generosity and the sacrifices made by countless King's people over the years - that godly commitment is part of the reason we are where we are today, seeing 1,400 people in our six meetings on our three sites Sunday by Sunday.
We are blessed to have seen such growth. Many worked and gave in faith for a future they could not imagine! And we are called to be a part of the ongoing chain of builders of a future King's Church that will continue to fulfil the vision God has given us - for a church of 5000.
I'm delighted to tell you that the structural work on the new auditorium at Lee is progressing on time and on budget! My thanks to those who have worked so hard to ensure this. Once completed and in full use the Lee site will be an even greater Kingdom asset and enable more effective work among the people of that community.
So, it is without apology that I commend to you our Multi-Site Giving Day this Sunday when we have a target to reach for - £60,000. This is our final giving day for this financial year - please come prepared and ready to give!
Our annual giving review is also taking place this month. It's time for each person who calls King's 'home' to look up and see the possibilities for our future, to come before God and then prayerfully review their giving. We have called this review ‘Taking a Step...', asking everyone to take a step up in their giving, so no matter how much you give to support the work of King's, and by what means, we can ensure that the work will advance. (If you've not yet read the giving review leaflet we've produced, please click here or on the image to download it.)
It's all about taking a step - so that others can step in to the good news of the Saviour who loves them!
Step in and make a start - however small the step, it begins the journey of giving.
Step up and give more regularly and towards 10% - commit to give every month of the year.
Take a further step and give 10% of your income - increase the amount you give.
Step into giving over and above! Give 10%... and then give more in proportion to your income.
Which step will you be taking?
Back in sunny Catford, I'm reflecting on the last couple of weeks spent visiting three great churches in the USA. Phil Varley and I started the trip in California at Saddleback, the church that Rick Warren leads, a church with a Sunday attendance of 25,000. For those of us who attended one of the Stoneleigh Bible Weeks, it was like walking around the showground there - but the difference was this happened every week, and was one church!
Phil and I then travelled across America to visit Vineyard Columbus, Ohio led by Rich Nathan - an impressive church with 9,000 attending on a Sunday. Finally, as Deb joined us in Columbus and Phil returned to the UK, Deb and I travelled on and visited Liquid Church in New Jersey - a multi-site church with over 3,000 in attendance across four sites. While Saddleback and Vineyard Columbus had been brilliant in expanding our vision of what God can do and gave us loads of principles to apply at King's, Tim Lucas and his excellent senior leadership team provided a great opportunity to see a church who are currently close enough to what we hope to see at King's.
Deb and I finished the trip with a couple of days of vacation in the great city of New York, the first time for Deb and my third visit to that great city.
I am now looking forward to implementing all the lessons we learnt while we were away! Of course, it may take a couple of years to get there but it is a privilege to see these great churches preaching Christ and reaching 1,000s for Christ.
All this said, it's great to be home once again, seeing the boys, and joining King's last Sunday on the Catford and Lee sites for Diversity Sunday - it's this Sunday for our Downham site. It's good to travel and it's great to get home!
Phil Varley and I just spent a great few days at Saddleback Church. Among the speakers was Rick Warren - an amazing leader of that fantastic church and a great person to follow...
As a keen bird watcher I once had the chance to follow an experienced ornithologist on a two hour tour. It was amazing to be alongside an expert! I knew enough to not be out of my depth, but in that brief time I learnt more than I would ever have done if I had been there on my own.
As King's has continued to grow, I have had the privilege of coaching many gifted leaders, both in the UK and more recently in India and Zimbabwe, but recently felt the need for a setting in which I could continue to grow too. From time to time I need to place myself and the senior leadership team of King's alongside expert practitioners who are ahead of us on the journey. What is a helpful practice in a hobby has got to be infinitely more valuable when it come to serving the glorious church of God!
So this week four members of our leadership team attended the first block of a series of training days hosted by Leadership Network. Paul Scanlon, Greg Surrett and Larry Osborne were our trainers - it was a real privilege to listen to them and I am sure what we learned will prove valuable resources for our life here at King's. One thing is certain - we will always have more to learn!
This Saturday Phil Varley and I fly to out to the States and to Saddleback Church, having had an invitation to attend the Vineyard Large Church Conference, on this occasion being held at this fantastic church led by Rick Warren. The Saddleback leadership team will be speaking - another great opportunity to benefit from high quality leaders and their experience. We then fly to Columbus, Ohio to visit Rich Nathan's 9000 strong church for the weekend - Deb will join me there as Phil returns to the UK. From there Deb and I continue on and visit a 2000+ strong church in New Jersey with four sites. Our aim is to get as much as we can out of this one trip by visiting three churches and seeing how each of them is dealing with the challenges of growth. I'm looking forward to sharing some of what we learn in due course!
It's good to learn, it's good to find those who are ahead of you and follow - and it's good to grow!
If you needed any further proof of the value of our one-church celebrations then Wednesday night was it! What a great evening. We gathered to praise and worship Jesus and then Andrew Wilson taught us brilliantly from Philippians 4:4, ‘Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say, rejoice!' - a fantastic finale to the month... If you'd like to hear the talk, you can download it here.
Andrew spoke of the need to make joy in God our priority. He showed us the value of joy to us - there were even warnings against neglecting our joy and then he encouraged each of us to find our own way of replenishing it and to turn those means into a regular habit. He gave his own examples of reading the Bible, walking (and choosing the pace carefully!), drinking coffee, singing worship songs, journaling or writing - and I'm sure there are many, many others, as unique as we are all individual. And all delivered by Andrew with great joy! So - what's your joy fuel?
I know we will be living in the benefit of that evening for some time to come. ‘Rejoice in the Lord always - and again I say, Rejoice!' A great encouragement to us as we move into the next term with its busyness and challenges. Already there are some really encouraging signs - 16 new guests at the Lee Alpha at the Café of Good Hope, 67 at the very first Rainbow Rhymes at Catford - both this week. God is good and is blessing us at King's - we should not take it for granted! And just to give us a wider perspective - there were ten rough sleepers at the Feast this week - the highest number Simon Allen and his team have seen on a Wednesday evening...
Our celebration was not the only meeting at King's this week and I commend those leaders and ministry servants who were also at the Leadership Summit on Tuesday evening as I shared some of the future developments for our church. Next Wednesday evening (5th) we have a Vision Night for all the church at the Catford site where I will be talking about some of the challenges of growth and sharing important news that will affect each of our three sites. Please be there for this important meeting if you possibly can - not only to hear what is ahead for us all but also to support your leaders - so that their work will be a joy (Heb 13:17)!
And when the celebration evening was over, yet more joy - Crystal Palace had won 1 - 0!
'To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen. Greet all the saints in Christ Jesus. The brothers who are with me send greetings. All the saints send you greetings, especially those who belong to Caesar's household. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.'
As a way to end a letter these words certainly beat the customary ‘Yours sincerely'! In this glorious conclusion to his letter Paul again gives us hints how to live the Christian life with joy:
Hint 1 - Make God's glory your over-riding aim and goal. What counts most is what brings praise to His name, not what makes us comfortable. Remember Paul's current location - prison.
Hint 2 - Be part of a Christian community and work to deepen relationships between Christian communities. Paul writes of the brothers and all the saints in Rome wanting to send their greetings to those in Philippi.
Hint 3 - Try and discover more of the remarkable things God is doing to spread the gospel. Paul mentions that even people close to the emperor have become believers.
Hint 4 - Finally, pray to experience the grace (the undeserved favour) of Christ - in this we will have His joy, the best advertisement for the gospel!
1. Pray for an abundant crop of the fruit of joy in the life of King's.
2. Pray for those in power in government, business and public service - that they will be reached with the gospel.
3. Give thanks for the impact that God has enabled King's to have in this city, and pray that it will increase in a major way over the coming year.
Please make every effort to be at church on Sunday and to attend
the important VISION NIGHT on Wednesday 5th February, 7.45pm at the Catford site.
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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 also oversees a number of other Newfrontiers churches in the UK. His book, “Good to Grow”, was published in July 2011. He is married to Deb, and they have three sons.
Check out my Leadership Blog here...