... is the title of a recently released film about a young American Christian who is forced into a series of debates with his atheist college professor on the topic. In order to pass his philosophy course he must win the debates. As the story unfolds, along the way other students and their family members are impacted by the arguments from both sides. I won't give anything else away from the plot - a number of people who have seen it tell me that it is well worth viewing and as I have yet to see the film perhaps it's something to consider for the Easter break... Meanwhile, at King's this weekend we will be celebrating all that the death and resurrection of the historical Jesus, God's Son, has achieved for us! God's not dead, He is alive! He is risen, He is Lord!
At 10.30am on Good Friday each of our three King's sites will be holding a special meeting for an hour, and on Sunday there will be our usual meetings at Catford, Downham and Lee - each celebrating the final part of those first Easter events. There is no need for me to be careful about giving away the ending to that wonderful story! It will be a great day to come to worship, to encourage other believers and also to invite family, friends and work colleagues to come along with you to King's!
I will be preaching this weekend and am looking forward to speaking at our Catford and Lee sites - my title is, ‘Suddenly, Jesus met them...' from Matthew 28:9.
We look forward to gathering together as God's people to celebrate His victory over sin and death and to recognise again so many blessings that He won for us that first Easter. Blessing upon blessing for us - in place of His suffering and death. Hallelujah! What a Saviour!
On the way to the airport for my flight to Turkey on Monday I had a really interesting discussion with my Afghan Muslim taxi driver. Catford is truly a place where East meets West! What followed was a wide-ranging dialogue on the place of mutual respect between differing faiths, the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the on-going conflict in Syria, the place of democracy in a tribal culture - all for starters.
All that was good preparation for the conference I have been attending on the Turkish coast just outside Istanbul - a city and a country where East meets West geographically. It has been a privilege to meet up with senior leaders within the Newfrontiers world, and to spend time hearing of all that God is doing in other nations as well as our own.
My contribution here - I spoke briefly on the importance of rest and leading a balanced lifestyle! I found I was speaking to myself as much as to anyone else in the room - it is important to remember that we are involved in a marathon, not a sprint.
Turkey is a beautiful country, I've been enjoying wonderful views, but sadly the weather has been colder than in London!
Guys! Have you signed up for the Men's Breakfast on Saturday 12th yet? It should be a great morning and I am looking forward to hearing Linvoy Primus and taking the opportunity to discuss with many of you the fantastic victory for my team against Chelsea last weekend... Just be glad I wasn't preaching last Sunday!
Coming up over the next few weeks we have a number of important resources being made available at King's - in diary order:
All of these events can be booked by clicking on the links above where you will find further details.
I have just heard the amazing news that our multi-site offering for the month of March reached £57,000! Grateful thanks to all of you who contributed so generously - it's a privilege to lead such a people, committed to giving to God's work.
Easter is now only three weeks away. It's the time when, with Christians all over the world, we will be celebrating the most important moment in human history - the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. On Palm Sunday (13th April), Good Friday (18th) and Easter Sunday (20th) we will be looking together at the accounts of those days from Matthew's Gospel. Come and Celebrate Easter at King's that weekend - invite your friends, work colleagues and family members to come and hear the good news of God's love for us all!
Deb and I spent part of last weekend investing in the marriages of some of the leadership trainees who have been studying with Mick Taylor. Anyone who has been around King's for any length of time will know that I place a high value on supporting and encouraging all who are married to work at this prime relationship. This is not only important for those in church leadership but for all who are married and so I am delighted to encourage as many as can to sign up for the Marriage Course which begins at the Catford site on Tuesday 6th May.
Many King's couples have done this course already, spending eight Tuesday evenings and one Saturday morning giving their relationship the equivalent of an MOT with the aim of building a marriage to last a lifetime. Each evening begins with a meal at a table for two, followed by a practical talk and then time for discussion between you and your spouse. You can be assured there is no group work and no requirement to disclose anything about your relationship to anyone else. The topics include the art of communication, resolving conflict, the power of forgiveness, the impact of family - past and present - and good sex. The whole course costs £75 per couple which can be paid by instalments and this covers the cost of the meals each evening and the course materials. You do need to book to attend - forms are available at the Information desk on a Sunday - or you can book online at kingschurchlondon.org/marriagecourse.
If you are in a relationship, not yet married but are looking to build a sound relationship on biblical foundations then 'Relationship Matters' is for you. This is a one-day seminar on Saturday 26th April - 9.30-3.30 at the Downham site. This costs £10 per couple with lunch included - limited places are available and pre-booking is required with forms and further details available at the Information desk.
Next week I will be travelling to Istanbul to join other leaders from Newfrontiers churches world-wide - this is a gathering of international apostles for prayer and planning for the future. Please pray for us - that we will hear God speaking clearly and that discussions will be fruitful for the gospel and the continuing growth of the church! What began at that first Easter continues by the power of the Holy Spirit - God is building His Church!
David Devenish is a church leader I have known and respected for over 30 years. Based in the Woodside Church in Bedford, which my brother Martin now leads, David leads the Catalyst network which is a part of Newfrontiers. The Tibbert family links with David are extensive - my father served David as his administrator for a number of years. So it was a real pleasure to travel to Bedford in January to have a breakfast meeting with him and also to be going with David as he hosts the next gathering of the Newfrontiers key leaders in Istanbul in early April. It is my experience that David always provides good counsel!
So, it was great to welcome him to King's yesterday morning where he met with our existing eldership team and in the afternoon joined our pastoral team to speak on leadership development. Occasionally I am asked who we are learning from - who gives input into my own life and into King's. As a church we are so fortunate to have many gifted church leaders who are also friends to give us helpful encouragement and wise counsel! In the last year I have had the privilege to have time with Terry Virgo, Steve and Cindy Nicholson spent three days with our team, David Devenish, Guy and Heather Miller, Greg Surratt and Jim and Daryl Tomberlin have all given us valuable input - probably more so than at any time in the last decade. Jim is one of the leading experts on multi-site church and has been extremely helpful to us over the last couple of years. In that time alone we have benefitted from such expert and helpful input to King's. I believe this is an important principle - that we continue to be open to learn from those who have gone before us; in fact my recent trip to the USA was yet another opportunity to learn from those ahead of us on the path of church leadership.
Does all this stir your spirit? Are you one of those who is faithfully serving God and the people of King's week by week? And do you feel God has a call on your life to help pastor his church and serve alongside the other King's team members? Have you considered investigating the trainee pastor roles we now have? These positions are initially for a one year period and while they will not be suitable for everyone who aspires to leadership we would love to hear from any King's people who feel God might be calling them to serve in this way. Perhaps this is a door you should be knocking on to see if God opens it for you. Further details are to be found at kingschurchlondon.org/jobopportunities and enquiries to Nigel Mumford at the church office and by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Sunday I will speak out of Ephesians 5:1-20 and I have entitled the message Walk the Walk. I am in real faith for a message that I believe God has given me for this time. I look forward to seeing everyone at Catford and Lee - meanwhile at our Downham site Mick Taylor will be speaking. It's going to be a great weekend!
One of the best things about being the pastor of a growing church is the God-given opportunity each week to meet lots of new people. This last Sunday one of the highlights of another great weekend at King's was a discussion I had with some of our long-established members. Iris, Ann and Shirley have been committed members of King's for much of their lives. I estimate, conservatively, that between them they have attended King's, or Catford Hill Baptist as it was before, for over 200 years!
To hear them talking of their excitement about all that God is doing at King's was very moving and humbling. As Ann said, compared to the days in the 70s when the church declined in numbers, we are a very privileged generation to see God move in such power. It is so easy to quickly forget where we have come from. These three remarkable ladies have seen amazing changes over the years in the church they attend, but are so supportive of all we are reaching for together. As Iris said on another occasion - there were times when there were half a dozen of us in the prayer meeting pleading with God for ONE conversion and baptism in the coming year! God has answered prayers beyond anything we could imagine - how can we complain that the church isn't like it was? Of course it isn't!
New people are being built into King's all the time. King's continues to be transformed with each one - we do not even resemble the church we were ten years ago, let alone that of fifty years past. And only God knows what King's will look like in another ten or fifty years. We live in the midst of stretching and exciting times as we build for future generations to come to know Jesus as Saviour and Lord!
And it is with this vision in mind that we give. Please remember March is our annual giving review month and at the same time we are looking to raise £60,000 for our multi-site fund. Had we been able to show Iris, Ann and Shirley the reality of King's 2014 back in the 70s they would have been amazed. Let's exercise faith in stepping into generous giving - as I write, the work on our Lee site continues to advance, making room for yet more people. God is good!
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?
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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.
View my Leadership Blog here...