Having the praise word ‘Hallelujah' in a song doesn't make it a worship song - or we might be singing a Leonard Cohen number in our meetings (...or ‘It's Raining Men'!)! Some spiritual songs might evoke warm feelings, but if we think about the words - what are they really saying?
On Sundays over the summer, we're looking at the content of some of the songs we sing when we meet for worship. In 1 Corinthians 14, Paul talks about ‘singing with understanding', and this teaching series aims to help us to really think about what we're singing.
As we look at the Scriptures behind the songs, we'll find our understanding enriched and this will lead us to appreciate God more as we consider who He is and what He's done for us.
John and Charles Wesley were a great team - as John preached, Charles wrote hundreds of hymns that captured the truths of Scripture that his brother taught, and he communicated them in such a skilful and helpful way that his hymns are still loved and sung around the world today, over 200 years later.
Truth set to music is powerful and can be an incredibly effective way of getting God's words into our hearts. If you're like me, you may sometimes hear a song and then find you can't get it out of your mind for days. Let's get some good songs in our heads over the next few weeks!
Do check out the sermon downloads over the summer, and sing the songs on your own with God - as well as when we're together as a church. And if you're inspired by what you hear, how about picking a song and doing a bit of Bible study on it yourself?
As I reflect on this last church year it is defined by two events. The launch of our third meeting and the loss of Sue Linley.
We are a missional community - we believe that God has called us impact this great city with the gospel, so continuing to see people saved regularly and to see our Sunday attendance grow at 15% is all very encouraging.
But we are also a family; Sue's death was a timely reminder that each individual life is precious. Behind all the numerical growth, I am increasingly aware that many individual lives are in our care. It is a great privilege and responsibility to lead the team that cares for the King's Church community.
The last few weeks have been dominated by the exciting opportunity of a new building - a place we trust will provide somewhere many will find Christ and a family to which they can belong. Keep strong in prayer - that God will release this building to us!
This will be my last posting for the next 6 weeks as I will be on my annual study break and holidays - but do watch this space as ‘guest bloggers' from the King's team will be writing from time to time through until September!
Have a great summer!
The new location and arrangements for our church picnic today seem to have been well received if the feedback I received is any indication! It was good to see so many there. Our thanks to Andy Floyd and his helpers whose hard work and arrangements gave us all a great afternoon! The extra food facilities, the games and races arranged - all much enjoyed. And the weather was kind! Brilliant!
Today has been my last Sunday at Kings for a few weeks as I start my annual study break on Friday. Looking back on this last church year we have seen continued growth and blessing - it's hard to believe that we didn't have a 5.30pm meeting on Sundays this time last year, when today at that time just under 180 attended our baptism service for 3 people. The difference a year makes!
We continue to wait patiently and prayerfully for more news about our proposed new building - I am overwhelmed with the positive response from so many of you. My thanks to you all, it is a remarkable privilege to serve this great church!
Please continue to pray that the building will be released to us and also for the Elders and Trustees over the summer.
I will give some more reflections on the church year in my blog this Thursday - which will be my last for 6 weeks. (Even bloggers need to apply the principle of rest!) I'm looking forward to a time to reflect on where we are as a church and to pray and plan for the coming year. Join me in praising God for all He has done with us in the last twelve months and ask Him to do even more in the coming year!
And meanwhile, pray for our youth and their leaders as they prepare to go to NewDay on 1st August. This is often a significant time when God takes hold of young lives and begins to direct their future paths in clear and positive ways. Some of them will be future church leaders; others will influence their generation and contribute to national and international life - one day! Pray for them!
I've been reflecting on the messages that Lex and Bones preached over the last two Sundays and believe that they are prophetic words for us at King's.
Both in their content and timing these words are highly significant in the light of the proposed building project. Lex's word of ‘not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord', reminds us that this is God's work. Bones' emphasis on the church reminds us that we are about a great work. His humorous story about the chicken and the pig and their contribution to breakfast was very funny and powerful! He asked us - are you committed or just involved? A major building project and the giving required to achieve all God has before us - this will answer the above! Am I a chicken or a pig? This question will stay with us as we all consider our involvement at King's!
If you missed either of the last two Sundays please download the podcast - the talks are well worth hearing and we believe these men brought God's word to us! And thank you for your response to the call to prayer last night! It is so encouraging to lead a responsive people and to sense the rising levels of faith that God is building into us in these days! We have made a good start - with higher and further to go!
See you on Sunday and at the picnic - keep praying for good weather!!
It was fantastic to have Mbonisi Malaba (‘Bones') preaching at our three meetings today! If you were at King's you had a chance to receive some of what we enjoyed this week at the Newfrontiers leadership conference in Brighton. ‘Bones' is part of the church leadership in Zimbabwe and was one of the gifted preachers that we appreciated during four days which also included great times of worship, prayer and God giving direction about the future of our church movement. Terry Virgo spoke about our past, our present (and our presence!) and our future as Newfrontiers. It was a great time and we were so encouraged hearing all that God is doing in our churches worldwide.
This was a helpful context to be in when we are ‘on the brink' of a new phase in the life of our church. If God provides us with the new site that we are praying for then we will definitely feel the change of gear! One of the speakers - P J Smyth from South Africa - spoke about the need for ‘juggernaut churches', churches with greater capacity who can go further, carry more and have power and momentum in God. I long that we should fulfil that picture more and more! We have received much from God as a people. We know that from those who have been given much, much is asked. Within His grace we look to Him to provide all we need in the coming days - both spiritually and financially.
If you call King's ‘your' church then I strongly urge you to come along to the Family Meeting on Wednesday evening (15th) at 7.45. Come prepared to hear what we believe God has for us as a church - and come to pray! Our dependence on God is our certainty! The elders have called the church to fast and pray that day - please join us.
And next Sunday lunchtime is the church picnic! Elm Lane recreation ground is near to the church and we have made arrangements for a barbeque, Caribbean food stall and an ice-cream van - or please feel free to bring your own food! There will be games of football, cricket, various races, a bouncy castle, face painting, a kids' entertainer and a gladiator duel! Come along from 1.30 to 4pm... and pray for fine weather!
A very English resort is where we gathered this week for the Newfrontiers Leadership Conference. We may have been in Brighton - but our perspective has been the whole world! Time and again in the preaching and in the worship, God has turned our eyes to His plan for the nations - and our part in that Plan. And there were representatives there from churches all around the globe!
The clear biblical teaching and the uplifting worship have done us good. We've heard stirring preaching from Terry Virgo, Dave Stroud, Steve van Rhyn and Mbonisi Malaba (Bones). And there's still tomorrow to go! Don't miss this coming Sunday when Bones will be preaching at King's - he's a great speaker and I know we will be blessed by what he brings.
We've also heard powerful prophetic words from God about our movement of churches, confirming that our life and work is to and for the nations. The great cities of the world feature strongly - there will be church plants into more 'new' cities in coming days. Tonight Terry led us in prayer and introduced various leaders from different parts of the globe (Africa, India, Central Europe and the Pacific Rim) who told us about the needs of their regions and also about the things that God is doing in their spheres of influence. We prayed for them and gave our money to support this world-wide work and to enable new projects to be launched. We called on God to send out more workers and asked Him to empower us all in greater effectiveness for him. As a movement we aim to raise £1.5 million at this year's conference - we added our contribution from King's!
While I've been here I've still been thinking about our own church and serving South-East London! Central to that at the moment is the decision that will soon be made regarding the new site and our bid to buy it. Please continue to pray that the owners will decide in our favour.We do not presume on God's goodness to us as a church but trust that He will provide what we need to enable the work at King's to go forward!
Everything I'm seeing and hearing here, including hearing from other church leaders, tells me that we are part of an amazing work of God. It gives me tremendous encouragement for our part in the story at King's. I'm looking forward to being with you at King's on Sunday - also to gathering as many of us as we can on Weds 15th July for our prayer evening specifically about the building. If you can, please join the elders and those who have committed themselves to fast and pray on that day!
Our God is a wonder-working God - let's come to Him in love and faith!
It's been great to have our good friends Lex and Jo Loizides from Capetown, South Africa, visiting this weekend, and Lex's message to us is very timely in the context of all that God is opening up. ‘Not by might, not by power, but by my Spirit' says the Lord...
This coming week I'll be attending the Newfrontiers leadership conference (Together on a Mission) in Brighton, along with about half of the staff team from Kings and several thousands from the UK and across the globe! It's a time to meet up with friends and be equipped in our leadership. This year I am also speaking at a seminar on diversity and Deb and I are speaking at another seminar on ‘Leadership, Life and Love' to the members of Mobilise (that's older youth and students). Please pray for us!
Next Sunday we look forward to ‘Bones' (Mbonisi Malaba) from Zimbabwe being with us and preaching at our meetings.
Please remember we have an important Family Meeting on Weds 15th July and we have called the church to pray and fast on that day. Please be there if you can!
Not long before I began my time set aside for jury service, the other elders and I were made aware of a building that could be suitable for our growing congregation and the increasing need we have at King's for space! As I was not needed at court every day of the two weeks it seemed like God's provision that I was able to give time and attention to this major issue when I had expected to be listening to legal cases. As a result of much prayer and discussion with the Trustees and other leaders at King's, last night I presented the exciting opportunity of this new building to the church.
It was great to meet with over 240 people to look at the proposals and the challenges this opportunity brings. It was also great to sense the rise of faith in the room - so encouraging! Let's continue to pray that God opens the door. We will meet again on the 15th July to pray and hope to be able to see further drawings of all the new building would provide. If you were unable to make last night can I ask you to prioritise that meeting on the evening of Wednesday 15th July.
This Sunday our friend Lex Loizides will be speaking at all three meetings. We know from previous visits that God works in people's lives when Lex speaks - do invite your friends!
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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.
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