Over the summer break there will be a series of postings by guest bloggers from the King's staff team. Today's is from Malcolm Kyte...
Summer time is festival time and one of the oldest is Greenbelt. I went to this event at the end of the 1970s and there (for the first and only time) I met a hermit! He wore a long robe with a rope belt and we argued about the authority of the Bible. He stated that only Jesus' words were the ‘Word of God' and not the rest of the Bible. But was he right?
How we view the Bible has serious implications for the way we live. If we recognise it has authority we find ourselves swimming against the tide of modern attitudes. But if we don't feel it has authority, we can get into a real mess.
The Bible claims to have authority. 2 Timothy 3:16 says: ‘All scripture is God breathed...' If that's true then our views need to be shaped by the Word rather than the World; they need to be biblically correct rather than politically correct.
When Billy Graham was a young man, several people started to say to him ‘you can't believe everything in the Bible'. He began to worry about it and started to become muddled... So he went back and got his Bible and went out into the moonlight. He put his Bible on a tree stump, knelt down and prayed: ‘God I cannot prove certain things, I cannot answer some of the questions people are raising, but I accept this book by faith as the Word of God'. He stayed there praying until he had a tremendous sense of God's presence. He then had great peace that the decision he had made was right.'
Where does final authority lie for the Christian? There can only be three options:
a) With Church tradition
b) With Christian reason
c) With the Bible
Generations of believers have opted for c) - what about you?
Jesus' expectation for us who believe in Him is not just that we will draw people to give their hearts to Him, there is more to it than that, as we see when He said to his followers:
"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you."
New Christians' growth in their new found faith is very important and just as growth is naturally a thing that is good, I would say that every one that follows Christ should desire to develop and grow in Him.
So this is what we can say about discipleship:
- Discipleship is helping people to grow in their understanding of the Christian faith and its application to daily life.
- Discipleship is more than just book knowledge - it's about how we live our lives in obeying Christ's teachings.
- Discipleship is about accountability, relationship, mentoring and allowing God's Spirit to work in our lives.
Here at King's there are many opportunities provided to help new Christians to grow. We run the New Life Course which has been brilliant in helping people to develop in their faith. In September we will run another course called Alpha Plus which also helps new believers with practical ways of daily Christian living.
Christian brothers and sisters! We have been entrusted with a great responsibility - a very exciting one - and part of it is to help bring other believers to maturity in their faith in Christ. We need to be committed to this for ourselves and also to make time to give to encourage others, helping them through to the place where they can pray, read God's word and discover their purpose in the family of God without too much difficulty. It is part of the responsibility we have been given by Jesus.
The key thing is that it will take time, that precious commodity. We need to think about how we spend our time. Are we investing it in others for the glory of God and the building of the kingdom of God? I encourage you this week to think about this important matter and respond to God's prompting as you pray. Perhaps there is someone you know, a young Christian, who would really appreciate it if you could give them an hour from time to time for talking about spiritual things and praying and reading the Bible together. Think about it!
Deb and I celebrate our 23rd wedding anniversary this week. I am older and hopefully wiser than when we first met but I realise as each year passes how fortunate I was to marry such a beautiful, intelligent, godly girl - I was definitely hitting above my batting average! This year, due to Ben being unwell on his 20th birthday, we are going to have a joint family celebration and enjoy a meal out together.
This will also be my last posting for a while and I trust you will enjoy the contributions from our guest bloggers across the summer. I have now led King's for just under 17 years - this last year has again seen remarkable blessing but it has not been without challenge, especially on the building front. The sudden deaths of our architect, Martin Heijne last August and Paul & Charlotte Braithwaite's dear daughter Jo last October have rightly had a major impact on us and the work.
Personally, I am ready for a break, my annual study/holiday break begins following next Sunday and I am looking forward to a time to reflect, recharge and prepare for another church year. We need to be prayerfully prepared - ready to rightly handle God's blessing. We know there is much more to come...!
When I return in the first week of September the Olympics will be over, the football season will have begun - and we may have even seen some sun. King's! You continue to be a great church to lead - have a great summer.
On Monday evening while walking around the golf course with my two eldest sons, I concluded that the ground was so wet and the weather forecast for the coming weekend so poor that we should make an early decision to move Sunday's planned Catford site picnic indoors.
This decision has given us time to make alternative arrangements - having made this call, please don't be surprised if we have a mini heat-wave over the weekend...! Any decision you make, large or small, comes with risk - I once heard a statistic that on reflection one out of every three decisions made by management will be wrong. However, with the presenting data, I think that this particular decision was understandable, so the indoor picnic will run from 1.00pm to 3.30pm in the Catford building. At least those of you who were concerned about finding yourself eating soggy sandwiches/jolloff rice/jerk chicken in the middle of a muddy field will now be happier!
This evening Deb and I are looking forward to meeting up with our friends Pete and Nicky Cornford, who are in the process of planting a church in the borough of Ealing. With over 30 people already showing an interest, a good core of people is beginning to gather and plans are in place to launch publicly sometime in the autumn. With the blessing of God and Pete's invaluable experience in church planting, I am confident that this particular plant will quickly grow!
Last Wednesday's Vision Night was not only an opportunity to look ahead to all that lies before us but also a chance to recognise again God's goodness to us all at King's in the recent past. As we approach the summer break and look back over twelve months we can clearly see that it has been another year of blessing!
This Friday evening we will come together for our monthly Half-Night of Prayer - to thank God for all He has done and to come to Him for power and direction for the future. There is still much to be achieved and many to reach for Jesus and so I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible as we meet, on this occasion at our Downham building, on Friday evening at 7.45 for an 8pm start. We know that prayer is powerful - let's make good use of this privilege we have to come before God as His people!
Next Sunday it is my privilege to speak at each of our five meetings - the last time for a while as my summer study break is about to begin. I have a growing sense that this Sunday's message will be another important word for us as a church. I would continue to value your prayers as I prepare.
After our morning meetings next Sunday each of our three sites will hold its own picnic. The Catford site's event will take place at Elm Lane Sports Ground just across the road from the church building. Downham site will gather at Chinbrook Meadows and Lee site at Manor House Gardens. The weather could well be a topic to include in our Half-Night of Prayer! In the case of rain we will make alternative arrangements - indoors! But whether there's rain or sun next week, let's take the opportunity to enjoy each other's company.
It's a busy summer in London. We've had the Jubilee events, the Olympic preparations are building to a crescendo and Wimbledon tennis is now under way. Meanwhile here at King's, after the recording of the worship album last Sunday, today was our annual staff day out with a walk in the Kent countryside and then lunch together. And the rain missed us! I have the privilege week by week of seeing how hard our team members work in serving the church and in supporting each other in our mission. It was a fun day together!
Following the Vision Night last night, there are now only a couple of weeks before my study break and then the family summer holiday in France. Suddenly it seems very close and I'm feeling pressure on my diary with continued demands for meetings with people. However the really big event in the Tibbert household this week takes place tomorrow when Ben will be celebrating his 20th birthday - the first of our boys to leave the teenage years behind... Where did those years fly to? And why does life go so fast?
And the King's excitement isn't over! This Saturday sees our first Women's Conference taking place at the Catford building. Hilary Dalziel and her team have been planning and praying about this day for some time - it's entitled Peace and we know it will be a valuable resource for those women who carve out time from the demands of normal life and come along to wait on God and learn from Him. Please pray for Hilary and the team and all those who will attend. It's going to be a great day!
Over the last few weeks I have been really encouraged as I have had opportunity to meet up with various groups of people at King's. King's is not a perfect church, but we certainly have a good number of remarkable, committed and gifted people. Today we saw and heard once again the brilliant talents of our song writers and musicians, and even more exciting than that, a worshipping community of God's people! Many thanks to all who worked hard to ensure that today went as well as it did. Phil Varley and his bands did a great job, the choir was a real blessing and we don't forget those who ensure that the technical stuff was looked after - a vital contribution! Thank you for giving your time, talents and your effort to make for a fantastic event.
Not only do we have gifted people among us, King's is also a very generous church - literally millions of pounds have been given by our people over the last few years, in worship to God and to fund and fuel our mission. From time to time large churches are questioned about the authenticity of the growing crowd of attenders, but these last few weeks have reminded me that behind the numbers who gather each Sunday on our three sites we have a highly motivated and passionate core of people who love God and desire to see God's church flourish in this great city.
With that in mind, please make Wednesday evening's Vision Night, 7.45pm at Catford if you possibly can - and don't forget, if you would like to find out more about moving to our Lee site to support the move to multiple meetings there in October, next Sunday, 8th July, at 1pm at Catford there's a lunch with Phil Varley and some of the other key leaders from the Lee site. Come along, meet the team and ask them your questions... and meanwhile be asking God if this is a move you should make!
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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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