(though not necessarily in that order!)
Yet another great church day together, with 4 families giving thanks for their new babies this morning and committing themselves, with God's help, to the task of parenthood. Then, Stef Liston speaking at the 5.30 meeting tonight!
As part of the series of articles on leadership issues, here is the next one - this time on Marriage in Ministry. This is a topic that I consider vital and which I regularly bring to leaders' groups wherever I go. I hope that you find this article helpful.
Click here to download the article on Marriage, Sex and Leadership.
Highlights of this week:
- Tuesday 30th September – Extended Leaders meeting with John & Debbie Wright from Nottingham. 7.45pm at Kings
- 1st and 2nd October – Coaching for lead elders at Kings
- 1st October – Prayer Meeting at Kings
- Next Sunday (5th) – start of the 'Just Walk Across the Room' series
I am really enjoying these few days away together with our Elders! our agenda is full and contains major issues - but our confidence is in God - we believe He will show us the way ahead! These few days are foundational for the coming months of church life, which is why we value them. Each day begins with prayer and worship as we acknowledge our dependence on Him and it's also good for us to spend time together strengthening our friendships and working relationships. Please continue to pray for us!
The Thanksgiving Service for Sue Linley took place the day before we came away. It was good to see so many there - a reflection of the genuine affection in which Sue was held and of support for Simon. We affirmed our trust and faith in God and recognised again our reliance on Him in every circumstance of life. The worship was powerful - along with the words spoken - giving those who were not Christians pause for thought. Simon, Matt and Jon, along with Denise Storrs-Fox, shared affectionate memories of Sue. The Bible says, 'Whatever is true… noble… right… pure… lovely… admirable… - think about such things' (Phil. 4:8-9) and that's just what we did. We thank God for good memories of Sue.
Well, that's the first time I've preached the same message three times in one day! I guess I'll get used to it in the coming months! The personal stories from those who were baptised today were great - always encouraging hearing what God is doing in others. And, yet again, we have seen just under 1000 people come through the doors of our building today, with 3 responding to the call to become Christians and 7 saying that they want to be baptised.
Has anyone else any news of what God has done as a result of Lex’s visit last week? Don’t hold back - we can all be encouraged and praise God together!
This week the Elders are away together in France staying at Paul & Charlotte Braithwaite's place. To be honest, our agenda is long and important. Can I ask you to pray for us? While we are there we will look at the key challenges facing us over the next couple of years - these times together have become critical as we seek God away from the pressures of our daily routine. We seek God together for the future of our church family!
Looking to next weekend, we will celebrate the precious gift of children with families as they come to thank God and commit themselves to the exacting task of parenting! In the evening Stef Liston, the lead elder from Revelation Church - a Newfrontiers church plant in North London, will be speaking. He's a great communicator and is always worth hearing.
Have you made your booking for 'Together at Butlins' yet? Over 3000 are now booked in! January may seem a way off, but there is only a week left in which to get the best (cheapest!) price possible. September 30th is the cut off date.
If you can't be at the Thanksgiving Service for Sue Linley here at Kings tomorrow (Monday 22nd) at 12.15pm, I know you will be praying for Simon, Matt and Jonathan - and also for the rest of us, as we meet to remember and give thanks.
It's good to be able to tell you that as a result of last weekend we are following up 70 people - many have made first time commitments, while others have recommitted themselves to God or have asked for baptism. Some are making first enquiries about us by means of the 'Like To Know More' forms. That’s 70 (yes, seventy!) people stepping toward God and us - please pray for them that they will quickly find their place amongst us.
Now that all the official matters have been attended to, the arrangements for the Thanksgiving Service for Sue Linley have been confirmed. The service will be on Monday 22nd September at 12.15pm here at Kings. I know that many of you will want be there to support Simon, Matt and Jonathan and to thank God for Sue and all that she meant to us.
When caught up in such momentous events, it can be difficult to continue with things that have been scheduled for some time but we recognise how important it is that we continue preparing for the future. So, today I have been in a planning meeting discussing means to improve the training of Newfrontiers' pastors so we can see our churches go from strength to strength.
In the light of all this and so much more, I am looking forward to the Half Night of Prayer on Friday 19th (10pm - 2am). Do join us for these four hours, or for part of the time as your commitments allow - come for half and hour if that's all you can do. We will come together before God with greater urgency as we look to the future.
We look forward to baptisms this Sunday. I always love hearing the personal stories, whether eloquent or stumbling - God's grace and compassion for people always comes through!
I have just got in - exhausted but happy, what an amazing day! After months of prayer, planning and preparation we launched our third meeting. In all, over 1100 people attended through the 3 meetings - 300 at the 5.30 meeting - but more wonderful than that was to see 45 respond to the gospel appeal, 26 of which were first time commitments. God is good. All the time!!!
Do you have a personal story of meeting with God this weekend? Have you heard any personal stories from others? Please let the office have them so we can pass them on to Lex and take encouragement ourselves.
The coffee bar looked great - I thought the team handled the stream of people who flocked to the bar brilliantly. Let's hope they don't get head-hunted by Starbucks!
A great start to our new church year! We're expecting God to continue to increase our capacity for all He has for us in the immediate future. We are called to rejoice with those who rejoice and to mourn with those who mourn - this is no conflict, but the reality of our life on earth. He gives us the resources for all he calls us to do and his provision is perfect!
Sunday 21st: Baptisms
Sunday 21st: Greenwich Church plant launches
As I write, our week of outreach is in full flow! It's been good to see those of you who have helped with handing out flyers to commuters at local stations. In the middle of all this activity, don't forget to invite family, friends and neighbours to one of the Sunday meetings. In the past we have seen some of our highest numbers attending in September and I'm looking forward to seeing if we can break all previous records. The Olympics has had that effect on me!
Lex has landed and even now will be preparing for being with us at the weekend. We want to see many won for Christ, prayed for and healed. In this way we can share the grace of God with people from all over our area. We want them to enjoy the blessings of knowing Him! Pray for Lex and for those who will come who have never heard the Good News before. Ask God to give you people to invite and pray for them earnestly!
Saturday’s day of outreach is important preparation for the success of the coming weekend - I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible when we meet at Kings at 10am to go into local shopping areas to distribute leaflets and invite people - lost people! - to come along on Sunday and meet our great God! When we gather as God's people on Sunday there will be a great sense of anticipation as to what God is going to do. We have prayed! We have invited our friends and neighbours! God in his grace will act!
My time with the Home Counties' church leaders went well this afternoon - It's always a privilege to meet with those who oversee and care for our churches.
The bookings for 'Together at Butlins' in January continue to flood in - don't miss the chance to book at the reduced rate - this opportunity ends on the 30th of this month and the way things are going we may have very few places beyond that date anyway! It's encouraging that so many from the region have already signed up!
Here I am preaching on Vision Sunday - the last time we met in two meetings. I can't wait for Lex preaching three times this Sunday. Exciting times are ahead! Steve.
Our preparations for Vision Sunday and all that follows have been tragically interrupted with bad news. Many of you will have heard that Sue Linley collapsed while on holiday in the US. She and Simon were walking in the Grand Canyon with Jonathan, their younger son. Transferred to hospital by air ambulance, Sue was diagnosed with swelling on the brain and we understood that her condition was very serious. Just before the prayer meeting we had called for Thursday evening, Simon rang to say that Sue had been pronounced dead.
Our own shock at this news can only be a faint reflection of that felt by Simon, Matt, Jonathan and the rest of their family. To them, we give our love, prayers and support – and to God, our grateful thanks for Sue and a life well-lived. Sue had a quiet confidence in God that came from years of relationship with Him. With Simon, she has served God in the church in many different ways – helping oversee small groups and being part of the worship band, amongst others. Her contribution and her warm smile will be greatly missed.
Just before this sad event, Jo Cameron’s mother died suddenly on returning from a missions trip. Our love, prayers and support go out to Jo and Peter on their loss and to Rachel, Nathan and Aaron, their children.
In such situations, we grieve – and rightly. But we do not grieve without hope. And we do not lose heart! Sue’s was a life committed to the vision of this church – she was a highly supportive leader and was right behind our desire to make a difference for God in this area.
In the midst of all of this, I was reminded today of God's goodness and favour to us as a people as we lift our eyes to the challenges of a new term. You can listen again (or for the first time!) to the message from this morning’s Vision Sunday by picking up the podcast, also available on the church website.
So! Here we go! A week to spread the gospel! Have you seen the billboard yet? (Neither have I – it goes up sometime this week!) Have you heard us on Premier Radio? Or seen the King’s 'ad' in Lewisham Life magazine? Have you invited someone to come to our third meeting? Or to hear Lex?
I'm praying for an opportunity to invite someone this week. Have you forwarded the e-mail invitation to someone? I'm praying that thousands of people in the borough of Lewisham and beyond get an invitation to join us.
This will only happen if we all choose to get involved, so can I ask and challenge each of us to make a contribution this week? There are three opportunities.
We will be leafleting at local train stations in teams, between 7am and 8am, Tuesday to Friday. Please meet with us at these stations at the following times:
Tues 9th – Honor Oak, Forest Hill and Sydenham
Weds 10th – Hither Green and Lower Sydenham
Thursday 11th – Lee, Bellingham and Ladywell
Friday 12th – Catford, Catford Bridge and Lewisham (BR and DLR)
During the week in the evenings members of our small groups will deliver leaflets in the roads where they meet.
If you cannot make any of the above, then please join us and Lex Loizides at King's on Saturday 13th at 10am – we will be going into three local town centres (Catford, Forest Hill and Sydenham) handing out leaflets and asking people to complete a simple questionnaire.
Do pray for Lex as he arrives on Thursday, speaks at our youth event on Friday, leads us on Saturday as we hit the streets and then speaks at the three meetings on Sunday (9.30, 11.30 and 5.30). Does anyone want to buy me a hot chocolate at the new coffee bar after the third meeting?
Don't forget to get your copy of 'Just Walk Across the Room' – available from the bookstall on Sundays at a special price of Ł5.50 – elsewhere you will pay two or three pounds more!
And don't miss the first cut off date (Sept 30th) to get the cheapest prices at Butlins for our Newfrontiers regional weekend next January.
This Thursday morning I'll be speaking to 50 Newfrontiers leaders from the Home Counties on 'Leading in a Time of Crisis'.
Just returned from speaking to some full-time leaders who head up our Newfrontiers churches in London. I spoke on 'Leading in a Time of Crisis', out of 2 Corinthians 4 - key phrase - 'We do not lose heart'.
It's always good to meet up following the summer break and hear the news of all God is doing across the 25 churches in London. (over 2300 booked into 'Together at Butlins' – and counting!) The fish and chip lunch was also extremely enjoyable.
Now my focus is all on our Vision Sunday!
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Steve Tibbert leads Kingâ€™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, â€śGood to Growâ€ť, was published in July 2011. He is married to Deb, and they have three sons.
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