Friday, 16 December 2011

London handover

It has been a great privilege to serve and provide a lead to the Newfrontiers churches in London over the last decade. Many an hour has been spent travelling around this great city, meeting up with friends and grappling with the challenges and opportunities this city provides for the gospel. God loves London, its rich diversity and great people. At a time of transition such as this, one reflects on what we have achieved together, and I am delighted to say we have achieved much!

Following a period where we saw little church planting in the capital, the 13 churches we have planted together are a great joy - many of you have followed the prompting of God and, sometimes at huge personal cost, have moved, pioneered and established a church. What heroes!

While our church planting has increased, we have also been able to see our existing churches flourish. A decade ago the largest church in London had about 300 people attending - now we have a number of churches in the high hundreds and my own church has broken through the thousand barrier. Many have believed (and some are still believing) God for finance on huge building projects, and I trust you will agree that our local churches have been strengthened through our partnership in the last decade.

The establishment of a London training base under Mick Taylor’s leadership has been another step forward, and it has been great to see some of our excellent younger men emerge into ever-increasing maturity and fruitfulness. On that basis too the future looks good! Mercy ministry and the challenges of diversity have been common themes we have embraced, both of which I believe are right at the heart of God.

While sensing it was time to hand over, I am still totally committed to reaching this great city, and hope to continue, in a small role, encouraging growth in our London churches.

Following this season, it is with great delight that we shared yesterday with the lead elders of our churches that Dave Holden is picking up the reins again in overseeing the London churches. I am confident that Dave, with his rich leadership experience, will take us forward into an expanding future.

I was also delighted to announce that Pete and Nicky Cornford are to launch a new church plant in the borough of Ealing – this is in the early stages but they have already begun gathering a number of people.

My thanks to you all in the London churches and beyond - for your support, prayers and hard work in partnering together to reach our city.

Lastly, my thanks to the King’s team and to our church at Kings - we have embraced a big vision of serving London, and at times at real cost to our own home scene. But for what a prize!

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Technology for Christmas

One of the areas in King’s where we need to ‘up our pace’ is that of media and technology. We are working at this area and running to catch up!
Here is our Christmas webpage and our video ad to profile our highest Sunday of the year. Hope you enjoy it!

Click here for Arms Wide Open web page

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Views from the sites : the Downham story

Nigel Mumford on when Downham joined King's

Downham Way Family Church, part of Newfrontiers, had been my spiritual home for about 30 years when in early 2009 I found myself leading the church and considering what God had for us in the future.

King’s Church was close by – we saw what God was doing there and I wondered if there was a way for us to share in it. I met with Steve Tibbert in a Brockley cafĂ© to discuss how things were going and over a cup of tea he told me that King’s was considering going multi-site. I was amazed - I had been praying about a future where Downham could become a part of King’s! I took this as a God-given opportunity and soon found myself in earnest discussion with Steve.

Nothing was definite – over the following months there was much to think about and to pray through. However, from October 09, with both leadership teams supporting such a move, the possibility was discussed with both churches and the conviction grew that this was the way to go. We proceeded slowly and carefully into the future we now believed wholeheartedly God was calling us to. Then, in Jan 2010, Martin and Ruth Alley moved over to Downham to work with us on the move to our multi-site future. Their contribution was invaluable as they helped us to get to know King’s Church and they got to know us!

By December 2010 we had progressed to the point where we formally closed Downham Way Family Church. This was another essential step in the process. While recognising God’s faithfulness to our church over decades and with our long history within Newfrontiers, we needed to ‘die’ to enter into our new existence as the Downham site of King’s Church. There was a recognition that this brought sadness for some but for many of us there was excitement, not to mention a bit of trepidation!

For three months we moved en masse to the Catford site for Sunday worship and midweek events – a valuable time that gave us all the chance to see more of what God was doing at King’s and a glimpse of what could be our experience too. Meanwhile the Downham building underwent extensive refurbishment - £100,000 worth – to prepare the site for all that was to come as part of King’s, reaching out to the communities around us.

We now look forward to a new future. I am now privileged to serve as part of the wider King’s team while Ben Welchman is Downham site leader and there are already encouraging signs of growth – a recent baptism saw over 200 people in the meeting. I know that God is leading us to even greater things, whatever the future brings and I am so glad that we followed His prompting and direction!