Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Time to Advance!

Outline of vision talk given in Sept 2010

Personal info: sabbatical, writing the book

Church: completion of purchase of new building happened in sabbatical.
Look back – give thanks to God. Look forward – Joshua’s amazing encounter with God before the battle for Jericho (Bible reading). Story of King’s rooted in such an encounter – 4 weeks into my ministry here visit of Vineyard prophetic team. Discovered in the history of the church – founded by a protégée of C H Spurgeon with a vision for a church of 1000 members. We advance like Joshua and the people of God – a mixture of fear, uncertainty and excitement.

New developments: Catford, Downham and Lee sites. Explained new future leadership structure to cover sites. Asked for volunteers to go and help support these leaders in their work. Initially helping to set up and prepare.

Walls that we face: people challenge – volunteers needed to serve, financial challenge – core of established givers, newer arrivals slower to sign up for regular giving. Please step up.

Join us in commitment to meeting with God as we step forward, to see the church advance and many others won for Christ.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Preparing for 40 Days

This is the first of a series of outlines of Vision talks I have preached – this one from January 2011

Acts 1:1-8. Jesus tells the disciples to await the promised Holy Spirit. As we prepare to launch into multi-site, elders decided to have 40 Days of prayer and fasting – going deeper into God before making a major reach.

Overview of preaching series in Acts 1 to 13 taking place over next 7 weeks to back up ‘40 Days’. Encourage fasting on Wednesdays to coincide with prayer celebrations in evening. (Explain different levels/types of fasting). Distribute home-produced but extremely professional 40 Days booklets – includes Bible study notes and prayer topics as well as FAQs re multi-site.

Outline need for 100 further volunteers to cover multi-site arrangements at end of 40 Days. Need to maintain revenue giving and rise to challenge of giving to multi-site as an extra. Everyone to receive a letter from me with all the details of what we will need and asking them to prayerfully review their giving.

Talk about the arrival of Lawrence and Mary, the first black African family in the church 14 years ago. Interview: Lawrence – ‘I want to be behind the new thing God is doing. We live only once!’ Mary – ‘I want to look back in 10 or 20 years and say – I was involved in starting that. We are building for future generations, too.’
Explain that to maintain the diversity balance we need 20 from the black community to go to the new Lee site with Phil Varley and Robert Kwami. Ask them to step up.

Thursday, 19 January 2012


'The impetus to become a multi-site church was initially driven by a lack of space to contain the growth we were seeing - not primarily as a strategy to stimulate further growth. Ideally, as with the move to multiple meetings, multi-site initiatives should rise from the need to manage current growth rather than as a means to start growth from a static position.'

For further information on our 'Move to Multi-site' see the latest paper on Multi-site 

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Putting together a Vision Sunday talk

These are some of the key principles which go through my mind as I prepare a vision talk.
  • Root the talk in scripture, a biblical value, or narrative. 
  • Connect our story with God’s story 
  • Reflect back, tell stories, declare victories, face facts, and explain any delay or failure 
  • Celebrate God’s faithfulness 
  • Present the next step of the journey with faith. If you have achieved any momentum this helps. Remember that past performance is the best indicator for future performance. Outline in detail plans for next stage or year. 
  • Invite everyone to join in the next step - please increase your giving, please move to another site, please step up and serve, please join a small group, please come to the prayer meeting... etc. 
  • Make a special appeal to new people to join, sign up, to help us fulfil our God-given task and vision. 
I hope the vision talk outlines that follow will inspire you, so that you can inspire the people of God!

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Why a Vision Sunday?

I am often asked about what we do on our Vision Sundays, and I thought it might be helpful to do a series of postings on the subject. I will first outline the thinking/ content that I believe makes a good vision talk, and then in later posts give a number of examples from the last 5 years of such talks at King’s; I hope this might give you some ideas for your own future Vision talks.

We always have a Vision Sunday at the beginning of Sept (but this could be October if you are a student church) and again early in January. These fit well into the natural flow of church life - post summer, new term, and of course in the New Year, people are already readjusting their lives post summer holidays or after Christmas. It is an important occasion to re-engage them with the church’s vision.

I normally start a vision talk with a personal story from my holiday break – usually something humorous! I think it is important for people to connect with the visionary as well as the vision - people tend to ‘buy into’ a person first and a vision second. I remind the church why we have a Vision Sunday twice a year,
  • firstly and primarily, to give thanks to God for His faithfulness over the last few months and years,
  • secondly, to keep us focussed on what God has called us to do, and
  • thirdly, to inform those who are new, helping them to understand our journey to this point.
Beyond hearing our story we hope it will help them to join us or to step in further. Don’t forget that the best vision talk looks back and celebrates what has been achieved as much as it looks forward to all that lies ahead.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Casting vision... for Vision Sunday

I am about to start a series of blogs on Vision Sundays and decided to launch the sequence by featuring the short video we produced, casting vision to encourage the members of King’s Church to attend our coming Vision Sunday!