Tuesday, 28 February 2012

A vision health warning!

Vision is a powerful leadership tool - but it should come with a health warning. It needs to be handled with wisdom and it requires stamina!

Vision, and clearly expressing that vision repeatedly, is a vital component in keeping the church moving forward.

At King’s we define vision as what God has called us to do. It needs to be God-inspired - as it says in Proverbs 29:18, 'without vision the people perish'.

Vision is different to goals - effective goals have a set time line for achieving them, while vision is about the ‘big picture’ and is something which is humanly speaking beyond your reach! A wise visionary leader will have a sober assessment of his own call, gifting and context before describing a preferred picture of the future to any hearers.

On these grounds a series on vision needs to come with a health warning. A God- inspired vision needs a team, a plan and finance to fulfil it - or very quickly the credibility of the vision and the visionary will be brought in to question. As I read recently,
  • Vision without action is merely a dream 
  • Action without vision passes the time 
  • Vision and action can change the world 
A clearly articulated vision can bring momentum, direction and purpose. In my experience God’s people are generous givers; they just need a vision which is worth giving to!

A clear vision can help you to say ‘no’ as well as ‘yes’ at critical moments. It can  help you stay the distance and fulfil the call of God on your life - and that of your church.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Partners! Come and help!

Outline of vision talk given in January 09

Tibbert Christmas news. Personal: each Christmas and summer holiday I do a personal/family review – cover marriage, spiritual disciplines, how the kids are doing, physical health, emotional state, finances. For this last point – I have a 25 year plan. I have one life and I want to ‘max it’ for God.

On Vision Sunday I do a similar review for the church – possible to set the bar too high so that such a review and analysis demotivates. Also possible to set the bar too low and underachieve.

Lk. 5:1-7 Jesus’ miracle leads to the call – ‘Partners – come and help!’ 

Since Jan 07 we have experienced a Big Catch! Jan 08 I put before you the five challenges that could have sunk our boat
-      Diversity – not remaining a monoculture church
-      Growth – caring for people in small groups and providing enough leaders
-      Facilities – looking at relocation - quote for £12 million was beyond us. Need for further office space.
-      Finance – growth requires large financial demands
-      Apostolic – recovering from church plant into Beacon (40 people sent), 10 people to Greenwich, a further 10 to Beacon. My role in Newfrontiers expanding, Mick Taylor’s involvement in Newfrontiers’ training – a huge gift that benefits us and the wider movement.

Response to the challenges: Gracism series, move to a third meeting. Review how we have met our goals from 2007. Growth in our numbers could be described as ‘a massive catch’ – be encouraged! Recognise parts of our set-up are overstretched, though we have massive momentum. I don’t want us to sink –going to need partners to come and help us! Elders to discuss launch of a 4th meeting – possibly on another site – please pray for us. 

:7 = key. Signalled to partners to help – or they would sink. Went to those nearest – if you are here we don’t want you to just be here for the (boat) ride – come and help on this battleship, not a pleasure cruiser.

5 ways to help – step up in
- leadership – come and carry some weight
- membership – come and join - sign of commitment
- serving – come and serve - don’t assume that everyone else will do the necessary tasks
- praying – come and pray - especially collective prayer meetings
- giving – come and give - aware of current economic situation but prime way to show where your heart is – by tithes and offerings

Conclusion: ‘Partners! Come and help!’

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Nehemiah's Task

Outline of vision talk given in Sept 09

Highlights of summer holiday and study leave in context of new building project. 
Nehemiah’s building project! Neh. 1 and 2. 
Video clip: tallest wave surfed! To do that needed preparation and courage – events move at speed. There’s a potential cost – Nehemiah’s life was on the line in the royal court setting – he began his request with a great prayer – he was God-focused - reminded God of His promises. (For us 10 years ago – a prophecy that we would gather 2000.)

Review of last year: grown faster than ever.
Attending - 780 in 2008, 1000+ in 2009 - on the same Sunday.
Welcome desk – 122 LTKM forms given in Jan – Aug 2008, 230 Jan – Aug 2009.

Crunch moment – collision of needs between team/buildings/finance! Show artist’s impression of new refurbished facility at Lee. Visited USA to see examples of multi-site – an urban church phenomenon arising from a situation where the limiting factor is facilities. Multi-site gives the chance for growth. Remain one church, one leadership, one identity. We need to strengthen the team – through year team members, internships, taking on Robert Kwami to join the Pastoral team as well as Malcolm & Cathy Kyte (Malcolm will oversee the Pastoral team) - all coming to help us build a church of 2000.

Letters coming from me to each of you re our giving. We need to give £750K for the next 3 years and £375K for the following six months – above our current giving levels. Ask some to consider a double title – 20% before tax – something I am already doing. Pledge Days coming up in October. Please give – and please pray! Currently amazing momentum – behind all the figures, the figure of God at work, reaching out to the lost – for His Glory!

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

20/20 Vision

Outline of vision talk given in January 2010

Tours of new Lee building – one response, ‘You have seriously undersold the building, Steve!’ Primary purpose today – giving thanks to God for what he has done.
Look back – look forward. 20/20 vision – definition: perfect understanding or appreciation of what has already been seen.

1 Thess. 1:7 – ‘...you became a model to all the believers and the message went out.’ Chance to impact a city and model something to other churches in the UK – we are watched by them. If we can go from 200 to 1000 it will give them added faith for their own situation. The important thing is that the message goes out!

Résumé of church journey over last 15 years given. In last 10 years 500 have joined us. Mark event by getting congregation to light 500 tea-lights on tables around the auditorium – each one representing a transformed life.

Interview: Shirley J – joined in Jan 95 – gives her highlights of the decade (new auditorium in 2000, ‘gracism’ series and the changes brought by that, expansion of youth ministry) and her hopes for the future (becoming a huge church; multiple meetings at Lee; growth in maturity and unity as well as size; healings, signs and wonders).

Experience of asking the banks for loans – wanted to know our history. ‘When looking at the future, the best indicator of future trend is past performance.’ For us the past is counted in tens, the future in hundreds and thousands. Want an increase in diversity (culture, class and age), growth in our mercy ministry, sending out more leaders to plant/resource other churches, creativity – books, albums and teaching material.

We need your prayers, your pledges for finances and we need you - to step up and volunteer to be an active participant in the great task before us, for the glory of God.