Wednesday, 10 October 2012

From Scaynes Hill to Turkey...Global 2012

GLOBAL 2012


I won't be at The King's Church Mid-Sussex this coming Sunday (14 October). Instead I,  Dominique and Joseph, along with Steve and Carol Cornford will be travelling to Turkey. Yep, Turkey!

We'll be missing a great morning at TKC as Kieran Dunne will be preaching the next installment from Mark's gospel, however, we will be on our way to meet with about 500 other leaders from across the globe.

Recently we have heard a lot about our roots as a church, how we began in someone's home and grew to our current location at The King's Centre. As Terry Virgo travelled from Seaford to meet with a small gathering in Scaynes Hill no-one would have dreamt what God would do over the next 40 years.

Initially Terry served a few church in Sussex but that then grew to the South East of England, then wider in the UK and then internationally.

Newfrontiers, as it is now known, may have begun with a few people in Sussex (our church included) but is now a collection of over 900 churches across more than 60 nations.  Kenya, Ukraine, Brazil, Phillipines, France, South Africa, New Zealand, USA, Bulgaria, Canada, Germany......the list goes on on and on.

For many years there has been an international leaders conference in Brighton. We have been very fortunate to be only a 10 minute train journey away to benefit from this superb global gathering. Many others travelled thousands of miles to be there.

However, Newfrontiers is changing and how we gather as a family of churches is also changing. Rather than one man leading Newfrontiers, we now have many teams leading Newfrontiers across the world. Today, there are far more Newfrontiers churches outside the UK then within it.  In many ways, we are no longer a family of churches, but a family of families.

So Steve and I, with Carol and Dominique, will not be at TKC on Sunday - instead we will be at Global 2012.  A leadership conference that is gathering 500 leaders involved in Newfrontiers from across the world to a hotel in Turkey.  It feels like an immense privilege to have been invited. 

We would value your prayers as this conference comes at a key time for Newfrontiers. We, as a family of churches are changing, it is an exciting season but there are certainly many unworn paths ahead of us.

At Global 2012, we will benefit from apostolic teaching from guys like PJ Smythe, Edward Buria and Dave Devenish as well as having lots of opportunity to catch up with what God is doing across the nations of the earth and celebrate what he has done from small beginnings in a home in Scaynes Hill.

If you are on Twitter look out for daily updates and I will post a full report here when we get back.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Why a prayer meeting is always more than a prayer meeting

Experiencing the 'heating plant'


There is a story that has been told about five young college students who were spending a Sunday in London, so they went to hear the famed C.H. Spurgeon preach. While waiting for the doors to open, the students were greeted by a man who asked, "Gentlemen, let me show you around. Would you like to see the heating plant of this church?" They were not particularly interested, for it was a hot day in July. But they didn't want to offend the stranger, so they consented. The young men were taken down a stairway, a door was quietly opened, and their guide whispered, "This is our heating plant." Surprised, the students saw 700 people bowed in prayer, seeking a blessing on the service that was soon to begin in the auditorium above. Softly closing the door, the gentleman then introduced himself. It was none other than Charles Spurgeon.

Charles Spurgeon was one of the greatest preachers our nation has ever heard. Thousands gathered week after week to hear him preach at The Metropolitan Tabernacle in London. But behind the scenes, in the basement, hundreds were praying for the meetings.
 
Hundreds.

Behind every strong and growing church lies a strong corporate prayer life.

Prayer at TKC

 

Life is exciting at TKC right now, moving into the King's Centre has given us fresh momentum and increased profile. There are lots of people asking about and visiting the church. It is an encouraging time.

However, we must never become reliant on ourselves or on a building. We must always demonstrate our reliance on God by gathering together in prayer.

When we gather to pray we remember again who we are and who God is. When we gather to pray we surrender ourselves again to God's greater plans. When we gather to pray we call in the Kingdom of God. When we gather to pray our hearts are changed for eternity. 

A prayer meeting is never just a prayer meeting.

We are meeting to pray this Sunday (07 October 12) at 6.30pm at The King's Centre. We will pray for God's Kingdom to come in Mid-Sussex, we will pray for other local churches and their leaders and we will pray for the upcoming trips to Bulgaria and Kenya.

I really want to encourage people to come along to pray. If we are to be known for anything as a church, let it not be for the big blue building, but let it be for our passion to gather together and pray.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Why we have a 'Vision Sunday'

After a few weeks out of the office during August it has been great to get back into The King's Centre and start preparations for the term ahead.  Kieran Dunne has joined the staff team this week and I am so excited by the contribution he will make to the leadership team.

VISION SUNDAY

This coming Sunday (9 Sept) at The King's Church Mid-Sussex is what we call Vision Sunday. We have Sundays like this once or twice a year at particularly strategic or significant moments.

Bill Hybels, leader of the Willow Creek Church and Association has written some excellent leadership materials over the years but one of the most helpful things I have learnt from reading his books is about vision and about the importance of regularly casting vision.  We all know that life is busy;  work, family, travel, illness and disappointment all take their toll and it can be easy to lose sight of why we do what we do.


So, this Sunday, as we begin this new term in a new building with a new team, I will be reminding us of what our vision is. To raise our eyes again to what God has called us to as a church. I want to encourage you to be there as we consider all the Kingdom opportunities we have over the coming months and years.

 

PRAYER WEEK

This will then lead us into our week of prayer which we have at the beginning of each term. We will start on Sunday night at 6.30pm. We have decided to run the prayer night in the main audtorium at The King's Centre. We are going to create some space physically and create some space in terms of time to simply worship and enjoy God. Before we bring our long list of prayer requests to him we want to create some space for him to talk to us. I am particularly excited about praying in the main venue and again would love to encourage you to be there.  There is nothing greater or more important that we can do as a church than create time and space to hear from our Father God.

We are on a big adventure together. I look forward to seeing you this weekend.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

The King's Centre Launch

We have now had three Sunday meetings at The King's Centre.  Each week we are learning how best to use the space and make our gatherings as good as they can be. We have had an acoustic engineer in this week advising us on how we can improve the sound quality in both the auditorium and cafe area. We hope to begin to implement some of his recommendations over the next few weeks. 

We deliberately wanted to learn these lessons over the summer before we officially launch The King's Centre in September.

On September 14th we are hosting a champagne reception for local dignitaries and the business community. Nicholas Soames MP will be with us to 'cut the ribbon' and say a few words. Then on on Sunday 16th September we have...

Terry Virgo at TKC


Terry has been instrumental to our life as a church going back to our early days when we met in a home in Scaynes Hill in the 1970's. It is such a priviledge that he will be with us on our official launch Sunday. He will be be preaching at our 10.30am meeting and also at a 7.00pm meeting where we have invited other local churches to come and celebrate with us.

Its all about Jesus


Then on Sunday 23rd September we are going to start a new teaching series from the gospel of Mark. We are going to look at who Jesus is, what he did and what he taught. I can't wait to get into this incredible book as we focus on the person of Jesus week after week.

Its going to be an exciting month and remember.....Kieran Dunne is joining the staff team as well.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

A new chapter begins

I am so encouraged.


After all the months (and years) of praying, giving and planning we have now had our first Sunday meeting in our new venue - The King's Centre, Burgess Hill.


It was such an electric atmosphere and it was so good to see the place rammed full and to hear the voices of people worshipping God. Though we knew that lots of people would be interested in seeing the new building, we did not fully expect that over 430 people would be there on our first Sunday. As I said, I am so encouraged.


It was a great privilege for me to be able to preach the first message in The King's Centre - reminding us to be more excited about the presence of God than a new building.  The picture to the right shows the view from where I was standing. It was quite an amazing moment for me.


We are on a steep learning curve in terms of running our own building. We recognise that not everything was as good as we want it to be. Please bear with us over the next few weeks, especially in the following areas:


ACOUSTICS AND SOUND


Our technical team did an outstanding job to get us up and running for Sunday morning - they had very little time and worked incredibly hard. We were aware that the auditorium would present some challenges regarding echo and reverb. However, until we were able to get 400 chairs and people in the building we could not fully analyse the sound. Please be assured we are aware that the sound is not as we want it to be. We are working hard on finding the right solutions and will be liaising with acoustic specialists, however, this will not be completely resolved immediately. Please be patient as we try to find the best short and long term solutions.


COFFEE AND REFRESHMENTS


We are aware that some people had to queue for some time to get their refreshments last Sunday. We will try different solutions each week to try and reduce the time people have to wait. We are requesting that people do keep lids on hot drinks - this is both for safety (we do not want hot drinks spilling over children) and to prevent spillages in the building.


PARKING


We were able to get many cars on to the site which was great news.  Again, we will learn over the coming weeks the best way to park the maximum number of cars. If you are arriving from the north end of the building (i.e. coming in from Royal George Road, Burgess Hill) please park in the spaces we are able to use at Sussex Central College which is right next to The King's Centre. This will help prevent log jams at the south entrance of the building.


Thank you for your patience as we work these things through. The reason we are not publicly launching the building until September is so that we have these weeks over the summer to discover the best ways of running these areas.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Standing on the shoulders of giants


This coming Sunday (15 July) is a big Sunday for us at The King's Church Mid-Sussex.We will gather for the last time in Clair Hall, Haywards Heath before we move into our new venue at The King's Centre, Burgess Hill.

It is going to be a significant morning as we have been meeting in Clair Hall for 35 years.

As I have been preparing for Sunday I have been reminded again of the men and women of faith who have gone before us and who have made it possible for us to enjoy the kind of church that we do today.

We are the fruit of what is known as the 'Charismatic Renewal'. In the 1960's and 1970's there was a new wave of Holy Spirit activity in the UK. Men and women were being baptised in the Spirit and the freedom and joy that resulted impacted normal Sunday morning meetings. Many existing church wineskins did not want to find room for this new wine and so small groups of people began gathering in one another's homes - building community, teaching grace and being open to the gifts of the Spirit for today.

We now enjoy all of these things and, to a degree, may take them for granted. However, we can only enjoy these freedoms because of the battles that the previous generation fought on our behalf.

David Coak and John Salmon, who led our church
when it began, standing outside TKC's first offices
 in Haywards Heath opposite Clair Hall

We truly are standing on the shoulders of giants.  

On Sunday 22 July we start a new chapter as a church, meeting in our new venue - The King's Centre, Burgess Hill. It is such a joy to be leading this church at this time. But I know I only get to lead us into this new chapter because of the giants that have gone before me, because of the foundations they laid and because of the values they built into us as a people.

These are exciting days, but as we look forward let us also look back and remember all those people who made these kind of days possible for us to enjoy

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Unbelievable Generosity - Gift Day Feedback

Stunned.

That's how I felt last Sunday morning as our finance director (Paul Wright) gave me the scrap of paper which had written upon it the total from our recent gift days.

As I had been praying for our summer gift days I felt God say to believe him for £100,000. Obviously, this is a huge amount of money. The members at TKC have given out of their skin over the last two years as we have purchased and converted an old warehouse. So £100,000 - really? Was that possible? We are in a recession after all. It seemed like a very ambitious faith goal that God had given me.

As I looked at the piece of paper on Sunday morning I was stunned.

£91,955.99

At the time of writing we have now exceed £95,000. I am praying and believing that we will indeed pass the £100,000 target.

To be so close to £100,000 was incredible. I wanted to believe God for that figure but wondered if it was really attainable - I felt like the man in the gospels who said in Mark 9 “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

And still the gifts are coming in!

When King David took up an offering for the temple in Jerusalem he said this:

“But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand." 1 Chronicles 29 v 14

I feel exactly the same. Who am I and who are we that we can give as generously as this. I am so grateful to God, so grateful to the church I am part of and, as I said, I am ...

Stunned.




Wednesday, 6 June 2012

The King's Centre is almost finished!

A couple of weeks ago we filmed a video which gives a sneaky tour around our new building - The King's Centre. We are only a few weeks away now from the redevelopment being finished - anyone that has driven past the building recently will know that is is changing colour rapidly! In fact, the site now looks so different to the video which was filmed so recently. However, this will give you an idea of what space we will have. Enjoy!







Thursday, 31 May 2012

Another Amazing Healing: 'Since that moment, I haven’t had any difficulties walking at all'



A few days ago I posted a story about a lady in our church whose back has recently been healed in a remarkable way, this led her osteopath to say that it is in better condition now then when she started treating her a year ago.  

Here is another amazing story of God at work today from Bethan - a member of our church...


Bethan's Story

During the 16 months or so since I gave my life to God, I have received promises of healing from Him and prophetic words which have encouraged me and kept me holding on to those promises. When Julian Adams came to TKC, I arrived at the Saturday morning session on my mobility scooter with nothing more in mind than a great morning of praising God and learning. As I worshiped, I heard God ask me ‘are you ready?’ many times. I replied ‘yes’ each time without being quite sure what I was ready for! When Julian asked anyone who felt they were being moved to stand at the front and be prayed for, I went leaning on the arm of a friend. I didn’t feel any huge change over the next few minutes, but as we went to sit down again I realised that I didn’t need support any more!


For 8 years I have been living with a neurological illness. I had had diagnoses of M.E and fibromyalgia, and more recently Meniere’s. Throughout the years I have had relapses and remissions, but the relapses had been becoming more and more severe. Over the last 18 months it became obvious that the illness was no longer going into remission, and the possibility of MS was being investigated on the advice of my consultant. Although we were used to dealing with my condition as a family – indeed my 2 and 4 year old had known nothing different – I had been more and more wheelchair bound over the last year and we were really starting to wonder how much worse things were going to get.


'I am off all medication for the first time in a long time'

Since that moment, I haven’t had any difficulties walking at all. I felt that God was working on my other problems over the course of the next week or so – it didn’t happen all at once, but now (2 ½ weeks later) I am off all medication for the first time in a long time and I don’t feel that there is any of the illness left in me. We are all really enjoying life without it!


Eight years ago, my life was very much on the wrong track. I was too focused on earning more money and was living in a school where careers were far more important than relationships. I had lost the relationship with God that had been developing during my school days and, in doing so, I had lost an important part of myself. Although I know that God did not give me the illness, He used it to make many, many positive changes in my life and to bring me back to Him. I’m so much happier with the person that I am today than with who I was back then, and so grateful to our awesome God for everything He has done.



This photo was taken on the Sunday after the Julian Adams event - Bethan arrived that day on a mobility scooter, the next day she is on top of a climbing frame!



Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Amazing healing: 7-11 year olds prayed and the pain went

We have seen some amazing things happen at TKC over the last couple of weeks, including some remarkable healings. I want to get these stories 'out there' because they are so exciting.  This is Katie's story...


Katie's Story



After a difficult labour resulting in an emergency C-Section I suffered from a severe disc prolapse in my spine caused by a problem in the SI joint in my pelvis. I was in constant pain for over a year, sitting or lying down made the pain worse so I spent as much time as possible on my feet, and despite being on a cocktail of drugs I would wake with pain every 2 hours at night. I had expected being a mum to be tiring but this was something else! 


The worst thing about it was the feeling that my daughter was missing out on having a 'proper mummy' and that I was missing out on being one. I couldn't bath her, I wasn't supposed to pick her up (yeah right!) and I couldn't sit with her on my lap. The combination of pain, tiredness and painkillers also didn't make me very fun to be around! My back pain was also a real mental battle for me as I'd have a few days of feeling well and then suddenly would be worse than ever. I felt like my life was on hold - I couldn't go back to work, or even think about having another baby.


I am very blessed to have wonderful friends and family who supported and encouraged me, and a gorgeous, independent little girl who didn't seem to notice or care that mummy was in so much pain! I also have a good friend who is an osteopath and she was treating me regularly which really helped - Praise God for that provision, as I could not have afforded to pay for the treatment. 


One Sunday recently I was supposed to be leading the kids work at church but on the Friday night I had a particularly bad episode with my back and was unable to do anything but stand and cry for nearly 36 hours. One of the other kids work leaders covered my session but asked if the kids could pray for me. "Yes Please!" was my reply. So the 7-11 year olds gathered round, laid hands on me and prayed faith filled prayers that Jesus would heal me. I can honestly say I haven't had any pain since that morning. I didn't feel like I was completely right, I still didn't have very good mobility and I was still quite lopsided. The issue hadn't resolved but the pain had most definitely gone!


The following week Julian Adams visited TKC. God gave him a word of knowledge that someone in the room had a problem in the left side of their hip that was causing severe pain down the leg. That was me! He prayed for me and I knew that God had healed me. I stopped taking all my medication and put it to the test! That week I put my back though all the tests I could think of, the worst trigger had been driving - so I drove for 3 hours!


My osteopath said my back is perfect...



Another week down the line and I am still pain free, not only have I been bathing, and holding my daughter, I've been playing rough and tumble on a bouncy castle with her! I do not feel stiff, or limited in anyway. I have peace that my healing is complete and I can move on with life (I'm even starting to feel a bit broody!) My osteopath (not a Christian) said my back is perfect - even better than it was before I had the problems!


At times over the last 16 months I have felt frustrated and angry at God. I had been prayed for numerous times and not been healed, I don't know why not or, indeed, why this time I was. But I have learnt a lot, I know that whatever my circumstance, God is good. I've learnt that my health is not my right, and God owes me nothing, He's already given me His everything. I've become much more aware that there are a lot of people living in daily pain, and grown in compassion. I know that my Father God knows me and cares for me and His plan and His timing is perfect. I know my God heals.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

4 reasons why July is a huge month for TKC

Reason No1 -  Edward and Fridah Buria

Edward and Fridah from Meru, Kenya are great friends to us all at TKC. They have also been a huge encouragement to me personally - their kind words, advice, input and prayers have meant more than they probably realise.

I am so excited that they will be with us again at TKC on Sunday 1 July. Edward always brings a message that enlarges our vision and brings hope for our future. 


Reason No2 - Lex Loizides

Lex will be with us again on 7-8 July - his third visit to TKC.  Lex is based in Capetown, South Africa and is a gifted evangelist who has equipped many people to believe God for signs and wonders to go alongside evangelistic preaching.

Whenever he is with us he provokes us to consider what evangelism looks like in 21st Century Britain. He will be running an equipping workshop on Saturday 7 July and will be preaching at TKC on Sunday 8 July.



Reason No3 - Last Sunday in Clair Hall

We, as a church, have been meeting in Clair Hall for 35 years - it will be a huge moment when we have our last Sunday there together on Sunday 15 July.  God has been incredibly faithful to us over those years and we will be remembering, giving thanks and celebrating all that God has done.

It will be a special morning, including some video messages from those who have journeyed with us over the years.


Reason No4 - First Sunday in The King's Centre

What a momentus day!  For years we have been on the journey of finding our own building - a place of permanence and presence through which we could grow and build. That day is nearly upon us and we will be having our first Sunday in our new building on Sunday 22 July.

I walked around The King's Centre today - it is looking amazing - better than even I had anticipated. The photo shown here was from a workshop we ran in the old warehouse last year - the place is now unrecognizable.  This Sunday is going to be a huge milestone for us! 

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

4300 at HTB Leadership Conference

Holy Trinity, Brompton in London - the church that founded the Alpha course - recently ran a Leadership Conference at the Royal Albert Hall. 4300 people packed in for two days of worship, preaching and seminars - speakers included Tony Blair and Rick Warren.  I was disappointed not to be able to attend.


I attended in 2011 and it was one of the best leadership conferences I have ever been to. In fact, it was as a result of last year's conference that I connected with Major General Tim Cross who is coming back to TKC in just a few weeks time to speak at a Men's Breakfast.


What was most inspiring about the conference was the way it brought together leaders from many different streams and denominations. When it can appear so easy to look for the things that can divide us in the Christian church, HTB managed to create an event that was a genuine celebration of our unity. This is something that I found provoking and refreshing. 


The dates for 2013 have already been released - 13-14 May.  If you want to get an idea of the conference have a look at the video below.


video


Wednesday, 16 May 2012

It's all meaningless.....

“Meaningless! Meaningless!”
    says the Teacher.
“Utterly meaningless!
    Everything is meaningless.”



This is how the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes begins. An initial glance at this intriguing book may make you think that the writer (Solomon) needs a day out at Chessington and a big bag of Haribo Starmix. 


Is life meaningless? Is it all, as he says, a chasing after the wind?  What does Solomon, for all his wealth, wisdom and wives want to teach us? What is the point of Ecclesiastes? 


We are starting a new 4-part teaching series from the book of Ecclesiastes this coming Sunday (20 May) at The King's Church Mid-Sussex (www.tkc.org.uk). We are going to delve into Solomon's words and look afresh at what life is actually all about - for all our endeavours, pursuits, experiences, successes, money and knowledge - what does it actually all mean?


What is life? 


Come along this Sunday 9.30am or 11.30am at Clair Hall, Haywards Heath to find out more.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Joy: The serious business of heaven

Encounter

We have just had a fantastic 'Encounter' weekend with Julian Adams and the amazing team that came with him. I am so grateful for the generous heart of The King's Arms Church, Bedford (www.kingsarms.org) that they would release a team of five people to serve us at TKC.


On Saturday morning over 140 people gathered at The Martlets, Burgess Hill for a time of worship and then three different seminar streams. It was just incredible to witness one lady arrive on a mobility scooter and then, three hours later, walk out of the building not needing the scooter because God had performed an amazing miracle in her life! God, our good Father, was at work in amazing ways.


The serious business of heaven

On Sunday nearly 400 people packed in to our two morning meetings as we celebrated, worshipped and listened to Julian Adams preach from Galatians 4.  He asked the question: do we still live with our feet placed on the mountain of slavery or on the mountain of freedom? It tied in so well with our recent identity series - it is clear God is speaking to us.

Julian went on to talk about the centrality of joy in local churches and provoked us to consider what place joy has in our hearts. He raised a great question: why is it that if people cry in church we feel that is an acceptable emotion to express but if people laugh they are seen as being over the top and attention seeking? 

C. S. Lewis once wrote that:


"Joy is the serious business of Heaven."

It has provoked me to consider my own understanding of joy. The Bible is clear - laughter and joy are things that the people of God should feel very free to express. 

Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.”  Psalm 126 v 2

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit... Romans 14 v 17

This week, remember that it was for freedom that christ has set us free, remember we are sons not slaves, remember we are co-heirs with Christ, remember Jesus has paid it all and may you experience 'joy in the Holy Spirit' and as you do, remember that we are engaging in the serious business of heaven.