What Does It Mean to “Have Faith”?

What Does It Mean to “Have Faith”?

Clearly, ‘faith’ is vital to being a Christian, but what is ‘faith,’ and how do we ‘live by’ faith? Does faith get prayers answered? Does too-little faith stop them being answered? Steve Burnhope runs through the problems with the standard way that many Christians think about faith — as striving for mental certainty, with no doubts allowed — before then explaining what biblical faith does in fact look like.

Pentecost — in September …?

Pentecost — in September …?

Wreaking havoc with the traditional church calendar, Steve Burnhope looks at Pentecost in September as we start this new term. Rather than Acts 2 inaugurating ‘speaking in tongues,’ as generally assumed, its significance is the inclusion of people of every nation, tribe, and language on equal terms ‘in Christ’ in the Kingdom of God, reversing what happened at Babel in Genesis 11, and foreshadowing heaven. He encourages us to be a church that commits to modelling Pentecost, not one that models Babel.

Simeon and Anna – how to wait and pray

Simeon and Anna – how to wait and pray

Lyn Burnhope reflects on the significance of the meeting together in the Temple with Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus. As we meet together, all of those same ingredients are with us as we pray and long for His Kingdom to come on earth as it is in Heaven.

What does God want?

What does God want?

What does God want? What does he want from us, as people? Steve Burnhope runs through some of the options and then suggests three simple, easy-to-remember themes — repeated throughout the Bible — which sum up God’s perspective on that question. [Editor’s note: Steve was wrong about his new shirt; the style is Cuban, not Hawaiian, but try not to let that put you off …]

Big Story, Little Story

Big Story, Little Story

Life is a true story. Guest Speaker Andy Kind asks which of the major world-views makes the most sense of what you know to be true about yourself.

Freedom from Fear

Freedom from Fear

Fear comes in all shapes and sizes, including anxieties and phobias, with broad, deep and wide-ranging effects. As Christians, we should be both medically-informed and spiritually-aware. Steve Burnhope suggests how a biblical perspective can help us in handling fears in our own life, centred on five key biblical truths.

Where are we ‘at’ in our relationships?

Where are we ‘at’ in our relationships?

Assistant Pastor James Tweats invites us on a journey to look at the health of our relationships — with ourselves, with others, and with God — and suggests four ‘Kingdom principles’ that will help us get them (and keep them) on track.

Jairus and an olive tree farmer?

Jairus and an olive tree farmer?

Jamie Eyre shares about the work of Christians he’s visited in the Middle East and stories from the people they serve.

“Sin” — the Misconceptions, and the Reality

“Sin” — the Misconceptions, and the Reality

Senior Pastor Lyn Burnhope takes on the thorny question of “sin” — an old-fashioned, negative-sounding word that’s often misused and misunderstood. She explores what it is and what it isn’t, how it impacts human life in so many ways, and how we’re called to join in Jesus’ mission against sin in its personal, corporate and global dimensions.

“Do You Know Him?”

“Do You Know Him?”

Guest Speaker Dr. Jason Clark, Senior Pastor of Sutton Vineyard, takes his cue from the famous message “Do You Know Him?” by the late Dr. S. M. Lockridge. He asks whether our life matches an encounter with the incredible God of whom Lockridge speaks in this video (which is shown during the talk, but can also be found separately on YouTube).

Being Kingdom Bringers

Being Kingdom Bringers

As part of our Kids Takeover service, our Head Children’s Ministry, Liz Machell, spoke to our whole church family about being bringers of God’s now-and-not yet Kingdom whilst living in a beautiful but broken world between the times of the Garden of Eden and the New Heavens and New Earth.

The Bible Story Box Set (part three)

The Bible Story Box Set (part three)

Steve Burnhope completes our short series of talks thinking about the Bible with a simple way of telling the story like a Box Set — Season One: the Old Testament, Season Two: the New Testament and Season Three: the on-going episodes in which we are invited to join the cast!

The Bible Story Box Set (part two)

The Bible Story Box Set (part two)

In this week’s episode, Steve Burnhope explains some of the “rules of the game” of biblical interpretation (how to make sense of what we’re reading, in the best possible way), which begins by respecting the original authors and audiences and understanding the way they thought and wrote. Starting with ‘how communication works’ (in every era, and culture) helps us see the difference between the ‘timeless truths’ God intended to give us and the ‘time-bound wrapper’ in which they are unavoidably packaged.

The Bible Story Box Set (part one)

The Bible Story Box Set (part one)

Steve Burnhope kicks off our latest three-week series of ‘Big Questions’ about Christianity and faith with another look at the Bible as the story of people and the story of God, intertwined. During these talks, he’ll be explaining how we can understand it the way that the original authors and audience would have understood it, and how it all hangs together as one big story from cover to cover.

Home, homelessness and God’s hospitality

Home, homelessness and God’s hospitality

Lyn starts by looking at the call of Abraham to leave his home, and how this Biblical theme is a challenge to us. She then goes on to reflect on wider themes of ‘home’ and ‘homelessness’ in the Bible, and encourages us that whatever situation we are in, we do faithfully and well, whilst at the same time extending God’s hospitality to others in todays world in many and various ways.

What does it mean to be ‘in a relationship’ with Jesus?

What does it mean to be ‘in a relationship’ with Jesus?

Steve Burnhope continues from last week’s talk (“What does it mean to ‘love Jesus’?”) and explores what it means to be ‘in a relationship’ with Jesus. He offers some practical suggestions for how we might go about that and the importance of creating space in the busy-ness of modern life.

What does it mean to ‘love Jesus’?

What does it mean to ‘love Jesus’?

The dictionary tells us that love is “An intense feeling of deep affection.” But as Christians, is that what God is wanting from us, or is it something more? Steve Burnhope suggests five key things to have on our personal checklist for what a biblical perspective on ‘loving Jesus’ looks like.

How far do you want to go?

How far do you want to go?

Steve Burnhope speaks from Ezekiel 47, where the prophet experiences a dramatic vision of a river of blessing flowing from the presence of God in the temple, a river that pictures an outpouring of the Holy Spirit, in which Ezekiel is invited to go deeper and deeper. Steve asks us the question that no doubt God was asking Ezekiel: “How far do you want to go? Just watching from the sidelines? Ankle-deep? Knee-deep? Waist-deep? Or plunging in, out of your depth?

Who am I?

Who am I?

When all the titles and labels that define us are stripped away, do we still feel valued and significant? Georgia Gasson unpacks what it means to know who we are in Christ.

Features of a Healthy Church

Features of a Healthy Church

What does a church look like when it is filled with Jesus? Luke Martin reflects on Acts 4, looking at some of the key features that made the early church healthy and influential, and how we might apply that to today.