“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.

Easter Services and Baptisms 2019

Easter Services and Baptisms 2019

Steve Burnhope talks about the significance of Jesus’ resurrection, why we can trust the authenticity of the accounts of what happened on that first Easter Sunday, and the connection with being baptised.

Known By Our Scars

Known By Our Scars

Assistant Pastor, James Tweats, begins with the story of Jacob in Genesis 32 and then shares some of his own experiences of how life so often scars us — physically and emotionally. Our scars are an unavoidable part of our history, but how are they going to affect our future? Will they defeat us, or empower us? As with Jesus’ scars, will we allow them to become a place of blessing and victory and healing?

Jesus the ‘Influencer’

Jesus the ‘Influencer’

Guest Speaker David Graham, Lead Pastor at Southcourt Baptist Church in Aylesbury, talks from John chapter 4 about Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well, where we see Jesus as the great ‘Influencer.’ David encourages us to become imitators of Jesus in four ways: his ‘personal’ influence, his ‘present’ influence, his ‘boundary pushing’ influence and his ‘place changing’ influence.

Journeying to Jesus, Journeying with Jesus

Journeying to Jesus, Journeying with Jesus

Becoming a Christian is often thought of as a one-off ‘event’ — where everything is about crossing a boundary — moving from being ‘out’ to being ‘in.’ Steve Burnhope suggests that the reality is more complex and that for each of us, the ‘before’ and ‘after’ that pivotal moment is like a journey with waypoints — which in turn needs to impact how we think about the journey to faith of our friends.

Who are we going to believe?

Who are we going to believe?

Nicola Neal speaks from the story of Jesus’ feeding of the 5,000 in John chapter 6 and encourages us to see ourselves, believe about ourselves and say of ourselves not what the world around us sees, believes and says, but what Jesus sees, believes and says. Whose opinion are we going to come into alignment with?

Pictures of the Church — the ‘Body of Christ

Pictures of the Church — the ‘Body of Christ

The Bible never talks about Church as a building, or something we “go to.” But it has a lot to say about what it means for us to “be” Church, mostly through metaphors (or, ‘picture language’). Steve Burnhope looks at one of the New Testament’s favourite metaphors, ‘the body,’ and what it looks like for us to be putting that into practice in “being Church” together today.

Yes, “Jesus Saves” — but … how, exactly?

Yes, “Jesus Saves” — but … how, exactly?

In the third and final talk in our latest ‘Big Questions’ series, Steve Burnhope looks at how Jesus made us right with God. He starts with what the New Testament and Early Creeds tell us about that question and what the Bible means when it talks about Jesus ‘redeeming’ us, ‘ransoming’ us, ‘paying the price’ and becoming ‘a sacrifice’ for us. Finally, he addresses the widespread but mistaken assumption that the good news of the Gospel is — and ‘has to be’ — all about an angry God of wrath being placated and enabled to forgive only by punishing and killing his innocent Son instead.