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Senior Pastors’ Talks

‘Why I Love the Vineyard’

‘Why I Love the Vineyard’

Continuing our Birthday Month, Steve Burnhope talks about some of the things he personally loves about the Vineyard. He starts with some ‘Vineyard theology’ and ‘Vineyard values’ that are shared throughout the movement — wherever one goes in the world — and finishes with some of the things he loves about Aylesbury Vineyard in particular.

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 …]

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.

“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.

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?

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.

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.

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.