The Example


This week someone posted this helpful little graphic on my Facebook drawing the simple distinctions between a boss and a leader. The leader had an uncanny resemblance to Richard Branson – blond hair, big smile and beard… It got me thinking and I posted the comment, “Very good as far as it goes. Worth exploring the difference between models of secular leadership and the model of Jesus Christ.” Then, I added the verses from our gospel reading this evening,

“When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am.  Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.  I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” (John 13:12-15)

The Church of England’s Short Guide to the Duties of Church Membership, which we endorse at Christ Church begins with this definition of a Christian. “To follow the example of Christ at home and daily life, and to bear personal witness to him.” How can we do that? What does it mean? To follow Christ must involve every part of us. Following Christ will surely involve my mind, my heart and my will.

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Easter at Christ Church

Easter 2016
Get directions here

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Open Wide the Gates: Edmund Chan

Edmund Chan, the Leadership Mentor of Covenant Free Evangelical Church, Singapore, was the guest preacher at Christ Church, Virginia Water, on Palm Sunday 20 March 2016. His sermon was based on Psalm 24 and Mark 11.

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Watch two more of Edmund’s sermons here

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The Storm Before the Calm: Richard Bewes

A sermon preached at Christ Church, Virginia Water on Mark 13. View Richard’s website here

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Jerusalem Has Fallen

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After the death of the British prime minister, the world’s leaders gather in London to pay their respects. Without warning, a series of devastating terrorist attacks wipe out five world leaders attending the funeral leaving the city in chaos and ruins. Secret Service agent Mike Banning springs into action to bring the U.S. President to safety. When he falls into the hands of the sinister organization, it’s up to Banning to save his commander in chief from a horrible fate. London has Fallen is the latest disaster movie to hit the cinemas. The film is the sequel to Olympus Has Fallen, released just under three years ago about a previous terrorist attack on the White House. “Olympus” being the US secret service code for the White House.  Well, the theme of our Gospel reading could be entitled “Jerusalem has Fallen”. Jesus and his disciples have just arrived in Jerusalem. They were fisherman from villages along the shore the Sea of Galilee. They were impressed by the fine stone buildings.

“As Jesus was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!” “Do you see all these great buildings?” replied Jesus. “Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.” (Mark 13:1-2)

Jesus shocked them with his apocalyptic warning of imminent and total destruction. So…

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Full Time Children’s & Family Pastor

ChildMin-1024x576Christ Church Virginia Water is a vibrant evangelical church of many different nationalities and denominations, with a Sunday attendance of 300, united in ‘Knowing Jesus and making Jesus known’.

We are seeking an experienced team player with proven leadership skills, spiritual maturity and a burning passion to reach out into the community and introduce children (0-11 year olds) and their families to the Lord Jesus Christ, nurture them in their faith, and equip them to share Jesus with others.

Click here for a copy of the Job-Description within which are detailed the role’s principal responsibilities.

Appointments are subChildrens-Ministry-logo-small-2ject to interview, references and enhanced DBS clearance. Interviews and potential appointment will take place as applications are received. The anticipated start date is September 2016.

There is a Genuine Occupational Requirement (GOR) that the post-holder is a Christian and applicants must be eligible to work in the UK.

Click here for an Application-Form or for more information email Penny.

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Where do we Worship? The Church Defined

Worship_0A few weeks ago I visited Cairo to preach at St Michael’s and All Angels and to give some teaching on the reliability of the Bible.  It is a very special church family. Their building hosts several congregations including an Egyptian community, two separate expat church families (one Anglican and one non conformist) and two Sudanese congregations one all age and one in their teens and twenties. To accommodate everyone in their heart language, they hold numerous mid-week and weekend services in English, Arabic and Sudanese. The music ranges from the exuberant and informal African, via Egyptian Arabic music to the more laid back Anglican Hymns Ancient and Modern.  And the Anglican priest is called Jos who just happens to be a fluent Arabic speaking Dutchman. Cosmopolitan, international, multi-ethnic.

Not that dissimilar to the picture of the international church of Jesus Christ, the Bride of Christ we find described in Peter’s first epistle. In 1 Peter 2:1-10 we discover how God would have us live in community. We were designed to live in community – to know and be known, to love and be loved, to serve and be served, to celebrate and be celebrated. Peter uses four vivid pictures to describe our relationship to one another in the Church.

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The Riches of Poverty

james-c-christensen-the-widows-mite1“Do you not know that God entrusted you with that money (all above what buys necessities for your families) to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to help the stranger, the widow, the fatherless; and, indeed, as far as it will go, to relieve the wants of all mankind? How can you, how dare you, defraud the Lord, by applying it to any other purpose?” I wonder if you can guess who said that? John Wesley.

He went on to say ““When a man becomes a Christian, he becomes industrious, trustworthy and prosperous. Now, if that man when he gets all he can and saves all he can, does not give all he can, I have more hope for Judas Iscariot than for that man!” This morning, in our series on Jesus, Mean and Wild, we meet the lady who knew how to handle money. I want us to observe how impressed Jesus is with her rather than her contemporaries. We don’t know her name but we do learn:

True Giving is Unpretentious: Observed by God’s Son
True Giving is Sacrificial: Prized in God’s Economy
True Giving is Reckless: Trusting in God’s Provision

The Riches of Poverty (Mark 12) from Stephen Sizer on Vimeo.

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The Prosperity Gospel


God’s Will is Prosperity, insists Gloria Copeland. “Give $10 and receive $1,000; give $1,000 and receive $100,000. . . . In short, Mark 10:30 is a very good deal.” “Scripture clearly establishes how intensely God desires to display His goodness and His love toward man by pouring out His prosperity and abundance… If you’re a believer, you have a covenant right to prosperity. And not just prosperity but True Prosperity. Now, with Gloria’s detailed study, you can “… discover for yourself that God’s Will is Prosperity.”  And if following Gloria’s advice doesn’t maketime-prosperity-gospel you sufficiently wealthy, Amazon recommends, you also read her husband, Kenneth Copeland’s books, The Laws of Prosperity, and Prosperity, the Choice is Yours.

If the Copeland lifestyle is anything to go by, they are blessed indeed. A recent survey claims Copeland is the richest pastor in the world.[i] Their net worth is estimated at $760 million though he already claims to be a billionaire. Their 1,500-acre ministry campus near Fort Worth includes a church, a private airstrip, a hangar for the ministry’s $17 million jet aircraft, and a $6 million lakefront mansion. Maybe there is something in the prosperity gospel. Gloria quotes from Mark 10 where we meet a very religious and very prosperous young man who wants to follow Jesus. Lets read the story and see what it has to say about the prosperity gospel. Continue reading

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No Abiding City: The Rt Revd Michael Lewis

No Abiding City: Christian presence, problems and possibilities in the Middle East.” A Lenten lecture at John Keble, Mill Hill by the Rt Revd Michael Lewis, Bishop of Cyprus and the Gulf in the Episcopal Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East. Sponsored by Christians Aware, Church Mission Society and US.

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