Simon's Blog

Comments and thoughts from our senior minister, Simon Harris

You can suscribe to this feed to receive regular updates in your feed reader or browser ,or receive them by email directly to your inbox. To receive by email click here and complete the email subscription on the left hand side.

To view or search the archive of previous blogs, click here.

The Disciple’s Toolkit

Teaching series: June & July 2017

The-Disciple's-toolkit_1000_draft_0.1We are disciples.† We know that.† But are we disciple-makers?† Well, yes we are. †We cannot be a true disciple without being a disciple-maker.

Discipleship involves discipling.

But how?

The Disciples ToolkitIt’s too easy to concentrate on our own personal discipleship whilst ignoring the discipling-others part entirely, or to pass the buck and hope that “The Church” will do that once we’ve made the introductions.

But what if the disciple-making part was the most vibrant, life-giving and dynamic aspect of discipleship? What if in discipling others we ourselves grow best? Then where would we start?

We start with Jesus.† Learning from him, we begin to fill our toolkit with disciple-making tools.


Full series details and podcasts (when available)


Posted Sat, 10 Jun 2017 09:00:15 +0000 - View in WordPress

Open the Floodgates

Teaching series – May 2017

OTF Welcome

This three part teaching is based on a promise. God’s promise. It’s the only place in the Bible where we are invited to test him.

The test is not based on the length of our prayers, the number of worship songs we can sing or the number of Bible verses we have memorised. Surprisingly it’s about money – yours and mine – and how we handle it.

And then the promise:

“Test me in this,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.” Malachi 3:10

As part of this series we will have a Gift Day on Sunday 21st May 2017 and a 24/7 Prayer Room from 18th May 2017.††I explain more here:

Sign up for the prayer room

Gift Day Response Form

More information and podcasts (when available)

Posted Fri, 05 May 2017 14:08:00 +0000 - View in WordPress

FORM Internship 2017-18

A year to grow in leadership, discipleship & mission†

Screen Shot 2017-04-12 at 15.56.45Form is our burlington internship programme. †It is rooted in a culture of leadership, discipleship and mission. Being a disciple is about following Jesus and becoming more like him. Jesus invites us into his story to imitate him and live life along side him. Form is about that story, imitating Jesus wherever he has called you to be and learning how to draw other people into his story too.

It is not for the faint-hearted, it is an intense year but a year where God will bring transformation in every part of your life.

Screen Shot 2017-04-22 at 22.10.28The internship will be a balance of stepping out in leadership, being discipledFORM_logo_250 as part of a team of leaders†and seeing transformation in you and others in the area where you choose to serve.†We are excited to be able offer internships in many areas†of Church life including youth and children’s ministry, missional communities, creative worship, administration, AV, graphic &†design, social media †or working with other†key ministry staff including
our ministers

Find more details here

Posted Wed, 12 Apr 2017 15:44:40 +0000 - View in WordPress

Who do you think you are?

Teaching series – Spring 2017

Who do you think you are?

Who am I?
It’s a question we are all asking.
Our identity matters.

Often our identity can trouble or confuse us. It can leave us anxious or even afraid. Easily we become prey to marketeers who promise with each brand so much more than the product.

Yet our true identity can liberate us, catapulting us forward into becoming our true selves.

So join us week by week as we ask: Who do you think you are?

Starts Sunday 19th February 2017
Full series details and podcasts (when available)


Posted Thu, 16 Feb 2017 00:14:15 +0000 - View in WordPress

Emma’s Charity Curry Night

Emma writes …

I would like to invite you to a Charity Curry Night on Monday 20th February at 7.30pm.

Our favourite family Indian restaurant in Ipswich, The Maharani †has kindly agreed to help to support me in joining a team travelling to South Africa to work amongst orphaned children in LIV Village.


LIV Village† is a fantastic response to the millions of orphaned and vulnerable children in South Africa, mostly due to AIDS/HIV.

“We place orphaned and vulnerable children into a family environment where they will receive unconditional love, spiritual discipleship, care and nurturing.”

I am so excited to have the opportunity to travel with Soul Survivor to support all that LIV Village are doing. We will be helping out practically with life on the village as well as helping out with a few building projects outside of the village, this will involve building houses and other practical tasks to support the charities working in Durban.


Please join me for an evening of good conversation and great food. Come yourself, or bring a few friends and share a table and know that every meal will help make a difference. The restaurant will give 50% of the menu price towards our support (thank you Manik so much).

The Details

Cost: £18 per head. This gives us a selection of starters and main courses, a variety of rice, naan and side dishes and coffee with mints. Other drinks are not included.
Location: The Maharani Indian Cuisine, 46 Norwich Road, Ipswich IP1 2NJ
Date & Time: Monday 20th February 2017, 7.30pm
RSVP’ing is essential. I need to know that you are coming by Thursday 16th February 2017. Please let me know that you are coming or contact me direct on Emma’s Facebook or Emma’s twitter or Emma’s email.

I’m looking forward to a great evening and the knowledge that it makes a difference.

See you there!

Posted Sun, 29 Jan 2017 20:24:45 +0000 - View in WordPress


Autumn teaching series 2016

Influencer V1-01Jesus calls us to be ‘salt’ and ‘light’, to become a Godly influence wherever he has placed us.

Joseph was a ‘nobody,’ the youngest son in a large family living way out in the country. Yet God chose him to become a man of great influence and consequently, as the Bible says, “many were saved.”

Joseph’s calling is our calling. His story is ours. Whoever we are, and wherever God has placed us our destiny is to become people of great influence and Joseph’s journey is our road map.

Full details & podcasts

Begins: †Sunday 4th September 2016


Posted Thu, 01 Sep 2016 16:21:06 +0000 - View in WordPress

Vital Signs

Summer 2016, teaching series

Beginning Sunday†8th May 2016

Vital Signs

How alive are you?†

How alive are those you are discipling?†

How alive is your small group or missional community?

Jesus himself often used biological life to help us understand his kingdom life. He talked of farmers sowing, of seeds planted and vineyards pruned. He also described a community of his followers as a body. All biological metaphors. In other words the way things live and grow in the physical world helps us understand how things should live and grow in his kingdom.

There are 7 signs of life. You may remember them from biology (or perhaps not!). In this series we will look at each of these Vital Signs to help us explore our own vitality,† and that of the communities we are building

Podcasts and slides will be posted here when they are available.

Posted Sun, 08 May 2016 05:02:33 +0000 - View in WordPress

Job Opportunity: We are seeking an Operations Manger

Church centre WelcomeBurlington Baptist Church†is seeking a†full-time Operations Manager

Who we are

Burlington ( is a lively growing community with 240 members. Our buildings are located just off the town centre of Ipswich and people from across the town, and beyond, are a part of our community. Over the last 5 years we have been developing our vision of missional living: of being both a gathered and scattered community as we have launched a number of missional communities.

What we are looking for†

At this exciting time of opportunity and challenge, we are seeking a dynamic team player to work alongside our senior minister in our†leadership team, coordinating and developing our administrative,†communication and property operations. †This will involve the leadership†and support of both paid staff and volunteers.

This is a great opportunity for someone with management skills to take on
a high level of responsibility within a local church committed to mission.

The successful candidate will demonstrate a vibrant personal relationship
with Jesus Christ and be passionately committed to the missional vision of

More information

Closing date for applications:†Sunday 5th June 2016

Selection process: †Saturday 18th June 2016

For further information and an application pack, please contact†Mrs. Katie Faux, PA to Senior Minister:

– Tel: 07527 747 828

– Email:

Posted Mon, 02 May 2016 11:01:36 +0000 - View in WordPress

Forgotten Sayings

Spring 2016, teaching series

Beginning Sunday 21st February 2016


The run up to Easter is traditionally a time for self examination.† It’s a time to slow down, refocus and examine our hearts. This 40 day period called Lent recalls the 40 days that Jesus spent in the wilderness preparing for his ministry. †In our teaching series at burlington we will let the words of Jesus be our guide …..

Jesus said some extraordinary things. His words were direct, witty, bold, insightful and, above all, life transforming. Cutting through the noise, they go straight to the heart. But it’s easy to forget them. At least, forget to work their truth into our lives. So each week we will take something He actually said and let its truth settle on our hearts, provoking and comforting us as we align our lives with the†truth.

Here’s one to get us started. Jesus actually said:††Why do you call me, “Lord, Lord,” and do not do what I say?†Luke 6:46† So, according to Jesus there are people who address him as Lord (in prayer or song maybe?) but then don’t do everything he says. Ouch! That’s me, and maybe you too. Where in my life do I need to remember that Jesus isn’t just my Saviour, he’s also my Lord?

Podcasts and slides will be posted here when they are available.

Posted Sat, 20 Feb 2016 17:44:48 +0000 - View in WordPress

Why fast?

Water As burlington starts its Daniel Fast, why fast?

1. It’s a command

“When you fast…….” Matthew 6:16

Maybe that should be enough.

2. To centre on God

†“… a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshipped night and day, fasting and praying.” Luke 2:37

Biblical fasting was always for spiritual purposes, despite the other benefits it may have.

“Ask all the people of the land and the priests, “When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months for the past seventy years, was it really for me that you fasted?” Zechariah 7:5

Fasting is for Him.

3. To deepen our prayer life

Often great prayers in the Scriptures were accompanied with fasting.

“So we fasted and petitioned our God about this, and he answered our prayer.” †Ezra 8:23

“A … more weighty reason for fasting is that it is a help to prayer; particularly when we set aside large portions of time for private prayer. Then especially it is that God is often pleased to lift up the souls of his servants above all the things of earth … in to the third heaven. And it is chiefly as it is a help to prayer that it has so frequently been found a means in the hand of God of confirming and increasing ….seriousness of spirit, earnestness, sensibility, and tenderness of conscience; deadness to the world and consequently the love of God and every holy and heavenly affection.” John Wesley

4. To strip away self †– enriching our encounter with God

“When I wept, and chastened my soul with fasting, that was to my reproach.” Psalm 69:10

We cover up what is inside us with food and other good things, but during fasting these things surface.

“If humility is the basic ingredient of true holiness, the soil in which the graces flourish, is it not needful that from time to time we should, like David, humble our souls with fasting? Behind many of our besetting sins and personal failures, behind the many ills that infect our church fellowships and clog the channels of Christian service – the clash of personalities and temperaments, the strife the division – lies that insidious pride of the human heart.” Arthur Wallis

“The first truth that was revealed to me in my early experiences in fasting was my lust for good feelings. It is certainly not a bad thing to feel good, but we must be able to bring that feeling to an easy place where it does not control us. So many attitudes strive to control us: anger, pride, fear, hostility, gluttony, avarice. All of these and more will surface as we fast. It is a blessed release to have these things out in the open so that they can be defeated, and we can live with a single eye toward God.” Richard Foster

5. To remind us that we are sustained by God

“But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4

“”My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.” John 4:34

Fasting awakens in us our dependence. Our dependence ultimately on God.

“Fasting confirms our utter dependence upon God by finding in him a source of sustenance beyond food. Through it, we learn by experience that God’s word to us is a life substance, that it is food (‘bread’) alone that gives life, but also the words that proceed from the mouth of God. We learn that we too have meat to eat that the world does not know about. Fasting unto our Lord is therefore feasting – feasting on him and on doing his will.” Dallas Willard

6. To increase our ability to hear God

“While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said …” Acts 13:2

Jesus set aside 40 days and nights for this exact purpose.

Does it work?

“Our seasons of fasting and prayer at the Tabernacle have been high days indeed; never has Heaven’s gate stood wider; never have our hearts been nearer the central Glory” Charles Spurgeon

“During fasting, thankfulness grows toward him who has given humanity the possibility of fasting. Fasting opens the entrance to a territory you have scarcely glimpsed: the expressions of life and all the events around you and within you get a new illumination, the hastening hours a new, wide eyed and rich purpose. The vigil of groping thought is replaced by a vigil of clarity; troublesome searching is changed to quiet acceptance in gratitude and humility. Seemingly large, perplexing problems open their centers like ripe calyces of flowers: with prayer, fasting and vigil in unison, we may knock the door we wish to see opened.” Tito Colliander

Image courtesy of [Winnond] at

Posted Tue, 12 Jan 2016 16:29:37 +0000 - View in WordPress