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Evangelism / Mission

For help and guidance with sharing our faith.

True Worshippers

- Seeking What Matters To God

by Bob Kauflin


With a forward by Matt Redman you'd be mistaken to think the Worshippers being talked about are musicians – although they do get a thorough mention, but rather what Kauflin talks about is how we've got confused with what worship really is due to the musical reference and emphasis we've put on it since the 70's and he goes back, first to a quote from John Calvin, and then to the story of the Samaritan woman at the well and Jesus' words to her to highlight that true worshippers are not just musically inclined singing christians, but that worship, true worship, is a much deeper and richer thing than this and this is what we need to be seeing... and doing.
It's a very easy to read book and is an excellent look at the issues of real worship... and how we do real worship. Certainly one for worship leaders, but also one for all who desire to be True Worshippers of God.



Review by Melanie Carroll  (16/04/16)
Jacket
Publisher: IVP(Inter Varsity Press)
Published: September 2015
ISBN: 978-1-783-59380-4
Paperback
Price: £8.99

Calling Christian Leaders

- Rediscovering Radical Servant Ministry

by John Stott


Here is John Stott at his very best, expounding Scripture and applying it in practical ways.

Calling Christian Leaders is a study of 1 Corinthians chapters 1-4 in which he tackles the issue of what leadership in the church actually means—is it determined by culture or the demands of Scripture?

He argues that our view of the church should be biblical and that leadership should reflect the pattern of teaching found there; that leadership as advocated by the world is a distraction from the humility in leadership demonstrated by the apostles. The central argument of the book is the apostle's theme 'power through weakness'.

Stott sets out five individual themes: The ambiguity of the church; Power through weakness; Holy Spirit and Holy Scripture; The church and the Trinity, and, Models of ministry, with a concluding section of Christ or Culture?

This is an exposition of 1 Corinthians 1-4 highly recommendable to all preachers and church leaders.



Review by Graham Wise  (25/08/14)
Jacket
Publisher: IVP(Inter Varsity Press)
Published: November 2013
ISBN: 978-1-783-59019-3
Paperback
Price: £8.99

The Provocative Church

- Fourth Edition with Study Guide

by Graham Tomlin


 "Inviting people to come under the rule of God" is how Graham Tomlin defines evangelism. The Church's role is "to remind the rest of the world of God's rule and Christ's lordship in Christ", and to do so through Christians' words as well as their lives. Read Chapter 3 to get a good idea of what the ‘Kingdom' or ‘Rule' of God is.

Tomlin recognises that evangelism is unfashionable, but this stimulating and practical book, now in its fourth reprint, opens up the many ways of becoming an evangelistic church. The whole congregation could profitably study this
book, but the author is specifically concerned with leaders, who are important if the church is going to become truly evangelistic. I heartily recommend "The Provocative Church".



Review by Barry Vendy  (13/06/14)
Jacket
Publisher: SPCK (Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge)
Published: March 2013
ISBN: 978-0-281-07129-6
Paperback
Price: £9.99

Challenges Of Christian Leadership



by John Stott


This is a short book of only 94 pages that was taken from a series of talks given by John Stott in Equador in 1985, and that is now being seen in print in English for the first time.

Given that it is based on a series of talks it has a flowing, conversational and directive style to it. It addresses four challenges within Christianity, discouragement, self-discipline, relationships and youth.

However I'd like to say that although the title is 'of Christian leadership' the truth is that these are challenges for most christians in many settings, and so this is not a leadership book as such, but certianly one with appeal to a much wider auidience than that.



Review by Melanie Carroll  (29/01/14)
Jacket
Publisher: IVP(Inter Varsity Press)
Published: January 2014
ISBN: 978-1-783-59088-9
Paperback
Price: £6.99

Balanced Christianity



by John Stott


This is an enlarged edition of a short book that was first published in 1975. It is expanded by the inclusion of a 1995 interview from Third Way Magazine between Roy McCloughrey and John Stott, that looks further at the idea of Balanced Christianity as had been put forward in the book.

What is so interesting about this book, and why it still is being published and reflected on, is that the issue Stott discusses in 'Balanced Christianity' remains—The issue of polarisation within churches and polarisation between christian camps, for exapmle, liberals and fundamentalists.

He does well here to point out that there are so many points of common agreement that to be so polarised on the small issues is to do a diservice to evangelical christianity, and asks us to consdier how better we could come together into a balanced christianity.

A good book, and worth reading.



Review by Melanie Carroll  (29/01/14)
Jacket
Publisher: IVP(Inter Varsity Press)
Published: January 2014
ISBN: 978-1-783-59087-2
Paperback
Price: £6.99

Will You Join In OUr Crusade

- The Invitation Of The Gospels Unlocked By The Inspriation of Les Miserables

by Steve Mann


This would make a really good 'seekers' introduction course to faith because it utilises the current passion for Les Miserables and the 2012 block buster film of it.

Each week of this seven week study is divided into seperate days, with the 7th day being the questions for personal or group study and also providing the appropriate clip that sums up the weeks study.

Each days study begins by providing a bible reference for you to look up and read, and then from there we get into focusing on the characters and situations from Les Miserable and from there pulling and teasing out the idea’s that are gospel centred, drawing the comparisons to Jesus' own actions.

So this book could be used individually and daily, and in this manner would be great for those looking for something different to do in their own quiet time, but by the same token it could be so easily reworked to be a group course, and as I said at the beginning I really think this would be a brilliant 'seekers' course - open, easily approachable and understandable for those with little knowledge of the gospels, as well as those with knowledge but that are looking to find modern meaning and relevance...

An excellent resource and very well done indeed.

Review by Melanie Carroll  (29/01/14)
Jacket
Publisher: Circle Books imprint of John Hunt Publishing Ltd
Published: January 2014
ISBN: 978-1-782-79384-7
Paperback
Price: £8.99

Paul's Missionary Methods

- In his time and in ours

Edited by Robert L Plummer and John Mark Terry


If you want to gain fuller understanding of Saint Paul's methods of outreach and church planting, especially with a view to learning which out of those methods may be definitive for the Church today, then you will find this stimulating collection helpful. Part One - Paul in the New Testament - contains interesting chapters on topics such as Paul's milieu and ecclesiology, and a useful discussion of suffering and spiritual warfare. But I found Part Two - Paul's Influence on Missions - particularly provocative in what it said about issues like indigenous missions and contextualisation. It's in this second part that the main reason for the publication of this book now comes to the fore. It's been written to mark the centenary of Roland Allen's "highly significant and still challenging book on missions, Missionary Methods: St. Paul's or Ours?" Since I had never encountered Allen's book, I found these chapters really enlightening, as I read about "Generational resubmission - the resubmission of each generation of men to the Word and Spirit of God"ť, and learnt about Allen's philosophy of "indigenous mission", that is "self-supporting, self-governing and self-propagating". "Contextualisation" is relevant there, as is danger of excessively westernised patterns of missionary work. Maybe the truth of Allen's words was not fully appreciated at the time. But that has changed over the years. "Even though Allen sleeps, he still speaks - but this time people are listening" (the book's cclosing words). I do recommend reading this.

Review by Barry Vendy  (31/10/13)
Jacket
Publisher: IVP(Inter Varsity Press)
Published: February 2013
ISBN: 978-1-844-74615-6
Paperback
Price: £14.99

Working Faith

- Faith-Based Organisations and Urban Social Justice

by Paul Cloke, Justin Beaumont & Andrew Williams


Working Faith is a book that I would recommend to anyone with an interest in pioneer ministry or fresh expressions, let alone those that are out there working in the areas of social or urban justice. This book is a real look at how we work on the edges not just here in the UK but also across Europe, and as such it helps both identify differences and commonalities that can be utilised in organisations, teams and individuals that engage with the margins; that work with the homeless, the addicted, the lonely and the injured.

I was surprised if I am honest by how engaging a read the book was - I expected it to be dry and feel like a dissertation paper, but it's not. It's rooted in a concept that endeavours to engage and as such that comes through - don't get me wrong there are sections that are clearly more academic in tone, but even then they convey insight to those working in the urban arena of social justice.

A very good book and certainly one for those active in engaging with the margins of our society and trying to really build and work on the foundations of the 'big society' in reality and not just politically.



Review by Melanie Carroll  (09/10/13)
Jacket
Publisher: Authentic Media
Published: March 2013
ISBN: 978-1-842-27743-0
Paperback
Price: £15.99

Why Revival Tarries



by Leonard Ravenhill


This is a book from a bygone age. It is written in a direct, uncompromising style similar to A W Tozer. You will either love it or hate it.

Leonard Ravenhill was a powerful evangelical preacher of the 20th century who longed to see real revival. This book was written to show some of the reasons he believed God did not send revival. The chapter titles give a clue to the nature of this book: A call for unction in the pulpit; Revival in a bone yard; Wanted preachers for a day of doom.

I could not agree with everything written. I would also have liked some emphasis on the need to go out into the world with the Gospel. But overall this book strikes at the heart: you will not be able to read it in an academic detached way.



Review by Alan Hill  (07/10/13)
Jacket
Publisher: Bethany House imprint of Baker Pub from Lion
Published: August 2004
ISBN: 978-0-764-22905-3
Paperback
Price: £7.99

Anyone for Heaven?



by John Blanchard


As a friend of mine often reminds people, "We are not here to stay; we are here to go." I am writing these words in a Consultant's waiting room in a London hospital. Some of the other patients are showing signs of great physical distress, moving reminders that the whole world is a hospital in which everyone is a terminal patient.

The South African surgeon Christiaan Barnard performed the world's first human heart transplant operation in 1967 and the first double-heart transplant in 1974. Later in life he said, "At 79, people ask me, 'Where do you go from here?' I say to them, 'I'm on the waiting list. I don't exactly know where I am on that, or where I'm going. But I'm on it'." So are you! Even as you read these words you are fighting a losing battle with death, whatever your age or present state of health. What will happen to you when death wins?

 



Review by x  (25/09/13)
Jacket
Publisher: EP (Evangelical Press)
Published: November 2012
ISBN: 978-0-852-34827-7
Paperback
Price: £1.99

The Word's Out

- Speaking the gospel today

by David Male, Paul Weston


Evangelism is something that most Christians are good at talking about but, when actually confronted with or challenged about doing it, feel apprehensive and anxious. Male and Weston suggest that, at a time when most people do not attend church and have little idea of what the Christian faith is about, evangelism is more important than ever. However, what they propose in their book is that traditional views and methods of evangelism need to be reassessed in the light of what is actually found in the New Testament. Their book sets out to show that evangelism is a team game for the whole church, not just those supposedly "gifted" that way. The authors suggest that evangelism needs to be re-imagined in terms of living the Gospel in everyday life in order to reconnect with those on the church fringe as well as those who are well outside. In two main parts the book reflects on some central issues from a biblical and cultural perspective, and then how the principles of biblical evangelism can be earthed in practical ways in the ongoing life of churches and Christian communities. Very readable, this book will set you thinking, whether you are a church leader or someone who sits in the pew.

Review by Graham Wise  (04/09/13)
Jacket
Publisher: BRF (Bible Reading Fellowship)
Published: March 2013
ISBN: 978-0-857-46169-8
Paperback
Price: £8.99

The Cape Town Commitment

- Study For Small Groups Curriculum Pack

compiled by Sara Singleton and Matt Ristuccia


The Cape Town Commitment resulted from the Third Lausanne Conference on World Evangelisation, a gathering of over 4,000 evangelical Christians from almost 200 countries meeting in Cape Town in 2010. This study guide and accompanying DVD provides a substantial 12-session course that addresses all the key issues that dominate world evangelism in the second decade of the 21st century. Session titles include: Building the Peace of Christ in our divided and broken world; Christ's peace for the poor and oppressed; Living the love of Christ amongst people of other faiths; Discerning the will of Christ for children and for cities; Calling the church back to humility, integrity and simplicity; Wealth, poverty and power; and so on.

Each one-hour session draws on material from the conference either through the accompanying DVD or through the text of The Cape Town Commitment (CTC) that comprises the second half of the study guide. The format of each session is broadly similar beginning with an opening reflection and introduction, followed by a challenging video clip with subsequent questions and discussion pointers. Each session seeks to steer participants from initially engaging with and responding to the experience of a Christian from a challenging context, through to a discussion and acceptance of the relevant CTC text.

The DVD is very effective at reminding us that we are part of a world church - there is only one body of Christ - and that none of us can effectively declare UDI as Christians; we have a responsibility to each other that reaches far beyond our own parochial concerns. Inevitably, given its origins, the CTC is conservative both theologically and ethically, and yet even here this is handled with a deep sensitivity that commands respect. What we need now perhaps is an equivalent small group study guide that can bridge the evangelical, catholic and orthodox barriers in an equally convincing way.



Review by David Ford  (04/09/13)
Jacket
Publisher: Hendrickson from Alban Books
Published: January 2013
ISBN: 978-1-619-70072-7
Paperback with DVD
Price: £9.99

Serving with Eyes Wide Open

- Doing Short-Term Missions with Cultural Intelligence

by David A Livermore


Livermore offers a great guide to international kingdom adventures. In the face of well-meaning, but culturally unaware believers causing havoc during their brief travels, this book will help greatly. This solid new title is orientated towards healthy capacity for positive legacy in local travels. Theology, training, insight and practicalities are well woven in painting the scale and substance of what is needed to engage in meaningful short-term missions. This is a robust medium entry title, for leaders or mission agencies to make good use of. Part three on cultural intelligence is arguably the strongest.

There is an undeniable American lens to much of this but it's unique voice to challenges is needed. It is challenging and unsettling in terms of measuring the impact of the human life. Livermore's residual take-away message for me was, "Go with humility and observe before you presume to speak!" Godly counsel for any context.



Review by Johnny Douglas  (31/05/13)
Jacket
Publisher: Baker Books imprint of Baker Pub. from Lion
Published: March 2013
ISBN: 978-0-801-01519-9
Paperback
Price: £7.99

The Outsider Interviews

- A New Generation Speaks Out on Christianity

by Craig Spinks, Jim Henderson, Todd Hunter


Jim Henderson states "Christianity has an image problem". This book clearly shows its image problem through a series of interviews with young people in America.

Many young people were questioned and their thoughts and views recorded online and in writing. What they think about Christianity makes depressing reading. Again and again, the young people stated they like the idea of Jesus, like His teachings and could relate to Him, but they could not relate to a Christian world that seemed to them to be negative, racist, homophobic and lacking in the love Jesus demonstrated.

In a nutshell, Christians did not act like their Jesus therefore any potential impact of the church is nullified completely by how Christians live out their faith.

The dedication in the book reads "For the people Jesus misses most."

I think the major point made in the book is that Christians do not listen to people preferring to always get their point across. The authors of this book believe that if Christianity is to improve its image amongst the under 30s and bring them to faith and into the church, it has to listen and listen with understanding and not judgement.

Review by Catherine Clark  (03/05/13)
Jacket
Publisher: Baker Books imprint of Baker Pub. from Lion
Published: December 2012
ISBN: 978-0-801-01424-6
Paperback
Price: £10.99

Hospitality and Community after Christendom



by Andrew Francis


What a great book - one that not only provides sound insight and benchmarking for new communities and Fresh Expressions as they are being practiced, but one that is so perfect for a wider church audience, reawakening and opening the doors to the idea of hospitality and community. It shines fresh light on the relevance of sharing communion, that is breaking bread together, sharing with each other, welcoming not only each other but the stranger outside the door too. This book makes a gently impassioned plea for a real acceptance and return to the root idea of hospitality as found in the Bible and in earlier traditions. As such it is a thoroughly researched and expounded work that is a joy to read – welcoming in its simplicity of phrase but depth of idea.

This book, along with Roger Standing's As A Fire By Burning from SCM Press, are welcome books on the subject of mission, though in Hospitality and Community after Christendom we do not find the word mission expounded on as such, but the art and act of hospitality as presented in this book really is active mission. With these two books we have a comprehensive study of mission at its best. Though this is only half the price of As A Fire By Burning, it is not half the book – so if you really can't stretch to the cost of As A Fire By Burning you won't go wrong with this book instead. Though so much the better to have both on the shelf and under your belt.

Review by Melanie Carroll  (25/03/13)
Jacket
Publisher: Paternoster Press imprint of Authentic Media
Published: September 2012
ISBN: 978-1-842-27747-8
Paperback
Price: £12.99

As a Fire By Burning

- Mission as the Life of the Local Congregation

by Roger Standing


A very good comprehensive but easy to read book that collects together contributions from a diverse range of people and churches across a number of differing fields and church styles that highlight the many different mission experiences and ideas in and around local congregation settings and experience. The book also considers what mission is, how it can be practiced, how it has been practiced and why it should be practiced. There are times when jargon is a strong presence, but nevertheless this is appropriately used and fitting for a book that is as much practitioner guide as subject study, and this jargon to be fair is well placed so as to make sense and lead into theological and missiological discussion of some depth. I found it to be a very well written book, that was surprisingly easy to read given the weight of its subject matter and very good! Heartily recommend it.

Review by Melanie Carroll  (23/03/13)
Jacket
Publisher: SCM imprint of Hymns Ancient & Modern Ltd
Published: 28 February 2013
ISBN: 978-0-334-04370-6
Paperback
Price: £35.00

Gathering at God's Table

- The five marks of mission in the feast of faith

by Katharine Jefferts-Schori


Katherine Jefferts-Schori (Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the USA) has focused on what the Anglican Five Marks of Mission may really mean. These are…
  • To proclaim the good news of the kingdom;
  • To teach, baptize and nurture new believers;
  • To respond to human need with loving service;
  • To seek to transform unjust structures of society;
  • To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth…
Here is an exploration of what these aims might mean in practical terms for Christian life and witness in the 21st century. She believes that mission has often been defined too narrowly as a way of proselytising and converting non-Christians, and argues that it has a far broader context that is both compassionate and challenging. The book is an exploration of the mission of the church and of the basic premise that mission is central to our lives as Christians. The wide-ranging reflections suggest that it should be worked out in many different forms according to need and context and Gospel principles, rather than along any narrow preconceived lines. This is a thoughtful and thought-proving book to widen mission horizons.

Review by Graham Wise  (02/03/13)
Jacket
Publisher: SPCK (Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge)
Published: November 2012
ISBN: 978-0-281-06946-0
Paperback
Price: £12.99

Not So Secret

- Being contemporary agents for mission

by Graham Orr


I found this book to be really enjoyable, being a mix of testimonial stories of time spent in Tokyo, Japan as active missionaries and also a reflection on returning and working in the UK. As such it has a personal quality and genuineness about it that works well to demonstrate how we can be missionary agents in our own lives and communities. In each chapter not only is there this correlation between Japan and the UK but there is also a strong and considered Biblical outline, looking at what Jesus would have and indeed did do in such circumstances. This provides the scripture references and understanding that must be the basis of our actions when we go forth under the Great Commission. This is an excellent book for those that like testimonials, for those considering mission work, and not least for those that want to be active in evangelism.

Review by Melanie Carroll  (19/02/13)
Jacket
Publisher: IVP(Inter Varsity Press)
Published: November 2012
ISBN: 978-1-844-74591-3
Paperback
Price: £8.99

Learning to Love

- Passion and Compassion - the Essence of the Gospel

by Heidi and Rolland Baker


Heidi and Rolland Baker are well known for their missionary work in Mozambique, and this is their second book. It's 192 pages, easily readable, and with plenty of photographs. The sheer scale of the work of Iris ministries in Mozambique and recently more widely is very striking – this is an increasingly large scale operation involving many people and huge budgets. But I have to say I was surprised by the book. The Bakers' commitment to ministry is very great, and the testimonies to their work extraordinary. But the book is slightly oddly written – lots and lots of exclamation marks, but a curious absence of emotional engagement with the reader. It reads as if written at a remove from the events it describes – which makes it hard to identify with, hard to get into, and somehow slightly unreal. I'm not sure what to make of it.

Review by Alison Morgan  (12/12/12)
Jacket
Publisher: River Publishing from Joining the Dots Distribution
Published: June 2012
ISBN: 978-1-908-39307-4
Paperback
Price: £9.99

Evangelism in the Inventive Age



by Doug Pagitt


With its large print and bold headers this is certainly an accessible book on a number of fronts and one that would make for an excellent church or group study on Evangelism, though possibly not a comfortable read for all. Pagitt calls us to question and delve into what evangelism is really all about, especially in these changing times of the internet, of education, of questioning and invention.
What's most notable here is that he says that in effect if we ourselves are open, honest and innovative, then there's a real place for evangelism in our lives and with a little effort and work we can do it well and reach out to communicate with people.
Sections four and five are well presented and for me are the 'doing' sections. Section four has us consider and break down what evangelism is, what we are trying to convey, how we are trying to convey it. Using tools like the Enneagram, working on issues such as fear, emotion and passion and working with charts and comparison tables, it reads like a mini seminar in the making for any church group to use.
Section 5 is a whistle-stop guide through Acts, the ultimate biblical story and guide on evangelism, but Pagitt interweaves modern stories and analysis throughout it, to show how in many ways the situation now is much the same as then and how we can be as creative as those original evangelists if we try.
A really good book, not too hard to follow but deep enough to engage on all levels.

Review by Melanie Carroll  (07/07/12)
Jacket
Publisher: Augsburg Fortress Publishers from Alban Books
Published: March 2012
ISBN: 978-1-451-40094-6
Paperback
Price: £10.99

Planting For the Gospel

- A Hands-on Guide to Church Planting

by Graham Beynon


Planting for the Gospel is a small introduction to planting a new church. Being an 'introduction' is both it's strength and weakness - it helpfully covers a wide range of relevant topics in an easy to read and follow process, but does not have space to explore the issues and questions that inevitably arise.
The emphasis of this book is about the people and the leader interested in planting for growth - with surprisingly little emphasis on God and prayer, and a definite downer on structures and constitutions (p49/50)!
The theological stable is 'bible-believing, gospel-centred' church life. That said, I was surprised and pleased to read that their are variety of church plants. This is brilliantly illustrated in the second half of this little book, where many stories are told by the people who planted churches, in a wide variety of settings and church backgrounds. I loved the fellowship that started in a farm shop, and the congregation who took a cigarette break half way through the service - thank you, Graham, for collating these inspirational accounts and for producing the guide.

Review by Jim Currin  (24/05/12)
Jacket
Publisher: Christian Focus Publications
Published: 2011
ISBN: 978-1-845-50636-0
Paperback
Price: £4.99

One Lord, One Plan, One People

- A Journey Through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation

by Roger Crooks


This book is aimed at those new to the Christian faith who would like to understand more about 66 books that make up the Bible. After an excellent introduction, there is a chapter devoted to each book (except for 1 &2 Chronicles which are considered together).
Pastor Crooks first of all outlines the background and contents of the book and then brings out the most important lessons. The author rightly believes that the big theme of the Bible is the life and work of the Lord Jesus. He therefore seeks to find Christ in every book and admirably succeeds. With the exception of the chapter on Judges, I found Pastor Crooks sure footed in his analysis and interpretation.
Written in an engaging and interesting way, this book is an excellent resource not just for new believers, but also for those who rarely stray out of the New Testament. Pastors and teachers will also find food for thought in how to preach Christ from the Old Testament. Are you looking for a gift for a believer who is unfamiliar with the Bible? Look no further.
I feared when I first picked it up that it might be too long (it is 465 pages) and too difficult for a new believer, but I was wrong. It is well written and interesting.

Review by Alan Hill  (24/04/12)
Jacket
Publisher: Banner of Truth Trust
Published: Autumn 2011
ISBN: 978-1-848-71137-2
Paperback
Price: £8.50

Who Is This Jesus?

- A Prophet? A Great Teacher? A Lunatic?.....Or Someone Else?

by E. M. Hicham


Although there are over two billion adherents to Christianity around the world there are still those who ask the question Who is this Jesus? and this book attempts to provide an answer to the question. The author, E.M. Hicham claims that there are several ways in which the question can be approached for although many claim that Jesus was a teacher and a ‘good man’ he cannot be recognised as the Son of God. By using the Scriptures, and drawing on both the Old and New Testament, Higham shows that in his opinion, this view is mistaken and ‘the facts’ prove that Jesus is indeed the Son of God and the Saviour of Sinners.
Starting with a consideration of the Old Testament prophets and detailing their predictions and then looking at the words of the Apostles to prove that Jesus was the Messiah, the book also presents modern claims of his influence on the lives of his supporters.

Review by George Taylor  (19/04/12)
Jacket
Publisher: EP (Evangelical Press)
Published: March 2010
ISBN: 978-0-852-34718-8
Paperback
Price: £5.99

Word & Spirit

- Intimations of a New Springtime

by Pat Collins


The author is a Vincentian priest and he has subtitled his new book Intimations of a New Springtime. He first reminds us of the new evangelisation called for by Pope John-Paul and Pope Benedict. He then goes on to detail the practical means by which the Christian message is spread. The twenty-eight chapters cover all aspects of evangelisation based on scripture and tradition. The emphasis throughout is on scripture as the very source of our strength and hope. He encourages all Christians to be involved in this new springtime of the Gospel which is assuredly on the way. This is not only a book for Catholics, but for all Christians who care about the universal church proclaiming the good news both in word and deed, by prayer and by action.

Review by John Irvine  (14/04/12)
Jacket
Publisher: Columba Press
Published: 15 December 2011
ISBN: 978-1-856-07738-5
Paperback
Price: £12.99

The Road to Missional

- Journey to the Center of the Church

by Michael Frost


The word missional has been around for a while and everyone assumes they know what you’re talking about even if you’re talking about very different things. This is why Andrew Wilson can write about the Missional Muddle. (See link) It’s an issue that is not lost on one of the architects of all things missional and the author of The Road to Missional: Journey to the Center of the church, Michael Frost. There is so much here that I agreed with and loved; I loved the focus on Jesus; the focus on genuine community, peace and reconciliation, sharp questions that help you become aware of who your neighbour is, an emphasis on discipleship, an everything agenda that sees value in the life and work of everybody and not just church workers. I found myself agreeing and wanting to be increasingly ‘missional’.
Having said all that, there are a few observations where this vision of church is missing a few important things. There was little mention of the role and place of the Holy Spirit in the life of the disciple or in the life of the church, so read The Spirit-Filled Church by Terry Virgo alongside this.

Related website:whatyouthinkmatters.org/blog/article/the-missional-muddle

Review by Phil Whittall  (16/01/12)
Jacket
Publisher: Baker Books imprint of Baker Pub. from Lion
Published: November 2011
ISBN: 978-0-801-01407-9
Paperback
Price: £9.99

A Time For Mission

- The Challenge for Global Christianity

by Samuel Escobar


‘The truth of the gospel that gives life meaning is always a word we have received. We do not have it when we come to this world; it is a word someone else passes on to us.’
So writes Samuel Escobar in the opening sentence to the preface of this re-issued edition of his book first published in 2003. It is both an obvious and dramatic statement that those of us who grew up in a Christian home can all too easily forget. Our faith – however early imparted in our lives – remains a gift transmitted through another.
However, Escobar’s very next sentence is more challenging. 'And once we have received it we are bound to share it.' So distant are many established churchgoers from that moment in their lives when the gospel was revealed to them, this assertion of evangelical fervour cannot be assured. And it is this that lies at the heart of the missionary challenge through much of the developed west.
A Time for Mission is in part historical review, part theological reflection and part inspirational encouragement. Its central aim is to deepen our understanding of ‘how mission works’ and Escobar’s contribution to this endeavour – which in itself is well-trodden ground of course - is rooted in personal experience as well as mature, scriptural insights.
As Escobar himself acknowledges in his closing chapter, this search for missional understanding remains ongoing. The contextual complexity and changing nature of our missionary fields makes that inevitable. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit is up to the task; prayerfully, may we remain so.

Review by David Ford  (16/01/12)
Jacket
Publisher: IVP(Inter Varsity Press)
Published: October 2011
ISBN: 978-1-844-74549-4
Paperback
Price: £8.99

What Do You Think?



by Olaf Fogwill


This is an interesting approach to the start of a series of resource booklets about the Gospel - I have not seen the approach used before. It is basically a simple questionnaire which leads the reader through a series of questions which cover the material in proceeding booklets. This is clever. As you read and say ‘yes’ you are looking at the material and saying how helpful it would be to read the set. The questions themselves may be obvious, e.g. ‘we have lost too many people over the years’, but others provoke further thought, like ‘churches will need to change if we are to receive and keep the connected’. The latter question begs a lot of further questions, and spurs me on to read the other booklets that follow.

Series Review – Connect4Life is an unusual - and welcome - resource. It is a small collection of booklets about being 'connected' to Christ. What makes it particularly welcome is that it aims to help Christians who have left church to reconnect.
Using an electric plug analogy throughout (being connected to Christ brings life), the author Olaf Fogwill gives those who have left church and become 'unconnected' an invitation to 'give it 7 days' with a small study booklet of daily Bible readings. If people decide to 'reconnect' they have a helpful 21 day study guide to think through lots of passages to encourage them on the continued journey. With another option of a 21 day guide for new Christians connecting for the first time - this little pack would be a good resource for evangelical churches to have handy. I say 'evangelical' as it is all Bible based material - but other churches may well find the resource helpful too.
I liked the self help questionnaires, careful choice of readings, non- judgemental approach and prayer resource to 'plug in' and 'switch on' to 'go'. I am not aware of other resources like this for people who want to reconnect with Christ - for that reason alone this is a welcome resource for churches to have available.

For the starter pack containing some of each of the booklets in this series see the website.


Review by Jim Currin  (07/12/11)
Jacket
Publisher: Connect4Life
Published: 2009
ISBN: 9-990-00041-7
Leaflet
Price: £0.30

The Connected Life

- 21 Day Personal Study Guide for Those Already Connected

by Olaf Fogwill


The image here is of an electric power socket plug used as an analogy for the Christian being connected to Christ. Those ‘already connected’ are Christians steady in their faith and aware of the ‘power’ of the Holy Spirit. I find this both helpful and stretched as an analogy. I like the brown, live wire, question on each page which is about our life in Christ. I like the ‘yellow and green’ questions as they relate to faith being earthed in reality. I am less sure of the blue – neutral wire – application described as ‘aspects of self that need to be neutralised’. Anyway, that said, this daily study guide is simply laid out, straight forward to follow, and I am sure it will help the individual Christian see their worth and relationship with Christ in a new light (no pun intended!)

Series Review – Connect4Life is an unusual - and welcome - resource. It is a small collection of booklets about being 'connected' to Christ. What makes it particularly welcome is that it aims to help Christians who have left church to reconnect.
Using an electric plug analogy throughout (being connected to Christ brings life), the author Olaf Fogwill gives those who have left church and become 'unconnected' an invitation to 'give it 7 days' with a small study booklet of daily Bible readings. If people decide to 'reconnect' they have a helpful 21 day study guide to think through lots of passages to encourage them on the continued journey. With another option of a 21 day guide for new Christians connecting for the first time - this little pack would be a good resource for evangelical churches to have handy. I say 'evangelical' as it is all Bible based material - but other churches may well find the resource helpful too.
I liked the self help questionnaires, careful choice of readings, non- judgemental approach and prayer resource to 'plug in' and 'switch on' to 'go'. I am not aware of other resources like this for people who want to reconnect with Christ - for that reason alone this is a welcome resource for churches to have available.

For the starter pack containing some of each of the booklets in this series see the website.

Review by Jim Currin  (07/12/11)
Jacket
Publisher: Connect4Life
Published: 2009
ISBN: 9-990-00042-5
A4 Booklet
Price: £1.60

Disconnected?

- Give it 7 Days

by Olaf Fogwill


Of all the study booklets in the Connect4Life series, this is the most original – I would even go so far as to say ‘brilliant’ in its concept. I have not come across a booklet specifically written for Christians who have become disconnected with church and their relationship with Christ. The invitation is simply to ‘give it 7 days’, as Olaf Fogwill provides a helpful framework of non-judgemental self assessment in seven days of reflection. These are not heavy Bible studies – even looking up Bible texts is avoided, but simple, reasonable questions, comments and tick box questionnaires to help people think why they have left. Good reasons are given, presumably based on reasons given by people who have become ‘disconnected’. This is good material that I would willingly give to someone who had left our church, and I would not be embarrassed to offer it if they were willing to ‘give it 7 days’.

Series Review – Connect4Life is an unusual - and welcome - resource. It is a small collection of booklets about being 'connected' to Christ. What makes it particularly welcome is that it aims to help Christians who have left church to reconnect.
Using an electric plug analogy throughout (being connected to Christ brings life), the author Olaf Fogwill gives those who have left church and become 'unconnected' an invitation to 'give it 7 days' with a small study booklet of daily Bible readings. If people decide to 'reconnect' they have a helpful 21 day study guide to think through lots of passages to encourage them on the continued journey. With another option of a 21 day guide for new Christians connecting for the first time - this little pack would be a good resource for evangelical churches to have handy. I say 'evangelical' as it is all Bible based material - but other churches may well find the resource helpful too.
I liked the self help questionnaires, careful choice of readings, non- judgemental approach and prayer resource to 'plug in' and 'switch on' to 'go'. I am not aware of other resources like this for people who want to reconnect with Christ - for that reason alone this is a welcome resource for churches to have available.

For the starter pack containing some of each of the booklets in this series see the website.

Review by Jim Currin  (07/12/11)
Jacket
Publisher: Connect4Life
Published: 2009
ISBN: 9-990-00043-3
A4 Booklet
Price: £1.10

The Reconnected Life

- 21-day Personal Study Guide For Those Reconnecting

by Olaf Fogwill


This is the next booklet which obviously follows on from the one given to people who have felt ‘disconnected’ from Christ, but now want to be ‘reconnected’. The electric plug analogy is obvious and works well here, as ‘those reconnecting’ are invited to follow daily notes for a 21 day personal study. The guide is not a heavy Bible study, but a comment each day on a text that is quoted at the top of the page. What follows is another little self reflection questionnaire on it, followed by a reflection. The core elements are ‘identity, value and purpose’ and the approach is positive and encouraging. Even the spiritual disciplines are mentioned in this light: ‘given by a caring Father who does it for your good because he loves you’ (Day 16). Each day’s comment ends with the invitation to ‘switch on and go’ – with a provided prayer. It is good material, nicely presented.

Series Review – Connect4Life is an unusual - and welcome - resource. It is a small collection of booklets about being 'connected' to Christ. What makes it particularly welcome is that it aims to help Christians who have left church to reconnect.
Using an electric plug analogy throughout (being connected to Christ brings life), the author Olaf Fogwill gives those who have left church and become 'unconnected' an invitation to 'give it 7 days' with a small study booklet of daily Bible readings. If people decide to 'reconnect' they have a helpful 21 day study guide to think through lots of passages to encourage them on the continued journey. With another option of a 21 day guide for new Christians connecting for the first time - this little pack would be a good resource for evangelical churches to have handy. I say 'evangelical' as it is all Bible based material - but other churches may well find the resource helpful too.
I liked the self help questionnaires, careful choice of readings, non- judgemental approach and prayer resource to 'plug in' and 'switch on' to 'go'. I am not aware of other resources like this for people who want to reconnect with Christ - for that reason alone this is a welcome resource for churches to have available.

For the starter pack containing some of each of the booklets in this series see the website.

Review by Jim Currin  (07/12/11)
Jacket
Publisher: Connect4Life
Published: 2009
ISBN: 9-990-00044-1
A4 Booklet
Price: £1.60

Unconnected?

- Give it 7 Days

by Olaf Fogwill


This is another booklet in the Connect4Life series that invites the reader to ‘give it 7 days’. This is a booklet, like a number of gospel tracts, which explores the human condition in terms of seven drivers anger, envy, gluttony, greed, lust, pride and self – with the invitation to follow Christ. Compared to the ‘Disconnected’ booklet in this series, it reads more critical of the human condition, which may put some people off as well as opening the door for others. As the booklet is in a series – and looking at how the whole series works – I am sure that most people will be giving this to people they know. It is aimed at young people, from the pictures chosen to accompany the message, and I would have thought it will be best used in discussion, rather than left for the individual to take away.

Series Review – Connect4Life is an unusual - and welcome - resource. It is a small collection of booklets about being 'connected' to Christ. What makes it particularly welcome is that it aims to help Christians who have left church to reconnect.
Using an electric plug analogy throughout (being connected to Christ brings life), the author Olaf Fogwill gives those who have left church and become 'unconnected' an invitation to 'give it 7 days' with a small study booklet of daily Bible readings. If people decide to 'reconnect' they have a helpful 21 day study guide to think through lots of passages to encourage them on the continued journey. With another option of a 21 day guide for new Christians connecting for the first time - this little pack would be a good resource for evangelical churches to have handy. I say 'evangelical' as it is all Bible based material - but other churches may well find the resource helpful too.
I liked the self help questionnaires, careful choice of readings, non- judgemental approach and prayer resource to 'plug in' and 'switch on' to 'go'. I am not aware of other resources like this for people who want to reconnect with Christ - for that reason alone this is a welcome resource for churches to have available.

For the starter pack containing some of each of the booklets in this series see the website.

Review by Jim Currin  (07/12/11)
Jacket
Publisher: Connect4Life
Published: 09 September 2009
ISBN: 9-990-00045-X
A4 Booklet
Price: £1.10

The Connected Life

- 21-day Personal Study Guide For Those Connecting for the First Time

by Olaf Fogwill


This final booklet in the Connect4Life series, is another 21 day personal study guide in the same pattern as the previous ones – this one specifically designed ‘for those connecting for the first time’. In other words, this is the sort of guide you might give to new Christians. Daily notes, each on an essential aspect of Christian discipleship, are well put together and follow a sequence – Born again, Believe the Promise, Safe Pastures, Eat and be satisfied etc. Again, each day has a single biblical verse, brief reflective questionnaire based on the three wires of the electric plug analogy, comment about being ‘connected’. The whole series is underpinned with a theology of ‘power in Christ’ as Christians ‘plugged in’ to receive the Holy Spirit, as we ‘switch on’ in prayer. From the perspective of the ‘unconnected’ or ‘disconnected’ as well as those ‘already connected’ or the ‘reconnected’, this is a really helpful series of small booklets addressing a critical issue few others have started to address – those who leave church and faith in Christ, but invited to ‘give it 7 days’. Many do leave our churches – for all sorts of reasons – and this is a rare example of useful biblical material which could help them reconnect. Excellent.

Series Review – Connect4Life is an unusual - and welcome - resource. It is a small collection of booklets about being 'connected' to Christ. What makes it particularly welcome is that it aims to help Christians who have left church to reconnect.
Using an electric plug analogy throughout (being connected to Christ brings life), the author Olaf Fogwill gives those who have left church and become 'unconnected' an invitation to 'give it 7 days' with a small study booklet of daily Bible readings. If people decide to 'reconnect' they have a helpful 21 day study guide to think through lots of passages to encourage them on the continued journey. With another option of a 21 day guide for new Christians connecting for the first time - this little pack would be a good resource for evangelical churches to have handy. I say 'evangelical' as it is all Bible based material - but other churches may well find the resource helpful too.
I liked the self help questionnaires, careful choice of readings, non- judgemental approach and prayer resource to 'plug in' and 'switch on' to 'go'. I am not aware of other resources like this for people who want to reconnect with Christ - for that reason alone this is a welcome resource for churches to have available.

For the starter pack containing some of each of the booklets in this series see the website.

Review by Jim Currin  (07/12/11)
Jacket
Publisher: Connect4Life
Published: 2009
ISBN: 9-990-00046-8
A4 Booklet
Price: £1.60

A Meal With Jesus

- Discovering Grace, Community and Mission Around the Table

by Tim Chester


The book looks at the importance that meals had in the life of the Lord Jesus. Taking as his starting point our Lord’s words that ‘The Son of Man came eating and drinking’, the author goes through the Gospel of Luke looking at all the passages relating to sharing food together.
One of the conclusions that Mr. Chester draws out is that meals are a good place for evangelism. Reaching out can simply start by asking your neighbours or work colleagues round for a meal or a cup of coffee. Eating together can provide one of the best ways to create an opportunity to share the Gospel.
Unsurprisingly the book does not talk about other forms of evangelism such as Sunday School, door to door visitation and open air preaching so this is not the complete story. Also not everyone will agree with his apparent view that communion can be celebrated whenever Christians get together for a meal.
However this does not detract from the overall helpfulness of this work. The last chapter is the best. Here he emphasises that Christ is known through his word as well as around the table. This is a refreshing book that will challenge and inspire.

Review by Alan Hill  (26/11/11)
Jacket
Publisher: IVP(Inter Varsity Press)
Published: October 2011
ISBN: 978-1-844-74555-5
Paperback
Price: £8.99

Sharing Faith The Jesus Way



by Jim Currin


I have found this review difficult to write as I felt I would not give due justice to this exciting title. Jim Currin has been steeped in the subject of Evangelism for many years now, I first met him as Diocesan Officer for Evangelism in Cumbria, but he had been involved in Evangelism long before that and of course still is. He writes with passion and enthusiasm for his subject, and wants to encourage us all to share our faith.
In his introduction he writes ‘Sharing faith is personal but it is not private. It is doubtful that we would be Christians today if the disciples of Jesus had not told others in their day. We are links in a 2000-year old chain. So how are we to pass on the Good News of Jesus Christ? I believe the key is to see how Jesus did it himself.’
And this is what Jim sets out to do. His chapter headings explain his approach, the first being ‘ Jesus accepts you as you are.’ Making you take stock of your own faith. This is not a book to curl up with and just read. It is a book to work through, making notes for yourself and referring to suggested websites for further information. Possible to do on your own, but even better to do with a companion or in a group.

Related website:www.faithjourneys.com/

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (15/09/11)
Jacket
Publisher: BRF (Bible Reading Fellowship)
Published: Summer 2011
ISBN: 978-1-841-01862-1
Paperback
Price: £7.99

Good To Grow

- Building a Missional Church in the 21st century – One Church’s Story

by Steve Tibbert


This book well recounts a captivating story of how our great God has been working through what was once a small church in South East London. Some books on church growth erroneously tell you that if you just follow a set of principles you will automatically experience the same results. Others equally wrongly speak only of God, faith and skills. You may not agree with every aspect of the philosophy of ministry you will find in this book, but reading it will definitely help you better understand the way in which God is calling you to serve in his church.
Tibbert leads a large multi-cultural London church, with this being his story and the leadership lessons he has learnt along the growth journey! Diversity, marriage, rest, health and growth are fully of pithy and at times poignant principles for life and fruitfulness. There is a palpable heart for people in this Acts 2 orientation. There is wisdom and practice abounding here. Intentional, inspiring and immediate!

Review by Johnny Douglas  (11/08/11)
Jacket
Publisher: Authentic Media
Published: 12 July 2011
ISBN: 978-1-860-24812-2
Paperback
Price: £7.99

Beyond Beards and Burqas

- Connecting with Muslims

by Martin Goldsmith


This is an interesting book written by someone of Jewish origins, but talking about how you can connect with Muslims.
He tells many stories of how he met up with those of the Islamic faith, in airports, hotels, conferences etc. He talks at great length of how he shares his Christian faith with them.
The author has obviously travelled widely in countries where Islam is the predominant faith. He shares his experiences with us to show there are many forms of Islam as there are in Christianity. There are nominal Christians and also in Islam there are many who do not keep to the fasting and prayer, yet they still believe fervently that Islam is the only faith and all others are infidels.
This is an easy to read book and informative.

Review by Barbara Stoneham  (06/08/11)
Jacket
Publisher: IVP(Inter Varsity Press)
Published: 20 November 2009
ISBN: 978-1-844-74410-7
Paperback
Price: £7.99

Breaking Through the Barriers

- Leading Muslims to Christ

by Rosemary Sookhdeo


This book gives a full overview of Islam, how their faith is totally all consuming in a faithful Muslim’s life. It gives many examples of how to discuss Christianity with Muslim friends and how to avoid misunderstanding between the two cultures. How men and women should respond to each other when visiting or having visitors from a Muslim background.
One of the best parts of the book is the section giving the Christians view and the Muslims view on subjects such as the Fall, Judgement Day and Heaven.
The comparison makes it really clear the differences between Islam and Christianity and how we need to know our faith inside out to be able to evangelize our faith to others in a truly Biblical way.

Review by Barbara Stoneham  (22/07/11)
Jacket
Publisher: Isaac Publishing, from Barnabas Fund UK
Published: December 2010
ISBN: 978-0-982-52181-6
Paperback
Price: £8.99

More Than a Carpenter



by Josh McDowell & Sean McDowell


This book is a revised and expanded reprint of a famous best seller first published in 1977. The book is aimed at the sceptic who nevertheless is prepared to explore that most vital of questions: Who is Jesus?”
The hallmark of the book is the extensive quotations from other writers and reasoned arguments. Mr. McDowell tackles many of the issues that the sceptics have such as: Are the Bible records reliable? Was not Jesus just a good teacher? What about science? He also examines in detail the evidences for the resurrection.
This revised edition includes a new chapter written by Josh McDowell’s son, looking at the challenge of the new Atheism popularised by such authors as Christopher Hutchins and Richard Dawkins.
At the end of the book Mr. McDowell briefly covers why Jesus died on the cross and encourages his readers to accept Christ. A weakness is that there is no explanation of what it means to repent of our sins. Instead, he emphasises how becoming a Christian leads to a changed life. He closes by saying that it is up to the reader what he does with what he has learnt.
This book is an intellectual approach to the Gospel and as such is best suited to give to the thinking man or woman who is willing to honestly look at the evidence. It may well prepare the ground for such a person to take the next step and attend a church where they will hear the Gospel preached in all its fullness.

Review by Alan Hill  (14/07/11)
Jacket
Publisher: Authentic Media
Published: 11 March 2011
ISBN: 978-1-850-78846-1
Paperback
Price: £4.99

Bringing the World to Your Church

- The Mission Promoter’s ‘How To’ Guide

by Joy Piper


When George Verwer gives a strong endorsement to a book, you know it has to be taken seriously. This book on world mission from Joy Piper deserves to be read for it is full of inspiration and practical nuggets that can help every church put mission on the agenda. Her premise is that to ‘be a Christian is to be a missionary’ – one we might all accept but find hard to implement. However, there is something for everyone in this book: how to run inspiring prayer meetings, understand where your own church is on mission, encourage missionaries, reinvigorate funding, put on displays and catch the imagination of young people. With a logical progression and amusing cartoons, this is well researched and has a very useful directory of further resources and agencies. Joy encourages us that we can all bear a harvest as we ‘dream dreams and attempt great things for God right here at home’.
Review by Olaf Fogwill, Ministry Director of Connect4Life www.Connect4Life.org.uk See also 'Guest Reviews'

Related website:www.wec-int.org.uk

Review by Guest reviewer  (28/06/11)
Jacket
Publisher: WEC Publications (World Wide Evangelism for Christ)
Published: 2001
ISBN: 978-0-900-82882-9
Paperback
Price: £5.00