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Facing Snarls and Scowls: Preaching through hostility, apathy, and adversity in church revitalization

By Brian Croft
June 2020 | Review by Noel Ramsey
  • Publisher: Christian Focus Publications
  • ISBN: 978-1-51710-382-5
  • Pages: 160
  • Price: £7.99
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Book Review

This book is all about preaching through hostility, apathy, and adversity while trying to help the church regain its vision and focus. It’s written with the North American church in mind, but it will be useful to every pastor who ‘bunkers down’ in ministry for the long term.

Every pastor will face times of trial, frustration, stubbornness, and difficulty within their ministry, and this book deals with all of them. It explains Bible passages that will help pastors persevere when the going is tough. The authors write from their own personal experiences of ministry and bring those experiences under the examination of the Word of God.

The book has three sections to it. The first looks at preachers in the Bible and church history who endured in ministry in spite of trials and difficulty: men like Moses, Elijah, Isaiah, Charles Simeon, and Jonathan Edwards.

The second section, entitled ‘Do not give them a good reason to hate your preaching’, encourages the pastor to work hard on his preaching, to be the best he can be. Often churches are only turned around and changed when the pastor is prepared to stick around and make his preaching relevant to his congregation.

The final section is for me the best part of the book as we have personal testimonies from the authors. They explain how they managed to continue to preach when some people were against their ministries or when a spirit of apathy had gripped the church.

Facing Snarls and Scowls is rooted in Scripture as well as personal experience. I wish it had been available when I started out in ministry over 30 years ago; but it will also help those who have been in the ministry for many years. It is a book that will encourage your current pastor to keep going when times are hard. So why not buy him a copy?

Noel Ramsey


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