06 (June 2014)

Equipped to serve

Equipped to serve
Richard Atherton The author is a retired solicitor.
31 May, 2014 1 min read

Equipped to serve
Richard Bewes
Christian Focus Publications
224 pages, £8.99
ISBN: 978-1-78191-286-7

This book is a pleasure to read from start to finish. The brief introduction brings a smile and also a challenge and sets the tone for the whole book, which is a manual to help us in our service for the Lord.

Richard Bewes is the retired rector of All Soul’s, Langham Place, London. His style is so engaging, you feel he is talking to you as you read. He gives us the benefit of a lifetime’s service as a Christian leader, with a true pastor’s heart.

The first section is fascinating, giving many practical tips for the times when ‘you’re up at the front’. I especially liked the chapter on reading the Bible in public, where we are warned not to be a reader who is unready, or (amateurly) dramatic or dull; also the chapter on praying in public.

The next section is about meeting and working together, with great advice about leading the team. There is much food for thought to help leaders improve prayer meetings. There is an all-too-brief comment on dealing with criticism and disagreements. (Could this be expanded if there is a second edition? How do we handle forcefully expressed opposite opinions and remain lovingly united?)

There is a focus on personal witnessing and ‘authentic lifestyle’, fundamental aspects of our service for the Lord. Scripture is the source of all that is said, but handled with a light touch and mingled with interesting personal anecdotes.

The final part, ‘When the heat turns on’, brings the book to a superb climax, dealing with the spiritual battles we face. These last chapters strengthen us to fight the good fight, wrestle in prayer and keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, who one day will banish all evil.

This book is strong meat given in easily digestible portions. A chapter a day will give the reader a feast of biblical wisdom for the best part of a month.

Richard Atherton
Whitby

The author is a retired solicitor.
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