Author JIM REYNOLDS
ISBN 978 1 62871 030 4
This is a two hundred and twenty page handbook on how to do church. The author is a man with pastoral leadership and counselling experience as well as holding several qualifications in divinity. A man of experience, endeavouring to call the church and its leaders back into the reality of practicing the ‘one-another’ verses of the New Testament. He covers his ground at an almost breakneck speed, packing as much as he can into the available pages. His central burden is the necessity of ‘home churches.’ The stated goal of the churches is mutual growth and maturation of the Lord’s people. This will involve that state of soul nakedness before each other, openness and a readiness to hear the Lord and each other. Spiritual direction linked with nurture of souls following the release of coming to faith in Christ and the receiving of the Holy Spirit are essential components. Are we agents or victims or both? Is spiritual maturity possible as long as we live blaming others? Forgiveness is vital along with a costly and humbling reconciliation. So, the book travels on through subject matter central to a church life that depends upon intimacy between the members, an absence of the elitism of the special echelon of ministers and ‘specially gifted’ ones. The essential attitude of the caring shepherd heart must be increasingly manifest in all. Home church leaders should read this book and more than once. Some chapters will prove particularly relevant as home church life is pursued. We know that real church should be an on going experience not a kind of encounter group where people suffering a similar addiction confront each other and attempt to help each other on. Church is family, where old and young, those better off and those not quite so materially endowed mingle in deepening understanding and help as they are taught of the Lord. There is a good mix of Biblical and practical help in these pages. Clearly the author has experienced a good deal of what he writes about but does not come across as an expert saying, “I have the answer.” There is a spiritual logic, a Biblical soundness and a pastoral burden expressed in these chapters. Certainly one of the best ‘handbook’ kind of books I have come across on what church should really be.