‘I’ll only buy a book for the way it looks
And then I stick it on the shelf again’
(Belle and Sebastian: ‘This is just a modern rock song’)
I’ve got to that stage: I really could do with sitting down, carving out some space and reading. I read a lot, but mostly just surf- both web stuff and printed stuff.
I finally got down to reading something, but it was only a booklet. However, it was so good, I read it again and again….and I’m now poring over it once more.
Now I am suspicious of anyone recommending a book, particularly a Christian one. Especially if it has a title like ’17 steps to finding your destiny’ or ‘Cure your church from all ills in 4 easy steps’. At 43, I don’t want to know how to fix x, y or z and I distrust people who want to tell me.
I picked up this bookletÂ called ‘The road to growth less travelled: spritual paths in a missionary church’ fromÂ Â http://www.grovebooks.co.uk/cart.php?target=product&product_id=17246&substring= and I’m finding it to be one of the most sound, profound and practical things I’ve ever read. I plan to post bits of it over the next few days, although maybe not every day.
Here’s one quote that sets the scene:
‘The very factors that are jolting us into missionary mode-numerical decline and financial crisis- are not, in themselves, Christian motives for mission. In fact they may easily distort both motive and method.’
I’ve heavily underlined that. I wanted to shout ‘Yes’, closely followed by ‘I like you. I want to read you some more’.
I’m tired of panic about ‘saving’ a, b and c. I want to run when I’m surrounded by ecclesiastics playing the numbers game. Boasts about ‘success’ make me depressed and feel hollow. When I hear about ‘how many come’ being the sole measure of anything, the life slowly drains out of me. Kind of like the richness of the Christian life, the big questions and the uncertainty and vitality of following Jesus reduced to beige cardboard…
The author: David Runcorn. Don’t know him, but he has a nice beard. Always trust people with beards…