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Chris Lane – Not Forgotten: walking with Jesus through the wilderness

Instant Apostle

ISBN 978 1 912 72658 5

Price £9.99

181 pages

It is not every day that you get two forewords in a book. This one contains forewords from Mike Pilavachi and Pete Greig. If they are enthusiastic about this book, it must be worth a look.

This book is something of a sequel to the author’s book Ordinary Miracles, that was published in 2017. That was an account of the planting of the Langworthy Community Church in Salford, Greater Manchester. I guess we might call that book a “success story”.

This book is an honest account of the impact of some of the setbacks and disappointments they have experienced as a church, particularly during the time of Covid.

The author uses the whole sweep of biblical narrative to demonstrate that setback and advance, triumph and tragedy, and agony and ecstasy, all seem to get rolled together in the biblical story.

This is an honest story that explores the cracks that can appear in every church’s story. Yet as Leonard Cohen reminds us, it is the cracks that let the light in. This story honestly explores the cracks, and the deep emotions that they stirred in the author’s heart, but it also shows the light breaking in, as brokenness paths the way to blessing.

I was struck by a comment by Eugene Peterson quoted in the book:

“My work is not to fix people. It is to lead people to the worship of God and lead them in living a holy life.”

This book reminded me that it is not the size of my church that is the most important thing about me; rather it is the depth of my life. If you have hit a brick wall and you feel like giving up, try reading this book.

John Woods is a writer and Bible teacher based in West Sussex. He is Director of Training at the School of Preachers in Riga, Latvia.

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