10 copy price £1.00
Download a sample
Download a sample
Christ and His People brings together eight convictions which shaped the ministry of Mark Ashton, a ministry rooted in faithful and humble leadership of Round Church, Cambridge. These eight convictions will encourage others to persevere in ordinary local church, trusting God to keep His Word.
This book is taken from chapter one of Persistently Preaching Christ
This book is a very timely introduction to the backbones of a gospel ministry. I used it at a conference recently to introduce others to Mark Ashton and it was nice to have a clean and simple copy of his eight convictions rather than having them buy the bulkier (and more expensive) Persistently Preaching Christ.
I have been thinking about writing a book review for the magazine for some time now. I have recently started reading a lot of different Christian books and I have been very much built up and encouraged in my faith by them, so I thought I would share some of my thoughts with you, maybe in the hope you would like to have a read and be built up too. A lot of the books I have been reading come from the bookshop “10ofthose” If that sounds familiar it’s because that’s where our pew Bibles came from and we must have over 200 of their bookmarks in our church! I was going to do a review of one of the books for sale at the back of church (also from 10ofthose), and then I thought about doing a review on one of the books that Paul Clemence left at the back of church one Sunday. On every occasion, I talked myself out of it! Until, that is, I opened my PCC envelope one day to discover a book enclosed for all members of the PCC to read before the next meeting. The book was “Christ and his people – eight convictions about the local church” and that is the book I will be reviewing today. This short book touches on eight key things that are crucial to a local church and I hope will be met with excitement and enthusiasm by the PCC when we meet to discuss it on the 9th of August. I don’t know if it is wise or foolish to write this review before the PCC meet, but this little book has got me too excited not to put pen to paper, well; fingers to keyboard. The eight convictions are as follows; The Bible, Local Church, Expository Preaching, Meetings, Ministers, Focus, Sacrifice and Prayer. The first chapter’s sub heading is “the word of God does the work of God through the Spirit of God in the people of God” and I think this is a good summary line for the whole book! The book is about how we, Christ’s people, function as a local church. Every chapter shows that the only way we can successfully be a local church is; in everything we do, we do in the power of the Spirit, in line with the word (the word being Jesus!). That is where the book starts, with a brief summary of the Gospel, and that is where the book stays, and where we as the local church should stay - centered around the gospel! Chapter four was a favourite of mine, it tells of what we should be doing when we meet together on a Sunday morning for example. Mark Ashton, the author, helpfully reminds us that Sunday morning is not the only time we worship God, he says “but it is not as if we begin to worship when we meet and stop worshiping when we leave the meeting, any more than we start breathing when we arrive and stop when we leave. ‘Worship’ is the concept by which we relate the whole of life to God. Whatever we do with our physical bodies is how we worship God (Romans 12:1-2).” He then goes on to show how, when we meet, we should “encourage one another – in particular, to persevere in the faith and ‘toward love and good deeds’ (Hebrews 10:23-25).” So Sunday mornings are about us coming together as a family to build one another up. Our whole lives should be given to God as worship not just an hour on a Sunday! But Ashton says that at the same time, perhaps more importantly, our services should be for none members! “Our services must be designed to bring all human beings… to encounter the living God” In chapter five Ashton reveals that we are all ministers of the local church, he says, “All Christians are ministers of the Gospel. It is the privilege and responsibility of every Christian to teach others about God, and to live and work in the world for God.” What a challenge! He goes on in chapters six and seven to say that as a church we must have a focus in our ministry and that we are to make personal sacrifices for the sake of the church. “The gospel is never about seeking our own comfort, and it always drives the local church out to do more for God in the world.” This book sent my brain into overdrive with a renewed passion for the local church; it actually has me excited about a PCC meeting! I certainly enjoyed reading it and would highly recommend it to any church member. It is accessible, informative and short, (I read it in one sitting, and I’m a slow reader!) If you would like a copy, it is for sale on 10ofthose.com or I’m sure any member of the PCC would gladly lend you their copy. Ashton ends this book with a chapter on prayer. He says prayer must be at the centre of our church. I know I have written this article before the PCC meet to discuss it and that it will be printed after that PCC meeting, but I ask that as a church we pray for the PCC, for Damian and for anyone involved in leadership at Christ Church as they lead, us as a church, forward in our ministry to the local community. And I pray that everyone at Christ church may be united in Christ with our focus on him. Yours in Christ, Mark Wooding
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