I basically finished this series on the local Christian bookshop here. But is it an impossible call, for the reformation of Christian bookshops? Perhaps. Every ministry within the body of Christ is impossible to us alone. But God has determined to build his church, and has chosen to use us in that so that his glory is displayed in our weakness! He doesn't give up on the transformation of his body, the Church, to be like Christ - so we shouldn't give up on any area of its service either.
So to wrap up this series and complement the example of a bookshop ministry given previously, I will testify to God's grace in providing and working through ministers (staff) as described in part 4.
My father has ministered as the manager of a local Christian bookshop for 32 years so far. He left a more lucrative career with good prospects which was suitable to his qualifications, to serve the church as a lowly shop manager. But he gained the privilege of ministering God's word to God's people in churches of all denominations throughout the locality and in all the country, through serving them with Christ-exalting books as I've described. He'd be the first to say that he's made some mistakes in his 32 years. But God's grace is shown in his commitment to propagating the truth of God's gospel of grace and giving no room to false teaching, and in his love for the church as he ministers graciously and gospel-centredly to people from all sorts of backgrounds. To an extent, he serves as pastor-teacher and a missionary.
God has enough grace and power to reform the ministry of your local Christian bookshop to his glory in the church and in Christ Jesus. Be involved - it's a privilege.
-> May God be glorified in raising up more servants willing to 'stoop' to serving God's people in local Christian bookshops, who will be passionately inflexible on ministering the gospel and no 'other gospel', committedly gracious on fellowship regarding secondary things, and who will put the good of God's people before any other business aim.
To the reformation of the ministry of the local Christian bookshop to God's glory in the church and in Christ Jesus! Amen?
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