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which version - would help her in this. Her questions were answered, she bought a Bible and went on her way. A local minister who is a regular customer overheard everything, never imagining that such a thing could or would happen in the CLC bookshop. But even more amazing was his admission that he – a church minister - never has the opportunity to share the gospel and help someone in

People visit Christian bookshops, rather than a church, in their search for God such a personal way. For this to take place right before his eyes in the bookshop was a revelation! He now understands much more clearly the importance of the bookshop in the life and ministry of the local church. Yes, people visit Christian bookshops, rather than a church, in their search for God. So, as Christ’s ambassadors, we seek to live out 2 Timothy 4:2, to ‘proclaim the Message with intensity…. Don’t ever quit. Just keep it simple’ (The Message). I recently chatted with a young man wanting a Bible. God was ‘on his case’ and the young man wanted to know more about him. I obliged in word (explaining) and deed (selling). A student in Sheffield wanted a book to read with his girlfriend about how far is far enough in their physical relationship and how to honour God and each other in it all. The right book will help them do both and will prepare a solid foundation for their married life together. Often we are sowers, but occasionally we reap where others have sown. In Chatham, the conversation with a bookshop customer culminated in a prayer of repentance and commitment to Christ. Customers within earshot were quietly praying in the background! What

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a joy to be a stepping stone in someone’s quest for spiritual reality! What a greater joy accompanying them in that last step to repentance and salvation!

A church on the high street Every Christian bookshop should be a relevant witness in the local community and a pointer to Christ. In Coimbra, Portugal, the manager seized an opportunity to promote the small CLC bookshop as a place of evangelism, discipleship and fellowship and as a feeder of people into local churches. And extra sales would help. Since first hosting the weekly chronological Bible study course in 2009, more than 70 people have followed it, 18 have become Christians and two of these are training for full-time missionary service. Other courses also take place in the bookshop. I wonder how many churches have seen 18 conversions in under four years! And I wonder if the ‘results’ would have been similar if the courses were run in a church building.

Other CLC bookshops may not organise things on such a grand or regular scale; whether it’s a music concert or the reading of a children’s book, the aim is to reach out and help our public grow spiritually by providing reliable resources.

EXPLORE... [ 2013/14 ]

Profile for Barry Sawyer

Explore 2013  

Leadership magazine

Explore 2013  

Leadership magazine