Hi Everyone, 

 

Our library has been on a rocky road for a while. However, with our new pastor, things have certainly improved.

 

That being said, recently I was told that since library books don't save souls, and that's what church is really about, there is no need for inclusion in our budget. that our church's money needs to be spent on other programs.

Hmmm... I know that Lee Strobel's book CASE FOR CHRIST certainly makes a powerful statement about why an atheist became a Christian.

My question is, can anyone out there recommend other titles that can be used to bring a skeptic to salvation?

I'd like to have a list of titles before our next board meeting in two weeks.

 

Thanks so much,

Linda

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  • Janette Oke's books always have the gospel woven into them clearly.   Lawana Blackwell's series,  The Widow of Larkspur lane- Anything by Isabella Alden, or Grace Livingston Hill.   If I were you, I would pray about opening your presentation with the words of Christ from Matthew 28:18-20.   Making disciples takes RESOURCES among them books, good DVD's that share the gospel (harder to find these days- many are very fluffy).   The library should be a hub in a wheel with many spokes moving out into other realms of ministry.   People are still reading even if on e-readers and on-line.   Teachers need reference materials to teach their subjects.   Biographies of those who have walked with the Lord before us, encourage people even when they make mistakes.    Eric Metaxas has some excellent biographies out.  And who is going to encourage and train the children if there are no books and wholesome things for them?  The Big Picture Bible by David Helm.   Chicken Soup for the Soul for Alzheimers,  books on grief and suffering for adults and children.    J. I. Packer's excellent book, Knowing God;   After they are saved by the Holy Spirit, you need to feed them or they will not grow up in the Lord.   Sorry this is stream of consciousness, and rambling.

    • Thank you for the suggestions. I will certainly use them! Bless you for your help.

  • Linda,

    I am sorry that you at having to deal with such a misunderstanding of why a church needs a library.  It is true that books don't save souls! Only the Holy Spirit can do that!  But all of us who have worked in church libraries for decades have seen the Holy Spirit use books--and librarians--to reach people.  Books can go where people cannot.  Books can also bring people together!

      If a reader  cannot find inspiration in the prayers of Father Tim in Jan Karon's Mitford Series, there is no hope!  There are many times when the plan of salvation is shared in a conversation Father Tim is having with one of the characters in the book.  Some people will read a book of fiction when they would not pick up a book of theology.

      Someone else has already mentioned that leading a person to Christ is only the beginning of a church's work.  Discipleship continues until we go to Heaven.  What about books that enhance our daily walk with Christ, help us grow as Christians, help us be better parents or spouses, enhance our creativity, help us keep our bodies healthier, use our money wisely, care for an elderly parent or spouse, or handle our grief after we have lost a loved one.  The list goes on and on.

      The library in our church is now 60 years old.  And we are finding new ways to use it every day including reaching out into our community.  It is a gathering place for senior adults after an exercise class, a resource for homeschoolers who meet in our church, and a special place for the Burmese children who ride our church bus each Sunday and Wednesday.  All of them are library users!

      I pray that your church leaders will see what you are doing as a tool that God will use to show your readers His love and grace.

    Pat Brown

    • "Leading a person to Christ is only the beginning of a church's work. ' Excellent! I agree that books can definitely clarify and enhance our relationship God.  Bless you for the pointer.

    • Pat -- you're so encouraging.

      I love all the suggestions and thoughts about "What is a church library?" 

      I'm so touched by each person who is posting. 

  • HI Linda,

    Recently I had the god moment of meeting a young man recently diagnosed with HIV/Aids from our church library.  He came looking for answers not on how to manage his illness but what was the purpose of what was left of of his life as he knew his time was short.    As it happened I had several copies of The Purpose Drive n Life by Rick Warren.  I gave him a copy and told him to keep it.  My gift to him.  He was very grateful and clutched the book to his chest as if he had just won the lottery.

    If you consider the church as not the building but those inside it.  It is our job to build disciples which in turn save souls.  The library is one of many tools used to build and support those disciples as they grow and encourage them to share that faith with those they meet without fear.  I always ask .  If being a Christian were a crime, as it is in many countries, would there be enough evidence to convict you?  

    The first of the year the library also took on the adult education and neighborhood outreach programming such as partnering with local adult literacy program and offering Dave Ramsey Financial Peace.  WE are in process of surveying the congregation to see what other studies and classes we can offer such as marriage retreats

    • Absolutely. I read once that the church library is truly a living breathing ministry.  I am working to partner with as many local businesses as possible.  Local art gallery using library walls as extension of their gallery, local adult literacy program uses our space to meet in a safe place to do their programming, local estate sales consultant to help reduce her inventory when she has a client who has personal libraries.

  • In responding to those who are of the opinion that a church library is not important, I think, perhaps, we need to first address, with that person, what the role of the church actually is. The role of the “visible” church contributes to the introduction of Christ to the non-believer, but it is so much more. It also exists to strengthen new and mature believers in their knowledge of and faith in Jesus Christ through Biblical preaching and teaching and the exposure to Bible based reference materials that the new believer, and in some instances the more mature believer, may never have known existed. All of the reference materials that are in a Christ centered church library are produced by God through other Christians for this very purpose. God uses men and women to teach others about Himself, His Son, and His Spirit. 

    In using the the term reference materials, I do not mean to discount the impact and effect of Christian fiction, for it too is a medium and means by which non-believers and believers alike are introduced to and influenced in their walk with Christ and the body of Christ, the church. God uses every available means to draw His people closer to Him. That also includes children’s books, videos, etc. 

  • The first book in my Sonrise Stable series, has a strong salvation message for children.

    God chose to reveal Himself to us through the written word. And Jesus is called the Word. I think it's dangerous how we are getting away from books and the written word.

    Some people don't seem to like the Left Behind series, but early in my Christian journey I read those several times. It inspired me to study Revelation and increased my sense of urgency to witness to people.

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