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WLRBF - Memoirs of a Country Preacher

06 October 2017 15:36

West Lancashire Reformed Fellowship meeting - September

When our children were young one of their favourite bedtime stories was 'The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse'. The two mice were cousins but lived in very different worlds. Town Mouse went to visit his country cousin but found the country too quiet, dark, full of danger from owls and hawks, and altogether hard work just to find food. Similarly, when Country Mouse went to town he was challenged by the noise, bright lights, house cats and hoovers. Each mouse knew where he belonged and in the end settled back into the comfort and familiarity of home.

I was reminded of this children's story as I listened to John Mollitt speak at the September gathering of the West Lancashire Reformed Fellowship. John has written two books, 'Truth in a Nutshell' and 'How shall They hear?: Memoirs and Observations of a Country Preacher'. The second of these was his subject at the recent meeting and as always it was a pleasure to listen to him.

John's forty years of rural ministry have qualified him to speak on the topic of village life with all its charms and challenges, delights and delusions. Pastoring a congregation in Ingleton, North Yorkshire over the long haul has enabled John to see how country life has changed in recent decades with a marked decline in church attendance. The sobering reality is that as people turn away from their Christian roots and reject Biblical Christianity, even as a moral compass for their lives, then they simply lose their way. This happens, of course in town and country, but perhaps is more noticeable in a close-knit village community where people generally know each other's business.

The spiritual needs of men and women are the same wherever they live and John was careful to make that plain even as he gave us his heart-warming anecdotes of country life.

We were encouraged to recognise the characteristics of the people around us, to be sensitive to their ways, to be involved in our communities and thereby shine the light of the gospel where God has placed us.

John and Pat Mollitt have been wonderful examples to us, so buy a copy of John's book, enjoy his down-to-earth style and consider what you might do for the Lord where you live.