Here’s a book to excite you, especially if you’ve lost your passion for the gospel message. It aims to stir the flames of a burning desire to tell others the good news.

Written by the Archbishop of Canterbury’s advisor for evangelism, Chris Russell, the book comes complete with commendations from Most Rev Justin Welby, comedian Frank Skinner and worship leader Matt Redman. But it’s a comment from 15-year-old Alicia that struck home for me. She had heard the gospel preached at a youth weekend and Russell asked her what she thought: “She stopped and fixed me with her eyes, ‘I’m 15 years old. Why has no one ever told me this before?’”

Russell’s enthusiasm for communicating the gospel as widely as possible stands out on every one of the book’s 160 pages. It’s an antidote for every Christian who doesn’t feel excited about the faith, is complacent about its revolutionary message or is just not bothered about telling others.

“Christian faith”, writes Russell, “is not some kind of app on the operating system to enable modern life. It is the operating system.” It is: “a whole-person thing, not simply a private, sideline hobby or pastime. What is on offer isn’t an idea, but new birth.”

The book’s title comes from a saying attributed to Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, author of The Little Prince (Farshore). He said the best way to get people to build a ship is: “to teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea”.

Russell encourages Christians first to pray “Come Holy Spirit”, then to be urgent, intentional and creative in how we proclaim the gospel – and to be assured of its life-changing power.

Inspirational and passionate, Russell sets out convincingly how God’s love draws us to him, and how that love compels us to share the gospel with others.

star five