“For Such a Time as This” by Pastor Kirk Gilchrist is a book about renewal and revival, and this message is clear from the very beginning: the cover. At the top, before the title, in all-caps, are the words, “FORWARD BY TED HAGGARD.” Wow, what a gutsy choice as at this point some will unfortunately put this book down. For me it shows that Pastor Kirk Gilchrist believes in this message and is not going to avoid tough topics or fail to speak what is on his heart for fear of offending the reader. Bravo!
In “For Such a Time as This,” Gilchrist takes the reader through the history of his own rural church, which has grown from 30-50 in attendance to over 400. He relays to pastors that no matter the size or location of their church, God’s plan is for their Church to prosper and grow.
Gilchrist tackles some common issues that churches face and calls them out for what they are, excuses to be stagnant and defeated. His own church is in a county of northern New York (the Thousand Island region) known for economic depression, his own town having only 92 homes. God taught him to look past these indicators and see the greater vision of a prosperous church: not only financially viable, but prospering in the community by taking part in improving their surroundings, and impacting individual lives in their county.
The foundation is love, and the house is built by action. Some say that these are the worst of times for the church, but Gilchrist paints a portrait of a harvest ripe for the picking; that revival is not at some unforeseen point in the future, but that revival is now.
The writing style is direct, as though you were reading a transcript of Gilchirst’s preaching. The first few chapters where he delves into the history of his church felt like a bit too much, but it pays off later in the book when he explains the steps and processes God led the church through and relates them to those experiences.
I recommend “For Such a Time as This” as a tool for encouragement and a starting point to taking the Gospel of God’s love for all outside the four walls of the church.
Disclosures: I am a member of Kirk Gilchrist’s New Life Christian Church, and was given a copy of “For Such a Time as This” for review, free of charge. These opinions were given with all effort to be objective without regard to him being my pastor. A positive review was not required.