Tom Rawls gives a frank overview of the state of the church, facing us with sometimes difficult truths about ourselves, whilst drawing out the best of all that the church, the bride of Christ, is and can be. Drawing on his own experiences, indebted to predecessors and contemporaries, on whose mighty shoulders he stands, Rawls provides a framework for creating a church according to God’s blueprint, a church that is irrepressible, dynamic, salt and light to those around her, full of purpose and intentional about providing opportunities for people to respond to Jesus.

Tom Rawls is senior minister of Proclaimers, Norwich, UK. He has ministered around the world for more than 30 years, including church planting in Australia and pioneering missionary work in Thailand.

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Although Relentless highlights the important gift of serving, it does give the impression that leaders are not required to serve. (But please read the comments by the author below). I would advise reading this book alongside Watchman Nee’s Spiritual Authority

  1. October 11, 2011

    Hi Tom!

    Thank you for taking the time to share your heart about this.

    Relentless is an excellent book and is one that I know I will dip into and read again. It contains lots of invaluable and important insights into building God’s church God’s way. I had already written the review and scheduled it to be posted on the website, but when I awoke the next day I felt prompted to add the final sentence about serving. I sense God may be at work in it.

    I think my own interpretation of serving is based on Jesus who, though Lord of all, happily and confidently served the disciples as he washed their feet – much to their dismay! Hierarchy is something that God likes to turn upside down, but there is still a strong attachment to it in the church. You alluded to it when you wrote about the couple wanting to serve in the more attractive ministry of prophecy, rather than embracing what may seem more menial ministries to some, ie housekeeping! In the book you don’t mention whether you ever get involved in these – not that I would expect you to on a regular basis – but for me, a willingness to pitch in and help out at every level is a key element of serving. As far as I know it’s something you do – but it doesn’t get mentioned in the book – it may not have occurred to you to include it. It’s a wonderful thing to watch a leader, the top of a hierarchy, willingly and gladly serve at the bottom of a hierarchy, not because they are making a point, but simply because they enjoy “flowing together” and loving their church at every level. It doesn’t actually have to happen very often to have an impact.

    Thank you for being so open and available to other church leaders. Your experience of a fractured church will be shared by many and you present hope in what is usually a very painful time.

    Bless you Tom.

    from Tracey Dockree
    Kingdom Vision

  2. October 8, 2011

    Dear Tracey,

    Firstly, many thanks for your excellent review. Obviously my desire is to get Relentless into as many hands as possible. I wrote this book with leaders in mind and believe it will be a challenge to many. My heart breaks for churches and church leaders who are experiencing hard times and need a breakthrough. I hope my book will be an encouragement to them and help them.

    Since Relentless was published I have had quite a few leaders ring me and email me asking for perspective and encouragement. It has been my joy to serve them in this matter. Other church leaders have written and spoken to me personally thanking me for the book as it just went on to confirm for them they were going in the right direction. Praise God.

    Let me assure you in regards to serving that I do believe and heartily endorse that ever leader is called to serve. I serve in our church in many ways; I coach and mentor leaders, training another generation to lead. I serve in my capacity as lead pastor in my regular communication, most of my time is with people encouraging them helping them get a God perspective on life. My wife and I have always worked hard at being good pastors.

    The word “minister” in the original Greek language means ” a lower rower.” That’s the guys on the lower level of a boat pulling oars the hardest. I feel this is a good discription of a leader in ministy and in church.

    Thanks again for your review and I hope your growing readership will have the opportunity to also read and comment.

    God bless you,

    Tom Rawls – lead pastor Proclaimers

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