Keep Faith Growing by Phil Campion
Useful book about the importance of growing faith, with clear steps on how to go about it
Keep Faith Growing
By Phil Campion
Gilead Books Publishing
Reviewed by: the Revd Martin Poole
At the heart of Phil Campion’s book lies his unwavering conviction that “growing faith matters more than growing church”. If individual believers are growing in their faith then the church will grow although, as he stresses towards the end of his book, this may not always be statistically verifiable.
The means of growth are summarised alliteratively under three major headings namely Conversation, Curiosity and Connections.
Conversation embraces the obvious resources of prayer and God’s word together with space to reflect pause and kick leaves. Such ingredients develop a meaningful relationship with God in every aspect of living.
Within the Connections division Phil focuses principally on church, the meaning of worship, the danger of professionalising pastoral ministry and the missional perspective that should lie close to the heart of any believing community.
For this reviewer however it is the major section summarised as Curiosity that was the most refreshing. Reminding us of the perpetual “why” questions that proceed from childlike enquiring minds, Phil is keen to insist that this approach should never leave us and that there is always more to learn as we seek to journey in our faith. Sadly we are never “nearly there yet”. He maybe over reaches himself by citing Zech 8v5 and suggesting that “Heaven will be one great kids club!” – enough to send you on a Warners holiday – but this whole topic of children in the church is a rewarding read.
Also exercising our curiosity should enable us to rejoice rather than fear the discoveries of science, given that as Christians we approach all enquiry with a consciousness of an almighty God. In addition when we face suffering we can find in the midst of pain, confusion and anxiety etc. another teacher who in turn can allow us the privilege of bringing comfort to others, much as the Apostle Paul describes in 2 Cor 3:4 (“the God of all comfort who comforts us in our troubles so that we can comfort those in any trouble…).
Peppered throughout this useful book are many anecdotes and illustrations of God at work in the life of the believer. It is these that have been culled from Phil’s extensive lifelong ministry that make the book very readable and profitable in increasing the reader’s desire for a growing living faith.
The Revd Martin Poole is a retired Baptist minister (Penarth, Godalming and Eastleigh Baptist Churches)