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GBMLit - Making an Impact with Literature

GBM’s aim is to ‘help churches support their missionaries worldwide.’ Our literature ministry, GBMLit, has a role to play in doing that. Our missionaries ask for GBM’s books to aid them as they teach others from the Bible. The books themselves can act as missionaries, going where other people cannot go, and staying where other people cannot stay. Books can have an impact on people long after they receive them. Often the GBMLit entry in the monthly GBM prayer diary includes quotes from our recipients. They describe how wonderfully helpful these books have been, often in vivid language, believing them to be real gifts from God’s hand to them in their ministry.

Books where most needed

Since the mid-1980’s, GBMLit has focussed on providing good books for the world’s poorest, most under-served and overlooked Bible teachers, to equip them for ministry and provide resources for Christian discipleship. From a human perspective, this dramatically impacts their effectiveness in teaching and preaching. Most of the pastors we are in contact with will own just a Bible and a hymn book, and they live where the gospel has only had a minor impact on their culture.

Let me give you a couple of examples. Moses is a pastor in a small town in rural Kenya. A shiny billboard from another church has been installed just up the road from where his congregation meets. The sign proclaims ‘Jesus wants nothing more than to make you happy, healthy and whole’. There are also details of where to hear more, at a new building around the corner. The claims of the so-called ‘prosperity gospel’ are trumpeted loudly in Moses’ neighbourhood and sadly, local Christians are frequently confused with the real thing.

A young husband and wife are from a village in Zambia. They have recently become Christians, but sadly their young boy has become unwell. In their past, they might have gone to a witch-doctor to perform a ritual to break the magic which they believed someone had used against them. Instead, they approach their pastor, Kunda. Can he divine the reason for the sickness? And can he give them a charm, an object, to take home? Essentially, such concepts come from a background of African traditional religion, which has crept into the lives of many churches. How can we support pastors like Kunda? One of the best ways is by providing them with books that equip them to pastor people with such issues.

We have regular contact with a number of missionaries who serve in such situations. Where they have been running leadership training events, literature has been sent to give to the pastors they train, helping them understand Christian doctrine better, and have a more rigorous approach to Biblical preaching, when they are back in their local church situations.

Sustaining GBMLit

Up to now, GBMLit has always had its running costs funded largely from GBM’s General Fund. With support levels falling short of expenditure, we have had to make significant cuts across all GBM’s activities, including GBMLit. What will that mean in practice?

We are streamlining our operations. In the last two years all our book stock has been stored, packed and despatched by a local warehousing company. Early in 2018 we will be moving all this stock back into Mission Centre. We need to build a team of volunteers who can give a day every few months to come to Mission Centre and pack a consignment of parcels. We will then be taking these out to churches, so that supporters can take a parcel and pay for the cost of postage. We will continue to pay for the despatch costs of bulk consignments when these have to be sent. We are also looking to reduce our accumulated book stock in 2018 by buying far fewer new titles, thereby reducing our stock holding.

We are also looking at working with trusted overseas partners, such as the ACTS bookshop in Nairobi, Kenya. We can ship consignments of books to them in bulk, thereby reducing our costs. They could be part of the local distribution network, to aid our books getting to church leaders. In addition, we are considering whether some of our partners or even some recipients might contribute a small amount towards the cost of their books.

We value your prayers for these major changes in GBMLit. Pray that we will be able to continue to support the ministry of thousands of pastors across the developing world, and that all the means will be provided to operate under our new system.


Kester Putman

GBM Literature Coordinator

Funding GBMLit

What can you do? If many churches and individuals would get behind our #books4pastors campaign by becoming regular donors, GBMLit would soon become fully funded. All one-off and regular donations to #books4pastors go directly into funding the costs of literature. You can be confident that your gifts are supporting the pastors who receive our books.

You could consider volunteering as part of our new packing team at Mission Centre.

You could take a book parcel when our speakers visit your church, and pay for the postage at your local post office.    

Please contact Kester Putman on kester@gbm.org.uk or call 01235 520147.

Facebook: GBM.Literature

Twitter @GBM_Lit

To find out more about supporting GBMLit through our #Books4Pastors Fund you can visit our #Books4Pastors page.