There’s a popular saying about the Christian life, George Shamblin said.
“Christianity isn’t a sprint; it’s a marathon.”
As popular as that saying might be, Shamblin said it isn’t the most accurate or biblical description of the Christian faith, as Christianity is about more than just a “solo race.”
“We have to pass the faith forward,” Shamblin said.
The Christian life is more like a relay, Shamblin said, and believers must pass their faith on to others as they “run their race.”
“The Relay” is the title of Shamblin’s new book, published by Birmingham-based Union Hill Publishing. The book focuses on teaching Christians how to share their faith with others and the importance of passing the faith on as Christians continue to follow Jesus.
Shamblin, who works for The Center for Executive Leadership, based in Homewood, said he took about five years to write the book and called the process a “roller coaster ride.”
“I did not know the roller coaster would last five years,” Shamblin said. “It was hard.”
Shamblin said he hopes the book empowers and excites people and gives them the tools they need to help them get started in evangelism. The book is filled with anecdotal stories and stories from the Bible aimed to encourage readers, Shamblin said.
Shamblin, 52, said the book became personal to him when he started meeting with a group of 10 men eager to share their faith.
“We’re excited to be sharing our faith,” he said.
Shamblin said the group is holding each other accountable, encouraging one another to share their faith with others.
“I’ve never seen 10 guys do more ‘in-the-trenches’ evangelism,” Shamblin said. “I’ve never had more fun.”
The group meets weekly for Bible study and pushes each other to share their faith with someone they do not know every week, or, as Shamblin put it, to “get off the ropes.”
Shamblin said the group has shared stories of sharing their faith at retail stores, with people they encounter in their daily life, and, for Shamblin, with strangers at the beach.
While on a family trip, Shamblin said he encountered some people who were listening to some not-so-family friendly music, and God pushed him to strike up a conversation with them about Christianity.
Shamblin walked over to them, offered them a Barbie raft his family didn’t need and asked them if he could share his faith with them. It was a positive response, Shamblin said, and the strangers were grateful for him.
Shamblin said if he doesn’t put the book into practice himself, it’s “all for naught.”
The 10 guys in the group have been “shocked” at how people receive them as they share their faith, encouraging them to do it more often, Shamblin said
He and his family lived in Vestavia Hills for 14 years, and all four of his children graduated from Vestavia Hills High School. The family moved to Hoover six months ago, but Shamblin’s wife, Jill, still works as the receptionist at Vestavia Hills Elementary West.
“It’s been so cool for our family to be here,” Shamblin said.
Shamblin’s book can be found on Amazon or on his website, georgeshamblin.com.