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Ex-gang member’s inspirational book

ATTEMPTING TO INSPIRE: Errol Lawson

BIRMINGHAM BASED church minister Errol Lawson’s debut book From The Postcode to the Globe encourages young people to aim high.

He spoke to Soul Stirrings about the inspiration behind the book and his future plans.

Soul Stirrings (SS): What inspired you to write your book?

Errol Lawson (EL): Growing up in inner city Birmingham I saw many talented and gifted friends get to a point where they would lose all hope and motivation to do anything positive and turn to a life of crime and delinquency.

The book is written to inspire change in young people, their families and those that advise or support them.

SS:  What impact are you hoping your book will have on young people?

EL: From The Postcode To The Globe seeks to challenge the attitude and mindset of the reader whether young or old.

The story that I share presents the reader with an alternative way of viewing life. They will see from my example it is never to late to turn your life around.

SS: You mention in your book that your father was absent during your teens. How did this impact your development and attitude?

EL: Not having my father around for my teenage years made life very difficult. My parents’ divorce and the subsequent fallout affected me in a negative way.

At the age of 13 I started smoking cannabis. Soon after I began to sell cannabis and got involved in gang activity. Due to the fact that I felt the whole world was against me I became selfish and self-centred. Overcoming this attitude was a huge struggle.

SS:  Now you’re an adult, how do you feel about your father?

EL: I may not like some of the decisions that he made, but now that I am older, I appreciate that as a child your parents shelter you from certain things. I’m just happy now that my dad is back in my life and one of my greatest supporters.

SS:  You spent time in a gang, and got in trouble with the law.  What do you say to young people feeling tempted to go down that road?

EL: I ask every young person to search inside themselves and understand that they are created for a purpose and have great potential.

I say before you think about going down that road count the cost. Think of the impact it will have on your parents and family. Is it really worth causing the pain and heartache?

SS:  When and what made you become a Christian and how long have you been a pastor at Mount Zion Community Church?

EL: I was invited to a church service by my younger sister and reluctantly attended after much persuasion. I was surprised by the warmth of the reception that I received and the relevance of the message preached.

I eventually made a decision to become a Christian some months later. In April 2012 I will have been serving as a full time Pastor for five years.

SS: What do you do aside from pastoring?

EL: I go into prisons to hold bible studies or speak to inmates and I go into schools to deliver leadership development programmes to teenagers.

SS: What does the future hold for you now?

EL: I will be releasing a Postcode To The Globe schools programme.

Visit www.errollawson.com for more details.

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