Church Planting Recommended Reading
One question frequently asked is what should I read if I’m planting a church. Here are some of my reccomendations:
All About Church Planting:
- Planting Missional Churches by Ed Stetzer. This book is not for the faint at heart. It’s long and theological. If you can be disciplined to read it, you will find the book to be very valuable. Ed brings the wisdom of scholar with common sense of a practitioner together in this book.
- Church Planting from the Ground Up by Tom Jones. This book covers a lot of the basic categories of church planting. Chapters are each written by different authors so you get many different perspectives in the book.
- Starting a New Church and How to Multiply Your Church by Ralph Moore. I wish Ralph wrote more because his books are great. Starting a New Church is highly practical. You’ll find lots of take aways. How to Multiply Your Church is his second book and tells the story of how their church planting efforts became a legitimate world wide movement. If you want to read about multiplication and movement making, this is the book.
- Together: Networks and Church Planting by Marcus Bigelow and Bobby Harrington. This is a unique book that talks about the power of leveraging networks to plant churches. Marcus is the President of Stadia and Bobby oversaw network development at Stadia in its infancy.
- Planting Churches Of course I’d recommend my blog. It’s full of great stuff.
- EdStetzer.com Ed’s blog is one of the better ones out there. If you are interested in missiology, he’s always got a compelling series going on. He also frequently shares his research from Lifeway and invites other great thinkers to guest post. What I like best is Ed is active on the blog in the comments. He does a great job engaging his readers.
You have to read at least one missional book. The reality is most planters are only reading them now. But if you haven’t, you need to have your model of church shaken a little.
- The Forgotten Ways by Alan Hirsch. Alan is like the Albert Einstein of the church both in looks and intelligence. This book digs deep into the heart of what many of his other books unpack and has influenced missional leaders around the world. It’s a bit heady, but well worth the read.
- Church 3.0 by Neil Cole. You need to understand before starting this one that Neil comes from the perspective that church should only be house/organic church. With that said, he will challenge your thinking in healthy ways and having you rethinking discipleship.
- Alex Absalom. Alex’s blog Missional Made Simple is one of the better missional blogs out there. More than just theory, Alex is an experienced missional leader in both Europe and the US.
Must Read Ministry Books
- Church Unique by Will Mancini. This book will help you develop your philosophy of ministry. It is well written and every church planter should go through a similar process. You can download my notes on the book here and get a visual summary of the book here.
- Church is a Team Sport by Jim Putman. Great book on discipleship systems.
Sometimes you just need to get away from reading books about church and learn from other disciplines.
- Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki. This is an often quoted book on being an entrepreneur.
- Brewing up a Business by Sam Calagione This book is about beer, so if that bothers you don’t get it. Sam writes about starting a restaurant and brewery. The parallels to church planting are many from building a team, crafting the values, branding and marketing, understanding the community.
- The Starfish and the Spider by Ori Brafman and Rod A. Beckstrom. This is a leadership book that challenges the typical CEO model of leadership. It will challenge you thinking and may compel you to structure the leadership of the church differently.
- Seth Godin. Seth is one of the brightest thinkers around. He thinks outside the box and will challenge you to as well. His blog is well worth subscribing to.
- A New York Times Bestseller. Get your nose out of work and read something everyone else is reading. It will help you relate and seem more human. I’m currently into Vince Flynn. His books are better than any blockbuster action movie out there.
- The Bible. Let’s not forget the most important reading of all is God’s Word. Spend lots of time in prayer and dive deep into the Scriptures. God will provide you with lots of practical applications for starting the church.