I never dreamed I’d be a church planter 10 years ago, but it’s what I’ve done for the last 6 years. I’ve learned a lot from just making mistakes and adjusting expectations, but these books definitely helped along the way. If you are considering planting a church or knee deep in the battle, I recommend you consider reading these 5 books.
The American Church in Crisis by David T. Olson- Based on research from 200,000 churches, this informative read will help you understand why we need healthy churches to be planted. It will also highlight the areas most in need of churches. It is very data-driven, but will draw your interest if church planting/church structure interests you at all. Click here to buy it on Amazon.com.
Innovate Church by Jonathan Falwell- Falwell and most of the staff at Thomas Road Baptist Church lead you through the changing church culture and how it has adjusted the methods of church planting. With incredible insight from multiple angles, the writers help you understand the practical needs of a church plant relating to leadership, music, preaching, small groups, etc. This one book has the insight of numerous authors. Click here to buy it on Amazon.com.
Fusion by Nelson Searcy- Searcy planted Journey Church in New York City in 2002. Today the church has grown to a multi-campus 1,000+ church. He also has worked at Saddleback with Rick Warren. He has the experience and insight when it comes to planting in an urban environment. Fusion is a book designed to help you connect visitors into the church/church plant. At only 181 pages, it is short, but full of practical information. Click here to buy it on Amazon.com
Surprising Insights from the Unchurched and Proven Ways to Reach Them by Thom Rainer- If we want to reach them, we need to know what they’re thinking. Thom has polled thousands of unchurched americans to come up with the data in his book. It relates what is important to them about church, where they prefer to attend, what they look for in a service, why they don’t trust churches, etc. It is incredible information that can help you determine your specific approach to church planting. Click here to buy it on Amazon.com.
Nine Marks of a Healthy Church by Mark Dever- Based on a sermon series Mark preached at Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington DC, Dever outlines 9 character traits of a healthy ministry. It’s simplicity is what makes this book so great. He clearly lays out his case for a church prioritizing these nine marks:expositional preaching, Biblical theology, the gospel, Biblical understanding of conversion, Biblical understanding of evangelism,Biblical understanding of church membership, biblical church discipline, a concern for discipleship and growth, Biblical church leadership. Click here to buy it on Amazon.com