When I moved into a condo, only the best books moved with me. To make the cut, a book had to be indispensable.
It says something, then, that I kept Planting Missional Churches by Ed Stetzer. I’ve consulted it many times as I’ve planted. Stetzer is a church planting expert. He’s planted churches, researched church planting, and consulted with church planters across the globe.
Planting Missional Churches is a good book, but it needed a refresh. May 1 marks the release of a new edition, cowritten by Daniel Im. What’s new? Ed and Daniel have changed 50% of the content. They’ve added new stories, models, and content in every chapter. They’ve also added five new chapters:
- Chapter 8: Multiethnic or Monoethnic Churches
- Chapter 9: Multisite Planting
- Chapter 27: Residencies and the Future of Theological Education
- Chapter 28: Denominations and Networks
- Chapter 30: Spiritual Leadership
They’ve reorganized the structure of the book, and included new research from the new State of Church Planting study, a research partnership of over a dozen denominations on church planting in the U.S., Canada, and Australia. The book is substantially different than the 2006 edition I moved into my condo.
I’ve been reading the new edition over the past couple of weeks. It’s split into five sections:
- The Foundations of Church Planting
- The Models of Church Planting
- Systems for Church Planting
- Ministry Areas for Church Planting
- Multiplication and Movements.
It’s hard to think of a church-planting topic they don’t cover. While this book covers various models of church planting, most of the book is for the traditional vocational North American church planter. There’s a wealth of information, though, for anyone.
As I’ve read the book, I’ve had three thoughts.
First: these guys know church planting. The topics they cover are the ones that I’ve wrestled with. I have the feeling that Daniel and Ed understand what a church planter goes through, and they are on my side.
Second: these guys are evenhanded. They not only cover the breadth of thinking around church planting, but they present their own perspective. I generally agree with them, but even when I don’t, I have to admit that they are fair and generous in what they write. I appreciate the amount of wisdom that’s packed into this book.
Finally: this book is timely. It covers new issues that weren’t on the radar ten years ago. I especially appreciate the chapter on multisite planting, and the section on Multiplications and Movements.
I’ll share some quotes from the book on Thursday. You can also check out a sample of the book, along with free bonus material.
Planting Missional Churches is a book I’d recommend to anyone who is thinking of planting a church, is planting a church, is training others in planting, or is pastoring and considering planting or multiplication. The new edition has earned a place on my bookshelf, and I’ll be consulting it for years to come.