Here are some of the resources that have been most helpful to me through this journey of church planting. These are in addition to some of the links to videos and webpages at the bottom of my blog and are primarily books. I could list many more, but I’ve saved this space for those that earn the “most influential” award in my ministry thus far.
Note: I’ve provided links to Amazon.com for convenience. I am not receiving any benefit for this from Amazon.
Center Church: Doing Balanced, Gospel-Centered Ministry In Your City
by Timothy Keller
This is usually the first book that I recommend to those looking to plant a church. While Keller’s church has been very successful in planting other churches, this is not a one-size-fits-all approach to church planting or a “if you do it this way you will succeed.” It is rather a very thoughtful way of exploring how the Gospel and Culture intersect to take a particular form in a particular place and time.
Missional Communities: The Rise of the Post-Congregational Church
by Reggie McNeal
The other books in this series, This Present Future and Missional Renaissance are also worth a read. However, this one put some “flesh” on it for me and inspired me to imagine what a missional church could look like. Very accessible and good for other church leaders to read together.
Missional Church: A Vision for the Sending of the Church in North America
by Darrel Guder (ed.)
This book is not light reading, but definitely worth it for those who are interested in setting the idea of “missional church” in context of church history and theology. Even though “missional” is now a trendy word in church circles, that was not the case when this book was written. Guder’s more recent book, Called to Witness, has a series of talks that he has given on the missional church in recent years.
Under the Unpredictable Plant: An Exploration of Vocational Holiness
by Eugene Peterson
There isn’t a book by Eugene Peterson that I wouldn’t recommend. His work has been a big influence on my life and ministry. However, this book and Five Smooth Stones seem to the be two that I return to again and again. This one, in particular, has challenged me to stay the course, and remain faithful, even in the midst of discouragement and failure, always keeping in mind God’s desire to bring people into the Kingdom.
Preaching: Communicating Faith in an Age of Skepticism
by Timothy Keller
If you are someone that preaches on a regular basis, or even just once in awhile, then I highly recommend this book! I have always respected that fact that Tim Keller is not a “flashy” or “exciting” preacher, and yet his messages have always carried with them the transformative power of God’s Word, and have clearly impacted many people beyond those in his congregation in New York. Like the Center Church book that also makes this list, he does not try to reduce the preaching process to a formula that others can simply plug-in and repeat. Rather, he raises important questions about the purpose, process, and power of preaching and challenges other preachers to learn to allow the power of scripture to be the focus of the final product.