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Church-Planting Resources (Written)

What Resources Would You Recommend to Church Planters?

Churches Planting Churches by Robert Logan and Steve Ogne (Carol Stream, IL: ChurchSmart Resources, 1995)
This training tool and notebook is the best resource available for guiding a parent church through the steps it takes to plant daughter churches.  It is a must curriculum for parent church leadership teams that want to be successful at planting daughter churches.

Church Planters Toolkit by Robert Logan and Steve Ogne (Carol Stream, IL: ChurchSmart Resources, 1995)
This is the standard training and equipping resource for the church planter. It includes cassette training tapes or CDs and worksheets and covers the first two years of new church development. Every church planter should own it and use it or have access it through CoachNet.org.

Planting Fast-growing Churches by Stephen Gray (St. Charles, IL: ChurchSmart Resources, 2007)
This short but well written book is a summation of results from a study of church plants that launched and grew quickly. The author has a bias toward the popular Church Growth Principles of the 1980s and 1990s and the research includes for the most part churches that used the attractional model of planting.

Planting Growing Churches for the 21st Century: A Comprehensive Guide for New Churches and Those Desiring Renewal , 2nd ed. by Aubrey Malphurs (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1998)
One of the best church planting books that covers the essentials including the preparation, personnel, principles, and process of church planting.  This is a must read for anyone desiring to be an effective church planter or church planting leader. It emphasizes the attractional strategy of planting a church.

Planting Missional Churches by Ed Stetzer (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2006)
This is, in my opinion, the best text on church planting from the leading missiologist and teacher of church planting in North America. It is comprehensive and is filled with examples of what a variety of church plants have done for better or for worse in the North American context. It includes the missional/incarnational strategy for planting but those using an attractional model will also find it very helpful.

The Purpose-Driven Church by Rick Warren (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1995)
Rick Warren has written a principle-based story of a purpose-driven church that provides great practical help for the church planter and new church. This is a great book to read and discuss with new church leadership.

Are There Other Resources that You Would Recommend?

Beyond Church Growth by Robert E.Logan (Old Tappan, NJ: Fleming H. Revell Co., 1989)
A classic from Bob Logan, this book elaborates on ten principles for developing a healthy, reproducing church.  The church planter will find it to be very practical, yet biblical.  The action steps at the end of each chapter are helpful tools to evaluate health and plan for reproduction.

Big Dreams in Small Places: Church Planting in Smaller Communities by Tom Nebel (St. Charles, IL: ChurchSmart Resources, 2002)
This book is a must read for anyone who desires to plant in a small town or rural area.  It offers sound cultural exegesis and very helpful practical advice.  It also offers help for church planting leaders who desire to establish effective regional and denominational strategies and for systems development.

Church Planting at the End of the Twentieth Century by Charles Chaney (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1993)
This work is a retro text on church planting that still has value, especially for district and denominational leadership.

Church Planting: The Next Generation by Kevin Manoia (Indianapolis, IN: Light and Life Communication, 1994)
Manoia’s book describes the systems approach to church planting, a strategy that is being developed by a number of districts and denominations.  It is must reading for regional and national church planting leadership who desires to see a growing multiplication of healthy disciple-making churches that have the support systems needed to launch and sustain a movement of God.

Developing a Vision for Ministry in the 21st Century by Aubrey Malphurs, (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1992)
Malphurs provides principles, guidelines and worksheets for developing a compelling vision for the church.  The church planter will find this work very helpful in developing and auditing vision for the new church.

Doing Church as a Team: Launching Effective Ministries through Teamwork by Wayne Cordeiro (Honolulu, HI: New Hope Resources, 1998)
This work is highly recommended for the church planter and all members of the new church leadership team.  Cordeiro’s church plants have proven that doing church as a team greatly helps to multiply disciples, groups and churches and this book explains how to do it.

Dynamic Church Planting by Paul Becker (Vista, CA: Multiplication Ministries, 1992)
In hardcopy, this is a valuable notebook resource for how to plant a healthy church.  It is now available at no cost when you down-loan from www.dcpi.org.

Growing a Healthy Church by Dan Spader and Gary Mayes (Chicago: Moody Press, 1991)
Dan Spader has been a pioneer in introducing the concept of church health.  This book helps the church planter understand how the new church can be effective and fruitful in winning, building, equipping and multiplying.  It is a very valuable book for programming the DNA of the new church from day 1.

Natural Church Development: A Guide to Eight Essential Qualities of Healthy Churches by Christian Schwarz (Carol Stream, IL: ChurchSmart Resources, 1996)
This book reflects the results of a research study of over 1000 churches on five continents and in thirty-two different countries.  By reading this work, the church planting leader will discover the distinctive characteristics of churches that experience organic growth.  This is another valuable resources for programming the DNA of the new church and for evaluating the health and growth potential of the congregation.

One Size Doesn’t Fit All: Bringing Out the Best in Any Size Church by Gary L. McIntosh (Grand Rapids, MI: Flemming H. Revell Co., 1999)
While almost all churches start out as small groups or congregations, the church planter needs to see how the dynamics of the church and its leadership needs will change as it experiences numerical growth.  Therefore, this book by Gary McIntosh is a must read for most new churches that are in their second or third year after launch.

Planting Churches Cross-Culturally: North America and Beyond by David J. Hesselgrave (Grand Rapids MI: Baker Book House, 2000)
This is a classic church planting text based on the pattern for starting new congregations found in the book of Acts.  If you believe that the best book on church planting is the Bible and the best model for church planting is found in the ministry of the Apostle Paul, then this book will add greatly to your understanding and application of biblical church planting principles and models.

Releasing Your Church’s Potential by Robert Logan and Thomas Clegg (Carol Stream, IL: ChurchSmart Resources, 1998)
This companion resource to the Church Planters Toolkit focuses on church health based on the paradigm found in Christian Schwarz’s Natural Church Development. It features cassette training tapes, worksheets and application guides for each of NCD’s measures of church health.  As with many resources, it works best when you study and apply the content in the context of a peer group.

Starting a New Church: A Church Planter’s Guide to Success by Ralph Moore (Ventura, CA: Regal Books, 2002)
Moore is a veteran church planting movement leader who has written a practical text on church planting.  His work emphasizes the pioneer church planting model and bi-vocational ministry, but is highly recommended for all planters early in their ministry.

Values-Driven Leadership by Aubrey Malphurs (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1996)
Malphurs guides the reader through the process of crafting core values for the local church. This is a practical, hands-on resource for the church planter and his leadership team.