Church planting is en vogue. You can find books upon books on the subject and even conferences on the topic that draw 1000’s of attendees. (I have to admit my favorite one of these conferences is Exponential.) But most church planting isn’t planting in the biblical sense. Yes it’s the start of new congregations, which is planting a “church” in some sense, but biblically church planting consists of starting new local gatherings with an emphasis on the creation of new disciples. At least that is what J.D. Payne, pastor of church multiplication at Brook Hills, has to say. Quite simply Payne defines church planting as,
Evangelism that results in new churches.
This (really) short book, which in some sense is a distillation of his longer book Discovering Church Planting: An Introduction to the Whats, Whys, and Hows of Global Church Planting, is an attempt to provide the reader with the essential aspects – practically and theologically – that are necessary for doing church planting in a Biblical fashion.
Payne begins with stressing the importance of nailing down your ecclesiology before you start planting. He then provides the reader with a sort of “pathway” to planting as well as the stages involved in growing a church plant. Most importantly, in my mind, Payne stresses the need for developing leaders which will one day oversee the church. This is clearly the Pauline model.
Overall, I found this book to be very helpful. It’s a clear and concise model for doing church planting. It draws its insights from Scripture, experience, and testimonies. I myself am not a church planter, but I have plenty of friends who are. After reading this book I came away with a better understanding both theologically and practically about what exactly it is that they are doing. I believe that this book could serve as a useful set of reminders for those who are planting churches. But I also believe, and I hope that this book will help spur on a new generation of church planters.
Note: I received this book from IVP in exchange for an impartial review.