Many books about church planting have been written through the years. Some have become classics by this point, some were almost prophetic in forecasting how the world will change and how the church should change its methods. But many books didn't last the test of time or even location. The world is moving slightly faster than most churches, and what was written ten years ago may no longer apply today. Similarly, what was written on the back of research in one country may not apply in another. Below are few books that are great for British context.
Resource Churches: A story of church planting and revitalisation across the nation
Bishop Ric Thorpe
Written by Ric Thorpe, the Church of England’s bishop for church planting, this book looks at the biblical, theological and historical roots of resource churches. It covers all the practicalities of how to launch and grow an effective resource church, and draws on Ric’s extensive experience, practical wisdom and advice for church teams and diocesan leaders.
It is full of stories from those who have planted and lead resource churches, together with reflections from each of their bishops. Although the book is written from an Anglican perspective, its principles may be applied to similar churches in other denominations and sections of the church.
This faith-building and inspiring book, recommended by bishops, archdeacons, and leaders from across the Church, sees the Holy Spirit moving in the launch of these resource churches in our own time.
The Craft of Church Planting: Exploring the Lost Wisdom of Apprenticeship
Drawing on insights from the training practices of the English medieval craft guilds, a global survey of 500 church planters, interviews with artists and church planting trainers and the authors 30 years of ministry experience, 'The Craft of Church Planting' offers a distinctive and imaginative perspective on the methods used to train future practitioners in the art of church planting. Demonstrating how training for the next generation of church planting leaders might be informed by the historic master-apprentice model, guild learning communities, creativity and an artisan approach to ministry, this book is a vital resource to inform the methods of training for the next generation of church planters.
Stones and Ripples: 10 Principles for Pioneers and Church Planters
Robinson Gareth Robinson
When a stone hits water, it creates ripples. The greater the stone, the greater the ripples.
As a leader, you are the stone thrown into the water. Drawing on this analogy, Gareth Robinson offers ten guiding principles for pioneers and church planters. Beginning with five characteristics for your own life, this book encourages and equips you to develop a deep relationship with Jesus. Robinson then maps out five practical steps to help your pioneering initiative move from vision to multiplication, as the ripples of your own life flow out to the community you are called to love and serve.
Whether you’re starting out on a new venture or already in the throes of a church plant, this is an essential travel guide for those on the pioneering journey.
HeartEdge Case Studies: commerce, compassion, culture, congregation
Described as ‘a mini theology of the Holy Spirit’ by Revd Dr Sam Wells, Vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields, this collection of case studies from pioneers in mission, offers examples of churches and communities who have ‘followed the Holy Spirit into places where the face of Christ is to be found’.
Send Me: stories of ordinary people planting new churches: Stories of ordinary people planting churches
When we hear about God doing amazing things through someone we can relate to, something powerful happens. The impossible becomes possible, imagination is released, and what God might be calling us to opens up.
Send Me is a collection of 16 wonderful stories of what happens when people hear the call of Jesus Christ to plant a new church community. Drawn from rural and urban settings across England, each story is filled with unique insights and valuable lessons, of God using women and men of different ages and different social and ethnic backgrounds to start something new.
There are threads of similar experiences and practices that run through many of the stories. These include the prayerfulness of this work, as small groups of people prayer-walk their area longing for God to transform their neighbourhood and seeking to discern what he is calling them to do. They describe the joy of forming community, eating together, and seeing the surprising people God is at work in. Many of the lay people faced great challenges in this work and this made the wider support from clergy and the parish churches even more important. These new forms of church are emerging from the established church and there are some beautiful testimonies of people finding faith in Jesus Christ as a result of the church being formed in new ways and places that connected with them.
Liturgical Mission: The work of the people for the life of the world
Modern missional movements have often viewed the historic Christian traditions with suspicion. The old traditions may be beautiful, the thinking goes, but they’re too insular, focused primarily on worship and on the interior life of the church, and not looking outward to evangelism and good works. In Liturgical Mission, Winfield Bevins argues that the church's liturgy and sacramental life are in fact deeply missional. He explores the historic practices of the Christian church, demonstrating how they offer a holistic framework for everyday Christian discipleship and mission in the twenty-first century. The result is a book that not only invites all Christians back to the historic liturgy of the church, but also invites those already in liturgical churches to rediscover the missional life that has too often remained latent in their own traditions.
Mission-Shaped Church Church Planting and Fresh Expressions of Church in a Changing Context
An overview of recent developments in church planting. This detailed, practical and well-researched book describes the varied and exciting 'fresh expressions' of church being created. This edition includes a new foreward by the Rt Revd Graham Cray.