There are two trends among churches right now: combining with another congregation or starting a brand new one.
For example, a church in Garner recently had to close their doors or be taken over by a larger church. In this process, they maintained some of their old identity, but their gathering would now be a satellite for the incoming church. This has been the case for more than one church in our area, and more and more, church survival looks like this.
The other trend is churches doing mission by starting brand new worshiping communities in growing cities and towns. Either way, both trends are about forming worshiping communities that are brand new in places that need revitalized mission.
An incredibly helpful resource along those lines has just been published in Darrin Patrick’s “Church Planter” from Re:Lit.
Re:Lit is the publishing branch of Mark Driscoll’s ministry, the Resurgence. They have steadily turned out books over the last few years, and some of them have been incredibly practical and helpful. For example, I would highly recommend “Porn Again Christian” and “Death by Love” for anyone that wants to pursue the purity and an understanding of Jesus’ work on the cross. That being said, their most recent release, “Church Planter” may be the most practical work that they have released to date.
Written by Darrin Patrick, pastor of The Journey in St. Louis, “Church Planter” focuses on the character, the message, and the mission necessary for planting churches. Instead of being just another cool book about starting a church, “Church Planter” is incredibly well researched and thorough in detailing the elements of a healthy young church.
Patrick’s effort to reference everyone from Presbyterians (Tim Keller), Reformers (John Calvin), Puritans (Richard Baxter), Sonshippers (Paul Miller), to church growth experts (Bill Hybels) shows his willingness to search high and low to find the best resources to help new churches and pastors survive.
My one critique is actually a suggestion. Patrick’s first section on “The Man” is so effective that I think it would work well for a separate book about being a Godly man in general. His promotional video below details this point.
If you are thinking about planting a church, engendering a community that wants to plant one or are in the early stages of a new church, please read this book quickly, and then recommend to a friend.