There are all kinds of church planting books. Some are textbooks; some are how-to manuals; some are inspirational. Some, like Jesus Never Said to Plant Churches, are a combination of memoir and instruction on what it takes to plant a church.
This is a book written because too many people enter church planting with unrealistic expectations. As the foreword to this books says:
Too many people with good intentions set out to plant a church only to discover that it wasn’t what they thought it would be. It takes longer than you might think. It costs more money than you first budget. And the stakes are much higher emotionally, relationally, and spiritually than you first anticipate. In spite of the cost, planting churches has proven to be a very effective way to reach the lost.
The first chapter is the most unusual. The author, Trinity Jordan, tells the story of a car accident that he experienced while he was on the way to speak at a church to raise support. Let’s just say that it involves an angel who is black and has a lip piercing. Whatever you make of this story, it’s a good reminder that there’s a spiritual battle involved with every church plant. While some overemphasize the theme of spiritual warfare, many of us make the opposite mistake and almost ignore it.
Jordan reminds us that it’s not really about planting churches. It’s about making disciples. He warns us against the danger of cloning the ministry of others. He talks about the one overarching quality that it takes to plant a church. He talks about those who will come along and try to hijack the vision. He gives practical advice on things like naming a church, raising funds, and choosing a governance model. He warns that some of your greatest opponents will be pastors of other churches, and offers advice on how to deal with this. This is a book that was born out of the experience of a real church planter, and it shows.
Despite the struggles, church planting is worth it. “Planting a church is almost like a rebirth of your Christianity,” Jordan writes.
You likely won’t agree with everything in this book. I didn’t. But if you’re looking for an honest account of what church planting is like, along with some solid advice, you won’t go wrong with this book. I found it encouraging, especially in helping me realize that some of the struggles of planting are to be expected. I also found it challenging, with good advice on some areas that could easily be blind spots. If you are a planter or are thinking of becoming one, this book is definitely worth a read.
Find out more at Trinity Jordan’s website, or check out the trailer below.