Planting Missional Churches


When I moved into a condo, only the best books moved with me. To make the cut, a book had to be indispensable.

It says something, then, that I kept Planting Missional Churches by Ed Stetzer. I’ve consulted it many times as I’ve planted. Stetzer is a church planting expert. He’s planted churches, researched church planting, and consulted with church planters across the globe.

Planting Missional Churches is a good book, but it needed a refresh. May 1 marks the release of a new edition, cowritten by Daniel Im. What’s new? Ed and Daniel have changed 50% of the content. They’ve added new stories, models, and content in every chapter. They’ve also added five new chapters:

  • Chapter 8: Multiethnic or Monoethnic Churches
  • Chapter 9: Multisite Planting
  • Chapter 27: Residencies and the Future of Theological Education
  • Chapter 28: Denominations and Networks
  • Chapter 30: Spiritual Leadership

They’ve reorganized the structure of the book, and included new research from the new State of Church Planting study, a research partnership of over a dozen denominations on church planting in the U.S., Canada, and Australia. The book is substantially different than the 2006 edition I moved into my condo.

I’ve been reading the new edition over the past couple of weeks. It’s split into five sections:

  1. The Foundations of Church Planting
  2. The Models of Church Planting
  3. Systems for Church Planting
  4. Ministry Areas for Church Planting
  5. Multiplication and Movements.

It’s hard to think of a church-planting topic they don’t cover. While this book covers various models of church planting, most of the book is for the traditional vocational North American church planter. There’s a wealth of information, though, for anyone.

As I’ve read the book, I’ve had three thoughts.

First: these guys know church planting. The topics they cover are the ones that I’ve wrestled with. I have the feeling that Daniel and Ed understand what a church planter goes through, and they are on my side.

Second: these guys are evenhanded. They not only cover the breadth of thinking around church planting, but they present their own perspective. I generally agree with them, but even when I don’t, I have to admit that they are fair and generous in what they write. I appreciate the amount of wisdom that’s packed into this book.

Finally: this book is timely. It covers new issues that weren’t on the radar ten years ago. I especially appreciate the chapter on multisite planting, and the section on Multiplications and Movements.

I’ll share some quotes from the book on Thursday. You can also check out a sample of the book, along with free bonus material.

Planting Missional Churches is a book I’d recommend to anyone who is thinking of planting a church, is planting a church, is training others in planting, or is pastoring and considering planting or multiplication. The new edition has earned a place on my bookshelf, and I’ll be consulting it for years to come.

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Planting Missional Churches
Darryl Dash

Darryl Dash

I'm a grateful husband, father, oupa, and pastor of Grace Fellowship Church Don Mills. I love learning, writing, and encouraging. I'm on a lifelong quest to become a humble, gracious old man.
Toronto, Canada