Spin-Off Churches is a different kind of church planting book. The authors do not try to convince you of a specific strategy or model, but give readers the information that they need to evaluate a wide range of church planting methodologies. The book is written from the perspective that comes from both practical experience and from careful research.
Here were a few helpful insights:
One of the key objections to starting new churches in a city is that the new church would create competition with existing churches. The book points out that an additional church may be exactly what the city needs. The reality of additional healthy churches in a city is actually a positive force in improving all the churches in a city.
As a church considers how to use its kingdom resources, they should know that investments in church planning often go father in reaching people than investments in other church expenditures. The cost of adding new congregants is often lower in church starts than in adding programs to existing churches.
The practice of starting new churches often adds more to a sponsoring church than it takes away. The value of renewed ministry focus and vision, prayer, and leadership development that is created in the sponsoring church offsets the financial and personnel investments they make in starting a new church.
One disagreement was with the authors’ idea that new churches should move forward only with unanimous and personal agreement of every church member. While there is value in the unity that comes from unanimous decisions, churches should not position themselves where immature or fringe believers are able to keep a church from moving forward. An elder-led, congregational church government system is one solution to this problem.
For leaders of churches who are getting started in church planting ministry, this book is for you. The book has a good balance between theory and practice and contains enough helpful ideas in each chapter that anyone interested in church planting should benefit from the book.