Books and Book Reviews on Church Planting


Book Review: The Multi-Site Church Revolution: Being One Church in Many Locations by Geoff Surratt, Greg Ligon, Warren Bird, 5 Stars

The Multi-Site Church Revolution: Being One Church in Many Locations is a very valuable book for churches that want to expand beyond their own location, are growing out of their building, or want to reach a new population of people. “A multi-site church is one church meeting in multiple locations… [it] shares a common vision, budget, leadership, and board.” Multi-site is worth reading even if you are not considering starting a new campus because it will help you to understand the philosophy behind the multi-site church that probably will soon be opening near you; a high percentage of the nation’s largest and fastest growing churches are multi-site. Take it a look, it is worth reading.

Book Review: A Multi-Site Church Road-trip: Exploring the New Normal by Geoff Surratt, Greg Ligon, Warren Bird, 4 Stars

Road-trip was a fun ride across the country, exploring ways that churches are expanding their ministries by adding more centers of ministry. By sharing the same vision, budget, staff, and governing board; multi-site churches have found they can leverage their resources to reach more people in new neighborhoods with less. This is not an isolated model for a church, nearly 10 percent of Protestant worships attend a multi-site church in the US or Canada.The book introduced a helpful cross-section of the topics related to a multi-site approach as well as examples of ways that healthy churches are tackling these issues. Anyone who is considering starting or improving a multi-site church will benefit from reading this book.

Book Review: Spin-Off Churches: How One Church Successfully Plants Another by Rodney Harrison, Tom Cheyney, and Don Overstreet, 4 Stars

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.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.

Book Review: The Nuts and Bolts of Church Planting by Aubrey Malphurs, 4 Stars

Aubrey Malphurs, professor of pastoral ministries at Dallas Theological Seminary, gives us a guide to church planting organized in two sections: 1) the preparation for church planting and 2) the process of church planting. The purpose of the book is to both inspire readers toward church planting and also provide biblical and practical wisdom for church planters. I would recommend this book to both church planters and  organizations such as churches that sponsor new churches. Nearly everyone can gain from the wide variety of insights and practical information that Malphurs includes in the book.

Book Review: Ten Most Common Mistakes Made by Church Starts by Jim Griffith, Bill Easum, 4 Stars

This book is a quick read: 122 pages. If you or someone that you know is planning on starting a new church, this book is worth the read and will likely help the church planter to avoid some mistakes. The authors included helpful supervisory and coaching comments at the end of each chapter to specifically help those who are mentoring church planters.

Book Review: Seven Steps for Planting Churches by Tom Cheyney, J. David Putman, Van Sanders, eds. 4 Stars

Seven Steps for Planting Churches is a concise guide to starting a church, especially in North America. The introduction was one of the most insightful sections of the book. Thirteen church planting behaviors that are found in successful church planters are described. Of these six are considered “knockout factors”: visioning capacity, intrinsic motivation, ownership of ministry, ability to relate to lost and unchurched people, and spousal cooperation. Seven Steps for Planting Churches is a short (78 pages), but packed guide to starting churches. Anyone involved in church planting will benefit from either new insights in the process or helpful reminders to consider.

Book Review: Churches that Multiply by Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter, 3 Stars

The sub-title for Churches that Multiply is “A Bible Study on Church Planting”. The format of each chapter is to describe a specific church that is mentioned in the New Testament, including historical and archeological background, and then include a narrative derived from the biblical references to the church. Each chapter concluded with personal and church lessons to take away along with individual and corporate projects to consider. Churches that Multiply is a simple book describing some examples of New Testament churches and includes a number of helpful personal and church applications. For detailed exegesis of the Scripture or an in-depth discussion of church planting issues, look elsewhere.

Book Review: Planting Missional Churches by Ed Stetzer, 4 Stars

Planting Missional Churches is written by Ed Stetzer, the director of LifeWay Research and missiologist in residence at LifeWay Christian Resources in Nashville, Tennessee. Stetzer has written several helpful books on church planting, and is also an active bloggerPlanting Missional Churches is worth reading for everyone who is interesting in starting new churches in North America or wants to learn what it takes to start churches. Stetzer is a knowledgeable and experienced church planter as well as a prolific writer.