MANILA, PHILIPPINES. I recently received an email from a pastor and friend of mine who asked me to recommend some books on church-planting. Here’s the list I sent him, in no particular order.
1. Starting a New Church by Ralph Moore (2002). Church-planting wisdom from one of the most prolific church planters of my generation.
2. Breaking the Missional Code by Ed Stetzer & David Putnam (2006). Thoughts on how to apply the missionary mind-set to church planting.
3. The Master Plan of Evangelism by Robert Coleman (1963). The classic work on making disciples.
4. WikiChurch by Steve Murrell (2011). The story of Victory Manila and the case for the four E’s of discipleship.
5. The Lego Principle by Joey Bonifacio (2012). A book on the importance of connecting to God and connecting to others.
6. Simple Church by Thom Rainer & Eric Geiger (2006). The best practical how-to book on doing church.
7. Natural Church Development by Christian Schwarz (1996). A helpful check-list of “eight essential qualities of healthy churches.”
8. The Trellis and the Vine by A.S. Payne & Colin Marshall (2009). A biblical way of thinking about structure and systems.
9. The Multiplication Challenge by Steve Murrell (2016). A strategy to solve your leadership shortage.
10. Movements that Change the World by Steve Anderson (2011). A book that will remind church planters to focus on the big picture.
Whether you’re a young pastor planting your first church or you’re an experienced church planter who has planted many churches, I can’t stress enough the importance of reading. You will never outgrow the need to learn more; and you will probably never make it through all the good books on the topic of church planting.
If you invest the time (and money) into books like these, you will see an exponential return in your life and in the life of your church.