I was pleasantly surprised at what I found in Darrin Patrick's book Church Planter: The Man, The Message, The Mission. What I didn't find was a typical church planting book.
What I did find was a book comprehensive in scope going beyond the practical to include the theological. At the same time it wasn't overwhelming, overly academic or too long.
Patrick breaks the book down into 3 basic sections:
The Man. Here Patrick deals with the church planter himself. (Patrick is a leader in the Reformed Acts 29 Church Planting Network influenced by Mark Driscoll) He deals with things that ought to be a no-brainer but aren't: Character and walking with Christ; the basics of faith. Nothing is assumed here.
The next section is The Message. Patrick tackles the Gospel message itself. He examines historically and theologically.
The part I most appreciated was the section on "Source idols." He identifies (with some help) 4 source idols that seem to cover about every potential temptation there is. They are the idols of 1. Power, 2. Control, 3. Approval and 4. Comfort. Sadly, these resonate with me and have already moved me to serious soul-searching.
The final section is The Mission. Here Patrick deals with how the Church engages the world. He discusses compassion, The Church, contextualization, care and city transformation. He helps us understand that it's a kingdom mission and what that means.
I found this book easy to read, engaging and rich. I found myself forgetting that I was reading a church planting book and learned so much more.
I highly recommend this book to any Christian leader who cares about the Church and her mission. 4 out of 5 stars.
Download a pdf of the excerpt
Church Planter: The Man, the Message, the Mission | Books | Crossway http://ht.ly/59Vh0