The Church Planter’s Library (1): Introduction

[Editor’s Note: This summer we are posting some old but good pieces from BtT. This post originally appeared on July 7, 2009.]

There is a noticeable upsurge of interest in North American and International Church Planting among young seminarians. Rarely does a day go by that we do not meet, speak with, or receive an email from, a young student interested in church planting. More often than not, one of their questions is, “What books do you recommend for somebody interested in church planting?” That is the question that this blog mini-series seeks to answer over the course of three more installments covering North American Church Planting, International Church Planting, and Cultural Context.

Several reminders, caveats and disclaimers, however, before we begin: First, we do well to remember that our time reading Scripture is by far the most important reading we will do when preparing to plant churches. Reading through Dever, Keller, Driscoll, and Stetzer will never replace reading through Acts, Romans, Ephesians, and I Peter. We profit from spending serious time in the Word every day, as it is the lens through which we read anything else.

Second, the book lists I provide are in no way comprehensive. I assume that I am recommending books to those who are pursuing a well-rounded theological education. My recommendations will deal with selected sub-categories within a broader theological and missiological education. Third, these booklists should be viewed as lists of “books that are helpful to work through” rather than “books by authors who think just like me and with whom I agree on everything.”

Finally, please contribute to the conversation by commenting. Your thoughts will be particularly helpful in this series, as you contribute to a lively conversation about a very important topic-church planting and renewal. If you think of additional books that are helpful, or have comments about the books I have included so far in the series, do not hesitate to comment. It may turn out that the comment section is as helpful to our readership as the lists themselves.

With those caveats in mind, I hope that you find the next three installments helpful. In the first installment, I will provide a booklist for North American Church Planting and Renewal. In the second, I attempt a booklist for International Church Planting. Finally, I provide a list of books to help the prospective church planter get to know his international or North American context.in java