by Craig Ott and Gene Wilson
Baker Academic, P.O. Box 6287, Grand Rapids, MI 49516-6287, 464 pages, 2011, $29.99.
—Reviewed by David R. Dunaetz, assistant professor of psychology, Azusa Pacific University; former church planter in France.
This excellent, insightful, and well-written book answers the question, “What do we know about Christ-centered, biblically-based, cross-cultural church planting?”
People who have a high need for cognition prefer thinking in depth about solving various problems. Those who are low in this personality trait prefer tried-and-true traditional solutions that require little mental effort. This book will appeal more to missionaries and potential missionaries in the first category, although the second category will appreciate the work that has gone into finding best practices in cross-cultural church planting.
This comprehensive textbook provides an excellent overview of what researchers have discovered about church planting and what cross-cultural church planters need to know in order to be effective. It provides a beautiful balance of theory and practical applications based on illustrations and case studies from Europe, Africa, Asia, North America, and Latin America.
The first section covers definitions and the theology of cross-cultural church planting, as well as biblical underpinnings and practical arguments for making church planting a high priority in ministry. The second section deals with strategic considerations, such as the importance of developing church-planting movements and various models of church planting.
The third section covers a number of developmental phases that church plants go through, emphasizing both the preparation and the hard work necessary to eventually help the young church reproduce. The final section addresses critical factors which hinder or facilitate church planting in the twenty-first century. These include teamwork, leadership development, partnerships, short-term missions, and holistic ministries, all of which are addressed from a balanced perspective.
Global Church Planting is appropriate for a number of groups: (1) upper-division church-planting courses of highly motivated students; (2) seminary-level classes in church planting, especially among students who have some experience in missions or church planting; (3) pre-field workers in missions that emphasize church planting; (4) newly-formed church-planting teams wanting to develop their strategy; and (5) experienced missionaries. For this last group, Global Church Planting is an especially useful tool to guide discussions as they mentor younger church planters.
EMQ, Vol. 48, No. 1, pp. 118, 120. Copyright © 2012 Evangelism and Missions Information Service (EMIS). All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced or copied in any form without written permission from EMIS.