by Reviewed by Mark Williams
A practical guidebook for those who will start a church.
By Ralph Moore. Regal Books, 2300 Knoll Dr., Ventura, CA 93003, 2002, 244 pages, $15.99.
—Reviewed by Mark Williams, vice president of training, Dynamic Church Planting Intl., Oceanside, Calif.
Ralph Moore might be one of the most influential church leaders you never heard of. He founded two megachurches, one in Southern California and one near Honolulu. Through them a movement of church planting has been spawned. The Hope Chapel Movement is today a mini-denomination of some two hundred churches on five continents.
Due to this broad church planting experience Moore writes with an understanding of both the nitty gritty how to’s of church planting and a broader awareness of what it takes to cultivate a church planting movement. Most of his insights will have relevance for church leaders in any culture.
This book is designed as a practical guidebook for those who will start a church. It is divided into four parts: 1) Thinking through the Church Plant (why plant, am I a church planter, and so on); 2) Designing the New Church (values, team, proposal, salary, buildings and so on); 3) Planting the New Church (worship, preaching plan, money, membership); and 4) Anticipating the Future (minefields, multiplication).
One area that some may find controversial and others may find exciting is the fact that most of the two hundred churches have been started by lay people who have become church planting pastors. Moore writes about his early disappointment with seminary training of these leaders; “As a result, at Hope Chapel we have determined to send people to seminary only after we have them up and running as church planters” (p. 103). Some may be concerned about a possible lack of formal Bible training. Yet the success of this movement seems hard to argue with.
While at the end of each chapter there is a short “Church Planter’s Checklist,” I wish the author would have provided a more comprehensive listing with a timeline for dates to accomplish each item. This would have helped readers apply the excellent suggestions Moore gives.
Church planters are resource gatherers. This is a resource that will be valuable for planters around the world. It is packed with practical church planting advice. I agree with Rick Warren’s endorsement on the front cover; “Wisdom in print—This book works!”
Check these titles:
Murray, Stuart.2001. Church Planting: Laying Foundations. Scottdale, Penn.: Herald Press.
Becker, Paul, and Jim Carpenter and Mark Williams. 2003. The New Dynamic Church Planting Handbook. Oceanside, Calif.: Dynamic Church Planting International.
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