by Paul Becker, Jim Carpenter and Mark Williams
Acknowledging that the church is at the core of God’s current worldwide program is one thing; knowing how to see the church planted around the world is quite a different story.
Dynamic Church Planting International, P.O. Box 4119 Oceanside, CA 92052, 2003, 287 pages, $29.95.
—Reviewed by David C. Muchmore, CrossWorld, Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania.
Acknowledging that the church is at the core of God’s current worldwide program is one thing; knowing how to see the church planted around the world is quite a different story. In this work, three authors have sought to provide a clear, comprehensible sequence of steps to lead readers to realize God’s purpose in their own contexts.
The text offers more than a simplistic, mechanical process. The authors open with foundational questions such as “Why Plant a Church?” and “What is a Church?” If these issues are overlooked, a church planting team will have no cohesive focus.
The authors deal with the importance of leadership, recognizing that good leadership is crucial to the effectiveness of a church planting team. They also acknowledge the importance of the church planter’s family. With these fundamentals carefully treated, the authors turn to the actual process of reaching people. Effective outreach naturally leads to discipleship and multiplication of daughter churches.
The heart of the book is a four-phase approach using biblical models from Macedonia, Ephesus, Jerusalem and Antioch. Each of these phases is broken down into definable “landmarks” that must be accomplished in a logical order for the process to continue. Each of these landmarks, in turn, include task lists of the many areas that must be juggled.
The work concludes with helpful samples of charts, checklists and worksheets that correlate to the various topics covered. These take the suggested guidelines out of the “ivory tower” and into the real world.
The authors bring a rich understanding of church planting from their personal experience and from their extensive teaching and mentoring of others. The reader senses that this is not a theoretical work, but one born out of much trial and error—blended with the thrill of God’s blessing in realizing a successful church plant.
No work is without its limitations. Though the authors evidence a passion for a worldwide fulfillment of the Great Commission, the text seems primarily oriented to a North American audience. It assumes an open religious environment. It assumes that a group of committed believers are available to initiate a new church plant. It assumes matters of timing and logistics that will probably not be true for an overseas environment.
Notwithstanding, this work will provide the North American church planter with an invaluable resource to see God’s purposes accomplished through new church plants.
Check these titles:
Hesselgrave, David J. Planting Churches Cross Culturally: North America and Beyond, 2nd ed. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Book House, 2000.
Patterson, George and Richard Scoggins. Church Multiplication Guide: The Miracle of Church Reproduction. Pasadena, Calif.: William Carey Library, 2002.