Earlier today, I came across this post on recommended books for church planters. Since I am a church planter, I thought I would offer my own recommendations here. Following are my top three recommendations and one honorable mention.
Hugh Halter, BIVO: A Modern Day Guide for Bi-vocational Saints
Most of the literature for church planters centers on equipping planters who are focused on their work in a full-time capacity. As someone who is a bi-vocational planter, this book was extremely encouraging and helpful as it gave great validation to my method of planting. Furthermore, understanding the costs associated with planting in the urban landscape and the need for more new plants, I would recommend this book to anyone considering planting, especially in the urban context.
Lance Ford and Brad Brisco, The Missional Quest
Ford and Brisco offer a different take on church planting and evangelism, encouraging their readers to truly love their neighbors and focus on planting in a “movement mindset” rather than a “maintenance mindset.” This book will help equip any reader to better focus on contextualizing their methods to the needs of the community, thus hopefully resulting in a sustainable plant.
Eric Metaxas, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy
In seminary, I was told by a professor, “Pick a dead guy. Read his stuff. Learn from him.” A few years ago, I came across this book, and since then, I have enjoyed studying Bonhoeffer’s works. He was by no means a perfect theologian, and some debate whether or not he could be considered an “evangelical,” but his life story, that is, his desire to make disciples who make disciples, his love for Christ, and his personal sacrifice can be a great encouragement to church planters struggling in the battlefield of daily ministry.
HONORABLE MENTION: Eugene Kranz, Failure is Not an Option
I love learning about the history of spaceflight, and along the way, I have read almost every astronaut biography that has been written. Several years ago, I read this work by a former NASA Flight Director and was amazed at his story of hard work and dedication. Church planting is a difficult task, and Kranz’s story of the rewards and challenges of one’s life work can provide some much-needed encouragement.