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Publication Date: 2010
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Much of what is written about church planting aims at methodology and strategy for facing such challenges, but specific strategies do not apply to every context. What lies deeper, at the heart ofevery church plant?
The most critical human component of every church plant is the planter.
Darrin Patrick, vice president of the Acts 29 Church Planting Network, looks at what Scripture teaches about this mans character, his teaching, and the aim of his church. Offering guidance and wisdom from years of experience, Patrick reminds us that ultimately no church will succeed apart from a man with a message who leads a church on a mission.
This book is for every Christian leader.
Church Planter is an essential resource for those considering planting a church or already in such a plant, and maybe even more important for those leading an established church. It has wide-ranging application for elders and leadership teams seeking to better understand how the gospel must take root in their church. Avoiding an over-emphasis on particular models or methods, Patrick lays out biblical principles and sound wisdom as he urges the church to return to biblical criteria for determining the man, the message, and the mission God uses to build his church.
Senior Pastor, Redeemer Presbyterian Church, New York City
Now here is a clever ideaask an experienced church-planting pastor how church planting should be done. In Church Planter: The Man, the Message, the Mission by Darrin Patrick, an experienced church planter speaks from deep theological conviction, pastoral experience, and missiological vision. Church planting is one of the most important movements of our eraand one that follows the pattern set by the apostles. This book will be welcomed by all who celebrate the renaissance of church planting in this generation.
-R. Albert Mohler Jr.,
President, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
I like being pushed, and Darrin Patrick is a careful thinker and a hard-working pastor. Here he has written a clear, carefully considered, well-illustrated introduction to the pastor and his ministry. In reading it, Ive been challenged, provoked and encouraged. I disagree with some things, like Darrins correlation between the resurrection of Christ and the transformation of cities, but this book has been exciting and helpful and I appreciate a great deal. I happily commend this book to you, and pray that God will use it to help establish churches that take the gospel of Christ to the end of the world.
Pastor, Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Washington DC; President, 9Marks
Church Planter is an incredible tool for pastors and church planters alike that I am confident will fuel church multiplication in countless ways in the days ahead. I highly recommend this gospel-saturated challenge to plant churches led by God-centered men.
Senior Pastor, The Church at Brook Hills, Birmingham, AL
Darrin Patrick has done an amazing job detailing out what we are called to not only as church planters but as pastors and men of God. Whether you are considering planting a church or have been a pastor for decades I couldnt more highly recommend this book to you.
Lead Pastor, The Village Church, Highland Village, Texas
My new friend Darrin Patrick offers an insightful look at the privilege and calling of being a church planter. As one who is passionate about growing Gods church, I recommend this book for every pastor and church planter. If you hope to plant a church for the fame of the name of Jesus Christ, be sure to read this book before you do.
Senior Pastor, Harvest Bible Chapel, Chicagoland Area. Radio teacher, Walk in the Word
Darrin Patrick is an excellent thinker with a great heart for the Church. I believe his words in this book are crucial for men in the body of Christ to pay attention to.
Pastor, Healing Place Church, Baton Rouge, LA
Darrin Patrick is a friend to church planters. He is widely known as a strong leader and good thinker in church planting today. In this book, Darrin brings together his biblical understanding, theological insight, and pastoral wisdom on what it takes to plant a missional church. For those who are planting or thinking about it, this book will help you to see if you are preparedwith the message and for the mission.
President, LifeWay Research
We have all read books on church planting, planting churches, and church planting movements. This book is about the church planterhis qualifications, his theology, and his character. Make no mistake about it, Darrin Patrick covers all the bases on what it takes to be a successful church planter in the twenty-first century. Get the right man, going in the right direction, with the right message and you have impactful combination for the kingdom of God. This is a Christ- and gospel-centered approach to launching new churches.
President, Association of Related Churches
Church Planter: The Man, the Message, and the Mission is a superb work. Darrin Patrick combines the mind of a careful theologian, the heart of a compassionate pastor, and the passion of a missional Christian. As someone heavily invested in training church planters in a seminary, this will be a must-read for those we teach and send out to penetrate lostness in the unreached and underserved cities of our nation and the world. Thank you Darren for this labor of love. You have rendered a valuable service to the body of Christ.
-Daniel L. Akin,
President, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
Church Planter comes from the heart of a real man sharing the real gospel from real experience leading Christs church. Powerful, helpful, hopeful!
President, Covenant Theological Seminary
If you are called to church planting, Darrin Patrick gets you. More importantly, he understands what it takes to connect you to the gospel, the gospel to the church, and the church to the mission. This book is packed with insight; its a boot-camp-in-print. If God has enlisted you, then read it and let the training begin!
church care and church planting, Sovereign Grace Ministries; author, When Sinners Say "I Do."
I love this book because I love church planters and I know this book will help them fulfill their calling. I also love that Darrin writes in such a raw way. This isnt an ivory tower book. Its written by someone who has some battle scars because hes been in the trenches of church planting.
Lead Pastor, National Community Church, Washington, DC
Darrin slices through the clutter to give us insight on what is most important in launching a new worka clear understanding of a biblically functioning community led by one passionately committed to Jesus. This is a strong, excellent work that goes beyond pragmatic strategies and gives principles that will serve in any context. I'm fired up about a movement of leaders who will live out the core principles of Church Planter and launch churches that honor God and share his fame!
author, Eyes Wide Open; senior pastor, Central Christian Church, Las Vegas, NV
Darrin Patrick gets ministry. He understands its not a career for those of us trying to do something for God. Its a calling that can only be fulfilled faithfully when built upon the foundation of scriptural norms. This is not only a great book for anyone involved in church plantingits also a great book for anyone involved in pastoral ministry. It will help you (and your team) keep your life, message, and mission aligned with Gods vision and calling.
Pastor and Author, North Coast Church, Vista, CA
Church Planter: the Man, the Message and the Mission by Darrin Patrick is a must-read for anyone thinking about planting a church or who works with church planting leaders. While I dont hold to all of Darrins theology of leadership I still highly recommend Church Planter. When it comes to church planting Darrin is a guy that absolutely gets it because he has done it! And you will get it too if you read this book!
Lead Pastor, Community Christian Church, Naperville, IL; Visionary Leader, NewThing
If I were beginning the journey of starting a church, and I could only choose two books to take with me. They would be the Bible, and Church Planter by Darrin Patrick.
Lead Pastor, The Austin Stone Community Church, Austin, Texas
There is no greater need in the world today than for men who will embody the unchanging message of the gospel in their own lives, and then carry it into the ever-changing communities in which we live. Darrin Patrick clearly articulates a compelling vision of the kind of leader and church we need in the twenty-first century. Every Christian man should read this book, and ask the question what part is God calling ME to play in planting transformational churches? Some may never have considered ministry, but reading this book could be dangerous for your career prospects. Other readers may be in paid church leadership, but will discover that God has been preparing a different, society-changing role for you to play. May God use this book to raise an army of church planting missionaries, some who will lead fantastic churches, others who will incarnate the gospel by being Christ-centered businessmen, caring professionals, or whatever it is that God has designed you to be. This book will convince you that there is hope for the church yet, and that the church is the only hope for this world.
author, Raised With Christ: How the Resurrection Changes Everything
This book is a weapon. Church Planter is one of the more important pieces of equipment that a church planter (or a man aspiring to any level of church leadership) can own. Darrin Patrick writes out of biblical conviction and proven experience, not preference or pragmatics. I trust Darrin. I trust what he's written here. I hope this book is placed in the hands of men all over the world.
Pastor, Central Peninsula Church, San Francisco Bay Area
Mark Thompsonchicago, ilAge: 45-54Gender: male4 Stars Out Of 5superb insightsSeptember 5, 2012Mark Thompsonchicago, ilAge: 45-54Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 4another great book on various topics relating to Kingdom Work. also a must to have and share.
Darin5 Stars Out Of 5Top notch resourceMarch 12, 2012DarinQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5This book does an excellent job of clarifying, a mans heart for the mission of church planting. The theology was sound, and principles very applicable.
If you are considering a church plant, I would highly encourage you to read this book, and examine yourself in the light of the call you are seeking. This book has meat, and substance in a short read, and doesn't dance around the real issues of launching a church.
Worth the time.
Bruce AllenGeorgiaAge: 55-65Gender: male5 Stars Out Of 5December 3, 2011Bruce AllenGeorgiaAge: 55-65Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5I have found this book to be an excellent source for anyone considering church planting. Actually, I think it is a must-read for church planters. Darrin Patrick's research, as well as, his personal experience with this subject has made him very qualified to write such an important ministry tool.
jasonMacon, GAAge: 25-34Gender: male5 Stars Out Of 5Really Good!December 11, 2010jasonMacon, GAAge: 25-34Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5I'm not a church planter. I wanted to be, but as it turns out, it isn't what God has called me to doâ€”at least not right now. After I found out about Darrin Patrick's book, Church Planter, I wanted to give it a read even though I'm not planting a church. (One small caveat: I've been a part of two Acts 29 Network Churches and believe that church planting is thoroughly biblical and really exciting.) I had high expectations for this book and Patrick did not fail me. In fact, he exceeded my expectations and I'm glad he wrote this book. It is needed for reasons I will mention below.
The book is divided into three sections: 1) The Man, 2) The Message, 3) The Mission. Each of these sections are creatively broken down into sub-chapters and each topic very well covered. One of my first reactions to the book was the amazing artwork on the cover: VERY cool. My second observation was the plethora of footnotes throughout. I absolutely LOVE footnotes. You can never have enough footnotes_
One of my favorite things about this book is the concise yet thoroughness of the topic at hand. Patrick digs deep into theology and practice while weaving in anecdotal stories and lessons he's learned throughout the years. The book covers a lot of deep topics and Patrick does well by not getting too bogged down in the details while still touching on the many issues therein. Concise yet informative = huge win.
The issues discussed are very timely, too. There has no doubt been a wave of church planting efforts here in the U.S., and there is a strong need for clarity. It is important to be on the â€˜right' mission with the â€˜right' message and a â€˜right' man leading the charge. Patrick clarifies what this means. He's thoroughly biblical, passionate about culture, and excited about the future of God's people. These elements are crucial if a church planter is going to do what God has called him to do.
Another thing I appreciated about Patrick's book is his wisdom, humility, and reliance on Jesus. It bleeds through each and every page. The man is humble and honest about his mistakes while also being willing to demand that others do not make those same mistakes. (This is wisdom).
Last, I do not believe this book is strictly for church planters/planting. While this is Patrick's focus (because this is what he does), every pastor could benefit from reading this book. Even if you are a pastor in a church and have been for 30+ years, you will glean a lot from Patrick's work.
P.S. - The first paragraph on page 237 is a series of questions. Read this a few times over again. It sums up the book and will challenge you. Pray, and then get to work.
Pastor RobVAGender: male5 Stars Out Of 5Long overdue foundations for church plantersNovember 2, 2010Pastor RobVAGender: maleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5THE MAN
Darrin Patrick draws his knowledge from 20 years of experience in ministry. He has walked the church planting road as founding pastor of the Journey Church in St. Louis and has the qualifications to speak on areas that make or break church planters and church plants as the vice president of the Acts 29 Church Planting Network. He makes no apology for the title of the book ruling out Â½ of the population by gender and quickly reduces the number left due to a lack of maturity required to be considered a man apart from his gender. After establishing the fact that more than anatomy is needed in order for a man to be considered to lead the Lord's church in our day, he dedicates the first 1/3 of the book to the biblical qualities needed. He begins by examining the spiritual condition of the man in question and progresses all the way through to the man's determination to persevere in ministry no matter what the price. Quitting is not an option. Further, the man must possess a clear call into the ministry, be dependent wholly upon the Holy Spirit, possess the correct skillsâ€”gifted by the Holy Spiritâ€”to plant/pastor a church, and be willing to lay down his life to protect the sheep that Jesus has placed in their care. While these qualities seem obvious on the surface, Patrick delves into each area in a manner that will convict even the most tenured pastors by holding up a mirror that reveals to them how they look to God in each area. Only the people with the most hardened hearts will not be convicted. The one additional area that probably should have been addressed is where the man fits in demographically (urban, suburban, rural, etc.) to ensure a good fit in the area where he is planting, or pasturing, a church.
After covering the man in question from every possible angle, Darrin moves onto to examining the message that the man proclaims to the world. This may seem like a no-brainer but many people do not even give the message a fraction of the time that they give the marketing strategy. This creates a problem when tens of thousands of dollars are raised and spent, the crowd arrives to see what the hype is about, and then they do not even get a chance to hear the gospel. People do not need another hip self-help club to attend once a week, they need a savior and Darrin Patrick makes no apologies for this fact. He covers the message from every conceivable angle beginning with the historical reliability of what we believe, the salvation accomplishing power which must always remain centered on Jesus Christ. A message properly expounded will expose sin in the hearer's lives and shatter the idols that they have elevated into God's rightful place. He anticipates the fact that many people will question the truthfulness, effectiveness, sufficiency and authority of the message we preach and he addresses the objections with sound biblical support. He handles the message with reverence to the object of the message and necessity of proclaiming the message truthfully and fully. This section will cause even the long-term preachers to step back and examine the message they have been proclaiming to assure that every time they step in the pulpit they are lifting up Jesus and not themselves or their agenda.
If you build it they will come may work in theory, but it makes little sense to build anything without an intended purpose. Darrin Patrick tackles the church's mission in a manner that challenges the traditional idea of what it means to "do" church. This section is right on time, given the ease in which one can forget the big picture once they get into the heat of battle. Everyone must know what they are doing for God and keep that in focus. Further, if the church is to be a biblical church, it needs to follow the biblical mandate for why a church even exists in the first place. Just calling itself a church is not enough as Patrick reveals through the final section of the book. He asserts that the heart of mission is compassion in reaching a lost world, and addresses the biblical teaching answering the questions, what is the church and what does it look like? He covers the manner in which we can contextualize the gospel for people to understand it and gives a charge to care for the city in order to win the right to have an audience. The ultimate goal, he concludes, is city transformation whereby the city would weep if the church were no longer present. This is a radical concept in an age where many churches have turned so inward that they exist to serve and entertain the current members at the expense and exclusion of those outside the fellowship. This final section will challenge any pastor or leader to examine their church's activity in the world based upon what the Bible teaches it should be doing and will, if considered, bring about a radical change in our communities.
In a world overflowing with books designed to help the church planter develop their methods, and strategies, Church Planter addresses the more foundational issue of whether or not the person is even a qualified person with a biblical message and mission. I highly recommend this book to anyone considering a call to plant a church as well as established church pastors. It is time that we get back to the foundation of building God's kingdom which involves real people hearing a Christ-centered saving message from a church on mission to transform its community and this book will help all who are serious at coming alongside of God's work.