Planting Missional Churches
By Ed Stetzer
Ed Stetzer’s excellent book has the sub-title ‘Planting A Church That’s Biblically Sound and Reaching People in Culture’. He has done a fine job, both in terms of retaining Biblical soundness and also being phenomenally relevant to the culture. He has extraordinary hands-on expertise which has lead to all kinds of fascinating insights gathered from experience, but this book is much more than a simple ‘how to’ since it is a very disciplined work rooted in Biblical revelation as well as up-to-date relevance.
Thoroughly persuaded of the need for church planting, he writes essentially to the American market though his work is by no means relevant only there. Some of his details have a distinctly American feel, but there is so much in this book that will be of huge help to anyone engaged in church planting in the UK or, indeed, elsewhere.
His emphasis is that today’s church planter should be missional, incarnational, theological, ecclesiological and spiritual. He is abundantly clear that discipleship is the task of the New Testament Church and that every local church should be itself involved in further church planting. He particularly ‘rings Newfrontiers bells’ when he urges the need for apostolic teams and argues that a number of co-workers joined Paul in his apostolic journeys. He goes on to point out that several churches were represented in his apostolic work and became responsible with him for the work. He even makes the strong argument that ‘not being represented in this venture constitutes a shortcoming in a local church; such a church has excluded itself from participating in the Pauline mission enterprise’. Local churches not caught up in apostolic advance have missed the point.
For Stetzer, the local church is a pumping missional machine making sure that it is very relevant to the modern culture and answering questions that the culture throws up but nevertheless being utterly rooted in Biblical revelation and never departing from Biblical truth in an endeavour to be culturally relevant.
This really is a fine book absolutely packed with extremely helpful material including a brief and helpful appraisal of post-modernism which is both succinct and insightful. In every way one feels that Stetzer is working hard to genuinely serve his reader and you would certainly be well served to get your own copy.