Whether you’re interested in the history of mission or want creative strategies to reach your community, here are some of the church planting books on Bishop Ric’s bookshelves

In no particular order…


1. Discovering Church Planting by J.D. Payne (Paternoster, 2009)

This is a good foundation for church planting that covers theology, principles, history and contemporary issues.


2. Church Planting Revolution by Winfield Bevins (Seedbed, 2017)

Winfield is my Church Planting Professor for my doctoral studies. He has planted churches and created church planting networks. He is the real deal.


3. How To Pioneer by Dave Male (Church House Publishing, 2016)

This is a great little book, packed with stories and practical wisdom, to help you get started with anything pioneering.


4. Church Planting: Laying the Foundations by Stuart Williams (Herald Press, 2001)

I came across some of Stuart Murray’s plants in the East End of London – Urban Expression – and this book was on their core curriculum. Excellent stuff.


5. Planting Missional Churches: Your Guide to Starting Churches That Multiply by Ed Stetzer and Daniel Im (B&H Academic, 2016)

Stetzer and Im are church planting scholars and practitioners, and have a broad understanding of many of the church planting movements around the world. Go for the second edition which includes multiplication and residencies.


6. Center Church: Doing Balanced, Gospel-Centered Ministry in Your City by Timothy Keller (Zondervan, 2012)

The Magnus Opus of widely-acclaimed Tim Keller. It is a deep dive into a refreshing pool. I have gone back to this again and again, particularly as I reflect on strategy for planting again and again.


7. Alpha as a Church Planting Tool by Christian Selvaratnam (Alpha International, 2017)

This PDF is a short but important contribution to using Alpha in church planting. Christian has done it, is doing it, and is helping 100s of others to do it as well. Whatever you use, you need an evangelistic motor in your plant, and Alpha is the most widely used globally.


8. Christianity Rediscovered: An Epistle from the Masai by Vincent J. Donovan (SCM, 1978)

I first read this when I was considering ordination. It is an inspiring, challenging read about incarnational mission and church planting (my lens!). There’s still a lot of mileage in this book.


9. The Forgotten Ways: Reactivating Apostolic Movements by Alan Hirsch (Brazos Press, 2016)

This book comes with a health warning as it challenges missional thinking to the core. You need to know about this book even if you choose to ignore it!  – but read it first.


10. Global Church Planting: Biblical Principles and Best Practices for Multiplication by Craig Ott and Gene Wilson (Baker Academic, 2011)

This book covers loads of ground and is great for thinking through the whys and hows of what you need to do when you plant.


We will be adding to this list over time. What books are you reading on church planting? Let us know and tell us what do you think about them.