7 Books Every Church Planter Needs to Read
October 10, 2016

Church planting is no stroll in the park! In fact, it can be both exciting and exhausting. That’s why our church planters need all the encouragement, resources and insights they can get to overcome the unique challenges they face.

Planting a church needs a lot of prayer, planning and perseverance. Click To Tweet

There are hundreds of great books for church planters out there. For example, Paul Tripp’s Dangerous Calling prepares pastors to submit to the Lord in the process of planting churches. Creating Communities of the Kingdom by David W. Shenk and Ervin R. Stutzman, on the other hand, delves into the book of Acts to offer practical thinking based on biblical guidelines.

We have now handpicked seven books that are recommended by other church planters and pastors as must-reads for anyone who is called to plant churches. Check them out:

1. Nine Marks of a Healthy Church (Crossway, 2013) By Mark Dever

This book is a lot more than just an instruction manual for church leaders and planters. Mark Dever expounds on tried and tested principles for assessing the health of churches. This book will help planters get clarity about the kinds of churches that they are planting.

“This book belongs in the hands of every faithful pastor and all those who pray for reformation in this age.” – R. Albert Mohler Jr., President, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Get it HERE.

2. Center Church (Zondervan, 2012) By Tim Keller

This book draws on decades of the renowned pastor’s local church experience. Center Church focuses on three core aspects – the gospel, the city and the movement. In his magnum opus, Tim Keller also talks about the different stages of church planting, where the planter needs to learn, love, link and then launch.

“There’s no single resource that engages the full range of questions that church planters should be asking.” – J.D. Greear, Pastor, The Summit Church

Get it HERE.

3. Church Planter (Crossway, 2010) By Darrin Patrick

Church Planter is widely regarded as a key resource for those planning to start a church or already in such a new plant. Patrick covers all the bases of what it takes to be a successful church planter in the 21st century. In this book, he stresses on what the Bible teaches about the church planter’s character, his message and the mission of his church.

“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.” – David Platt, President, International Mission Board

Get it HERE.

4. Ten Most Common Mistakes Made by Church Starts (Chalice Press, 2008) By Jim Griffith and Bill Easum

Mistakes make the best teachers, don’t they? In this book, Jim Griffith and Bill Easum have condensed their collective experiences in planting churches to pen down 10 mistakes that account for most church plant fails. Premature launch, fear of talking about money until it is too late and formalizing leadership too soon are some of the mistakes that they stress on. For each point, they provide examples of mistakes and tell you how to avoid them.

“I’ve planted churches and coached hundreds of planters and I can tell you that Jim and Bill know what they are talking about. The chapters on money and leadership development are alone worth the price of the book.” – Todd Hunter, President, Alpha USA

Get it HERE.

5. Total Church (Crossway, 2008) By Tim Chester and Steve Timmis

Total Church is a practical book with a unique perspective. Pastors Tim Chester and Steve Timmis focus on the need for the church to be gospel-centered and community-centered. They state that when these two principles take precedence, the truth of the Word is upheld, the mission of the gospel is carried out and the priority of relationships is practiced in radical ways.

“Challenging, passionate and insightful. Here is a vision of a whole-life, whole-mission “total church” that embraces both gospel and community.” – Chris Stoddard, Director, Reaching the Unchurched Network

Get it HERE.

6. Planting Missional Churches (B&H Academic, 2006) By Ed Stetzer and Daniel Im 

This book is a handy guide loaded with tools to help planters create a biblically focused vision and practical strategy. It covers all the basics including why church planting is important; what it means to be called to plant churches; where to start; and how to develop a launch team, conduct worship and even secure a meeting place.

“Planting Missional Churches was the category-defining book for church planting for a decade. Now, updated with new research, observations, and with Daniel Im as co-author, it is a must-read for every church planter.” – Matt Chandler, Lead Pastor, The Village Church

Get it HERE.

7. Starting a New Church: The Church Planter’s Guide to Success (Baker Books, 2002) By Ralph Moore

In his book, Ralph Moore draws on his personal experience of directing the Hope Chapel movement that planted over 200 churches. Starting a New Church discusses why church planting is the most powerful strategy to reach emerging cultures. In addition, this book covers essentials such as things to consider before asking for money, ways of creating meaningful experiences and ensuring a healthy start to your church plant.

“Every church planter, pastor and ministry supervisor will deeply benefit if he/she chooses to follow the example set forth in the highly readable, believable and empowering message of this book.” – Tom Clegg, Vice President for Church Multiplication, Church Resource Ministries

Get it HERE.


what-every-church-planter-should-know-v1-200Which of these books have you already read? Leave a comment to tell us how they have impacted you. In addition, we’d love to add more helpful books for church planters to this list. So, do share your recommendations with us.

Portable Church Industries has walked alongside hundreds of church planters to help them launch their churches. We know that no two church plants are the same, and our experts design solutions to ensure that your specific needs are well taken care of.

If you are looking to start a church, call us at 800.939.7722 and we’ll help you launch strong. In the meantime, here’s some additional inspiration for you from experienced church planters, leaders and pastors. Download What Every Church Planter Should Know, Volume-1 for a collection of essays that every church planter should read.