Sunday, 10 November 2013

Book Review - The Church Planter

This was a better book than what I had expected. I first saw some rave reviews online for this particular book by Darrin Patrick when I was just released and I didn’t think much about it at that time. I thought that such a hype that soon would be over. However, after seeing there was a great kindle deal on this book, I thought why not read it myself, and boy did I enjoy reading this book.

This book is separated into 3 major portions, the man, the message and the mission. Simply put, it talks about who is the kind of person God calls to be a church planter, how should a church planter accomplish this task, and what is the church planter’s mission?

In the first part, Patrick goes to the focus of this book, the person himself, what kind of man should a church planter be? Patrick painstakingly goes through each characteristics of what kind of man God demands for this crucial task . I feel that this is the best part of the book, not only was this section thought provoking, it was meant for readers (who most likely are geared towards this direction) to search their hearts thoroughly before God. At the end of each chapter there are also many reflective questions which really helped me think through what I had learned from each chapter and examining my life based on what I've learnt.

In the 2nd part, which is essentially about preaching, talks about what kind of message must a church planter preach? Partick immediately narrows it down to the expository, salvation-historical, Christ-centred preaching and quickly show from the bible these truths and explains each of them lucidly. Patrick is able to strike a good balance here, in that he was not too brief to do no practical good neither was he going down every single nuance that makes one exhausted or missing the forest for the trees.

In the last section, Patrick briefly touched about the function of the church, which if you are a church planter, you ought to be clear about. The examples mentioned made this section felt more suited towards city churches, rather than for churches in suburban/rural setting. It’s not that there’s nothing in here for people who are doing church ministry outside of the city, rather this section would be a little limited in scope.

Some improvement that could be improved for future edition, one to see the 2 important sacraments briefly mentioned and explained and perhaps even a chapter on each of them. It’s surprising that a book for church planter do no explain either of these 2.

Next, a little section on discipleship would be helpful, since there was a whole section on preaching (which surely is important), shouldn’t there at least be a small chapter on this?

Lastly, more reflective/discussion questions, I felt that this was extremely helpful in helping me consolidate my thoughts for each chapter after I’ve finished reading each of them, however, halfway through the book, the questions disappeared! This is such a waste, this would have made the book much better. It would be good for future editions to have discussion questions at the end of each chapter (or section at least).

If you want a good introduction to the demands of ministry and a general view of what is expected to happen, this is a good place to start. However, you might want to read up more on the other things after you finish reading this book.

Rating: 3.5/5