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Church Planter: The Man, the Message, the Mission Paperback – August 12, 2010

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Editorial Reviews


“This is a great new book on church planting that balances the personal spiritual issues with the theological, cultural, and technical. Church planters should all read this.”
Timothy J. Keller, Pastor, Redeemer Presbyterian Church, New York City; best-selling author, The Reason for God

"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; author, Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream

“Now here is a clever idea—ask 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 era—and 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 and Joseph Emerson Brown Professor of Christian Theology, 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, I’ve been challenged, provoked and encouraged. I disagree with some things, like Darrin’s 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.”
Mark Dever, Senior Pastor, Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Washington DC; President, 9Marks

“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 couldn’t more highly recommend this book to you.”
Matt Chandler, Lead Pastor, The Village Church, Dallas, Texas; President, Acts 29 Church Planting Network; author, The Explicit Gospel

“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 God’s 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.”
James MacDonald, Pastor, Harvest Bible Chapel, Rolling Meadows, Illinois; author, Vertical Church

“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.”
Dino Rizzo, 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 prepared—with the message and for the mission.”
Ed Stetzer, President, LifeWay Research; author, Subversive Kingdom;

“We have all read books on church planting, planting churches, and church planting movements. This book is about the church planter—his 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.”
Billy Hornsby, 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 Christ’s church. Powerful, helpful, hopeful!”
Bryan Chapell, President Emeritus, Covenant Theological Seminary; Senior Pastor, Grace Presbyterian Church, Peoria, Illinois

“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; it’s a boot-camp-in-print. If God has enlisted you, then read it and let the training begin!”
Dave Harvey, Pastor of Preaching, Four Oaks Community Church, Tallahassee, Florida; author, When Sinners Say I Do and Am I Called?

“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 isn’t an ivory tower book. It’s written by someone who has some battle scars because he’s been in the trenches of church planting.”
Mark Batterson, Lead Pastor, National Community Church, Washington, DC; author, Wild Goose Chase and Soulprint

“Darrin slices through the clutter to give us insight on what is most important in launching a new work—a 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!”
Jud Wilhite, author, Eyes Wide Open and Uncensored Grace; senior pastor, Central Christian Church, Las Vegas, Nevada

“Darrin Patrick gets ministry. He understands it’s not a career for those of us trying to do something for God. It’s 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 planting—it’s 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 God’s vision and calling.”
Larry Osborne, Pastor, North Coast Church, Vista, California; author, Sticky Church

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 don’t hold to all of Darrin’s 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!”
Dave Ferguson, Lead Pastor, Community Christian Church, Naperville, Illinois; Lead Visionary, 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.”
Matt Carter, Pastor of Preaching, The Austin Stone Community Church, Austin, Texas; co-author, The Real Win

“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.”
Adrian Warnock, author, Hope Reborn and Raised with Christ

“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.”
Justin Buzzard, Lead Pastor, Garden City Church, Silicon Valley; author, Date Your Wife and The Big Story

“Darrin does a great job describing the challenges of planting and directing the planter toward gospel solutions. Whether you’re in the midst of planting or thinking about planting page 25 alone is worth the cost of the book.”
Eric Simmons, Pastor, Redeemer Church of Arlington, Arlington, VA

“In Church Planter Darrin Patrick gets to the heart of what it means to be a man who loves God and transforms communities. I like the fact that you don't have to agree with all of his theology to benefit from his wisdom. He shows us not just how to have great churches but how to have better cities. I think that reflects the heart of God. I know it captured mine.”
Greg Surratt, Pastor, Seacoast Church

“Darrin Patrick is one of the most important voices in the church plantingcommunity. Every potential church planter should read this book before he decides to plant, and every existing church planter should read this book once every year! Too many people care only about planting more churches. What we need is more healthy churches with healthy pastors. This resource focuses on doing just that!”
Shawn Lovejoy, Lead Pastor, Mountain Lake Church, Cumming, GA; co-founder,

“When Darrin Patrick speaks about church planting people listen. This book cuts to the very core of the life of a church planter. It’s biblically based and it’s solid in content. It is a must read for every man that is considering planting a church. We will require it for every church planter we train through the Launch Network.”
Brian Bloye, Lead Pastor, West Ridge Church, Dallas, GA; President, Launch Network

About the Author

DARRIN PATRICK is the vice president of the Acts 29 Church Planting Network and the founding pastor of the Journey Church in St. Louis. He has served in ministry for twenty years and speaks regularly at pastor’s conferences and training events for church planters. 

Matt Chandler is the lead pastor of The Village Church, a multi-campus church in the Dallas metroplex of over 10,000 people. His sermons are among the topselling (free) podcasts on itunes and he speaks at conferences worldwide. Prior to accepting the pastorate at The Village, Matt had a vibrant itinerant ministry for over ten years where he spoke to hundreds of thousands of people in America and abroad about the glory of God and beauty of Jesus. He lives in Texas with his wife, Lauren, and their three children: Audrey, Reid and Norah. 


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway (August 12, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1433515768
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433515767
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #102,792 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Darrin founded The Journey in 2002 in the urban core of St. Louis, Missouri. The Journey has six locations and has released seven church plants. Darrin is Vice President of the Acts 29 Church Planting Network and has helped start multiple non-profits in St. Louis. He also serves as Chaplain to the St. Louis Cardinals.

After earning his B.A. in Biblical languages from Southwest Baptist University and a Master's of Divinity (summa cum laude) from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Darrin earned his Doctor of Ministry from Covenant Seminary. Darrin is author of The Dude's Guide to Manhood, Church Planter, co-author, Replant and For the City, and contributor to the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible and Don't Call it A Comeback. In November 2015, he and his wife, Amie, released their first book together, entitled, The Dude's Guide to Marriage.

Darrin is married to his high school sweetheart, Amie, and they have four beautiful children: Glory, Grace, Drew, and Delainey.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Jacob Young on September 12, 2010
Format: Paperback
The church planting varsity league of the 21st century, Acts 29, has finally released their first book on church planting: Church Planter by Darrin Patrick. In particular, Patrick's work is about raising the bar for ban's (boy+man=ban) to stop merely being humans with male plumbing, but men who are defined by the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The subtitle of the book gives away its three sections: The Man, The Message, The Mission. Under "The Man" Patrick spends a chapter on each the seven characteristics of what a man should be: Rescued, Called, Qualified, Dependent, Skilled, Shepherding, Determined. Under "The Message" he says that a man's message should be The Historical, Salvation-Accomplishing, Christ-Centered, Sin-Exposing, Idol-Shattering Message, with a chapter on each aspect. In section three, he talks about how the heart of a man's mission is compassion, the house of the mission is the church, the how of his mission is contextualization, the hands of his mission are care, and the hope of his mission is city transformation. Needless to say, Patrick covers a wide range of material in this book that lands at a mere 238 pages.

Main Review
At the center of this book beats a heat centered on Jesus Christ and him crucified. This got me excited about the book. At no point does Patrick slip into the all to easy vein of moralistic guilting. Darrin Patrick is a pastor, a pastor who loves Jesus, and you get the sense through the book that Patrick wants us to know the power of King Jesus as it relates to the call of some to plant churches. He wants what God wants, what the Bible clearly calls men to (if they should so choose to let the Bible speak for itself): men who know the power of Christ to rescue them from sin and call them into a life with God.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Aaron Armstrong on October 19, 2010
Format: Paperback
"[W]e have a cultural crisis and a theological one," writes Darrin Patrick in Church Planter: The Man, the Message, the Mission. "We live in a world full of males who have prolonged their adolescence. They are neither boys nor men. They live, suspended as it were, between childhood and adulthood, between growing up and being grown-ups. . . . This kind of male is everywhere, including the church and even, frighteningly, vocational ministry." (p. 9).

In short, we have a man crisis. Modern society shuns the traditional role of the man as the head of the home, the breadwinner and the spiritual leader of the family. Advertising and entertainment show the man as the oafish buffoon, Mom's "other child." Emasculated, men have abdicated their responsibilities and escaped into the fleeting pleasures of hobbies, video games and pornography.

They are neither men nor boys. They are are "Bans," a hybrid of both a boy and man. They're in our communities, our churches, our workplaces, and our families.

Ban needs godly men and women to show him there is more to life than he is currently experiencing. Ban needs to be more than just a male. He needs to be becoming God's man who is being transformed by God's gospel message and is wholeheartedly pursuing God's mission. (p. 18)

That's why Patrick, the pastor of The Journey Church in St. Louis and vice-president of the Acts 29 Church Planting Network, wrote Church Planter. In its pages, Patrick offers sound advice and biblical wisdom as he challenges prospective church planters, longtime pastors and the average churchman alike to be God's man armed with God's message and on God's mission.

So what kind of man does it take to plant a church? What kind of man does the church need to carry out its mission?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Chris Ho on November 10, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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 chaoter 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.
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