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A Vision of the Possible: Pioneer Church Planting in Teams Paperback – April 1, 2006
"Beautiful Uncertainty" by Mandy Hale
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The book is divided into fourteen chapters with an epilogue and five appendices.
Sinclair states his goal in the Introduction:
This book attempts to unpack what is involved in working in teams to plant churches among the most resistant people on earth. Envisioning the steps will fire our faith and lead us to go after the seemingly impossible--for whatever fields might seem to us as resistant and in actuality white unto harvest. page viii.
The first chapter challenges us to reconsider the question of "Apostleship" during this age and merits thoughtful adaptation to our way of thinking of missions. Appendix 1 later on is entitled "Apostleship in the New Testament."
The second chapter treats a subject already touched upon in this newsletter--the question of "What is a Church?" and then moves to "and How to Plant One."
The third and fourth chapters deal with working together in teams and chapter five with the phases of church planting. The latest version of these phases is also available online at [...]. Then in Appendix 5, Sinclair lists "Top Ten Team Pitfalls."
Chapters six to nine are concerned with language, role and residency, evangelism, and discipling believers in that order. Chapter ten touches on leadership of a church planting team and gives some invaluable help.
Chapter eleven cares for the question of the church planter's role with relation to the national believers. Sinclair gives options that can free up the church planter from one model approach only.Read more ›
Sinclair is not so spiritual as not to be practical, but not "cookie-cutter". For example, the book contains a good emphasis of language learning which many similar texts consider "unspiritual" and therefore unimportant. Sinclair mixes both his experience on the field in the Middle East as a team leader and his experience as the field director of a missions agency to create a challenging guide and gives some next steps to both aspiring church planters and those who have been on the field for years.
One very practical tip is the Vision and Strategy Paper (VSP). VSP is very good exercise for prospective church planters to help refine their vision and also an effective method to ensure that team members are all on the same page before getting to the field.
The last chapter is titled "The Crucial First Group of Elders" which first struck me as an odd conclusion. But, Sinclair made good sense of it, the logic being that when a church planter appoints the elders of a native church within a people, it is in many senses the finish line and the goal. We can so often lose sight of that goal. Sinclair finishes with the chapter with his characteristic outline of recommendations that is strangely both enlightening an encouraging. In the end, Sinclair ties his book together creating a powerful "vision of the possible".
He begins his discourse with a defense of the ongoing debate about the term apostle. According to Sinclair, apostleship has been a greatly "neglected subject" (p. 1). He believes an apostolic ministry is necessary for ongoing church planting. Therefore, he advocates that each church planting team have at least one team leader with some apostolic gifting (p. 11).
He then moves into ecclesiology in chapter two. He defends the house church model as normative and promotes a plurality of elders for local church polity. His writing then turns from theory to practice with a discussion of the components necessary for a healthy church.
As a supervisor of over 160 teams, Sinclair devotes chapters three and four to defining a rationale for the team approach and practical advice for maintaining a healthy effective team. He explains the importance of a Vision and Strategy Paper (VSP), which is a master plan or guide for the team's strategic direction, and the Memo of Understanding (MOU) or team covenant.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very thorough and open about both successes and "failures." Great reading, not just for church planters, but for church leaders as well.Published 2 months ago by B. Wong
Some may not, but I loved all the outlines and lists in each chapter. I am currently in this now and was very applicable. Read morePublished on November 25, 2013 by micah james
Vision of the Possible is true to the title. Good job of exploring various practical aspects of CP with tried and true biblical principles. Read morePublished on September 2, 2012 by josh
This is the book I wish I would have read years ago whem I joined a church-planting team. Too bad the Kindle version is so poorly formatted...Published on July 23, 2010 by Brian Rotert
This book has great insights that are helpful regardless of your situation. A blend of broad issues like vision and purpose all the way down to specifics make this applicable to... Read morePublished on October 14, 2009 by Anna