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Planting New Churches in a Postmodern Age Paperback – June 1, 2003

4.3 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ed Stetzer is vice president of research and ministry development at LifeWay Christian Resources in Nashville, Tennessee. He holds two masters and two doctoral degrees and has written dozens of articles and acclaimed books including Planting Missional Churches, Breaking the Missional Code, Comeback Churches, and Lost and Found. Ed and his wife, Donna, have three daughters and live in Nashville, Tennessee.            
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: B&H Academic (June 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805427309
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805427301
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,389,058 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By David A. Slagle on July 7, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book and this author are the real thing. I just completed the resident portion of a doctoral program for church leaders and preachers. Many of us were leaving to plant churches and we all agreed that this was far and away the most helpful of the 100+ books we read this year. More church planting books have been published over the last two years than at any other time in history. We read most of them. Some were heavy on theory. Some emphasized fads. Some seemed more intent on creating a new lexicon than offering practical help. This books stands above the rest in that Stetzer hit the sweet spot every preacher dreams about - it's the intersection of biblical truth with real life. For any church planter who is in the "real life" trenches of planting churches in a postmodern culture, that kind of practical help is a welcomed relief. As Ed paints a picture of our sending God and his heart for this emerging culture, he weaves in the most practical wisdom for those who would answer the high and holy call to be postmodern missionaries. As I've navigated the whitewaters of church planting in an urban context in Atlanta, GA, I've returned to this text so many times that it is dog-eared, underlined, highlighted, and tattered. I bought two more copies. A new one for me and one to give the next church planter I meet. This is great stuff.
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Format: Paperback
Ed combines the insights of both a respected theoretician and experience of a successful church planter into a very accessible and insightful book. I help oversee the Acts 29 church planting network and have read just about everything on the subject. Without reservation I can recommend Ed's work as a must read. I wish it had been out before I planted my church, Mars Hill, as it would have been tremendously helpful.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a layperson striving to plant a church, I had high expectations for this book. Although I did get a few ideas from the book, overall I was frustrated by the tone of superiority over other denominations and religions, as well as poorly researched statements. For example, in Chapter Eleven, the book states "that Christianity has been disestablished as the primary belief of North Americans." I wanted to find the source for this, but there was none. In the section on children's ministry, it said not to show Veggie Tales videos, but did not give a reason why. In chapter 16, the author talks about selecting a focus group, a demographic focus for the mind story. Here, the author misuses this term, as a focus group is a group of people that give a brand feedback about its perceived value. He should instead use the world target group, which is marketing toward a target audience. He talks of "house churches," but never really explains what they are. Overall, after reading this book, I would be very suspect of anything presented here. I do not believe this man knows how to perform scholarly research nor present it in a way that is easily understood by readers.
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If I could give a church planter only one book to read it'd be this one. As a former church planter and now as a Church Planting Strategist, I resonate with what Ed shares in his book. At last, a book that wrestles with the modernistic formulas of church planting with the postmodern culture that we swim in. Ed's depth of knowledge is evident and he exposes the reader to a multitude of ways of planting churches. He's not hooked on one approach whether that be seeker driven, cell groups, house churches, or whatever. He lays everything out for the reader to process and in assessing their own culture to plant a relevant church (cell, house, etc).
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Ed Stetzer has written a vade mecum for church planters and for congregations considering planting a new mission. Not only does he provide theological basis for church planting, but he gives excellent nuts and bolts advice. Not everyone will agree with all of his advice, but following it, will greatly increase the chances of success for a new mission plant.
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Planting New Churches in a Postmodern Age is a comprehensive guide for starting new churches regardless of the approach and/or philosophy of ministry. Stetzer includes a good description of different approaches of starting churches as well as different types (ethic, house church, etc.) of churches that maybe planted. Additionally, he discusses the basic steps or procedures that every planter must consider when planting a church, such things as the name of the church, focus group, development of a core group, evangelism, small groups, and selection of a meeting place.

List strengths of book.
There is must to commend with the book. First, as mentioned above the book is very comprehensive. If a planter had a chance to read only a few books on church planting, this would certainly be one that should be included. Second, Stetzer supports the need and importance of church planting from both a strong biblical and historical perspective. Third, the book gives an excellent description of emerging postmodern generations and how churches need to think differently to reach those generations. This I believe is the strength of Stetzer's book and makes so timely. He discusses what it means to me incarnational in ministry and service and the importance of reaching postmoderns. Lastly, the book is highly practical. Stetzer gives many hands on types of examples and practical advice, from his own personal experiences that a new planter could make easily apply.

List weaknesses of book.
I find little to be critical of with this book. Most of the book, especially the section on basic steps in church planting, can certainly be found in other resources; however Stetzer does a nice job of bringing it all together in this volume.
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