- Paperback: 310 pages
- Publisher: Reformation Heritage Books (April 1, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1601781261
- ISBN-13: 978-1601781260
- Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.7 x 8.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 5 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,741,882 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Planting, Watering, Growing: Planting Confessionally Reformed Churches in the 21st Century Paperback – April 1, 2011
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When so many seek to plant and grow churches with slick marketing, demographics studies, and decaf cappuccinos, Hyde and Lems bring a robust, Christ-centered, and confessionally Reformed approach to church planting. Scripturally informed, confessionally sound, and practically minded, this book offers sage counsel for anyone interested in home missions and church planting. --J. V. Fesko, Academic Dean and Associate Professor of Systematic Theology Westminster Seminary California
The Reformed churches confess a missional faith. We confess that God the Son came voluntarily and was sent (missio) by the Father to be the Redeemer and that He has, in turn, sent His church to proclaim the good news, to plant churches, to administer the sacraments and discipline. Few books on church planting and mission combine a passion for the glory of Christ, a heartfelt concern for the lost, and a commitment to the means of grace. This volume does just that and therefore is essential reading for those seeking to serve Christ's mission Christ's way. --R. Scott Clark, Professor of Church History and Historical Theology Westminster Seminary California
From the Inside Flap
As a response to the unique challenges facing the twenty-first-century American church, church planting has become a popular topic. But at a time when churches that spread the seed of the Word through preaching, the sacraments, and prayer are greatly needed, much of the focus has been on planting churches that adapt pop culture to meet "consumer demand." In Planting, Watering,Growing, the authors of this collection of essays weave together theological wisdom, personal experiences, and practical suggestions, guiding readers through the foundations and methods of planting confessional churches that uphold the Word of God.
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The foundation of planting churches begins by giving a theology for missions and church planting. Too many Church Planting books begin and end with practicology divorced from scripture and theology. Part one of the book explains why church should plan towards the future plant. Part I also discusses how planting is a work of the Holy Spirit through local churches. In an age filled with people who believe that Christianity is all about me and Jesus, part one demonstrates how this individualism is antithetical to Christianity. Church Planting is the means by which the mission of the church, reaching the nations for the glory of Christ is accomplished. Part II of the book addresses where to begin if one is considering planting. Church Planting arises out of a people in need for a solid biblical church. Often times, people will move to an area due to a job and find out that there are no reformed churches in this area. In this common situation there are two options: either planting a church or moving to another area. The authors encourage those who may be in an area where there are no reformed churches that if possible move to an area where there are reformed churches. This concept may seem strange to some people, but we often move because of jobs, family, and ect. Why would the church we attend be any less an important reason to move? If church planting is an option the authors give a great deal of helpful advice for beginning a plant. Once one has determined to plant a church, he should establish a core group of families to meet and plan the plant with. Part II of the book gives a great deal of practical advice on preparation for the plant. For those who are considering planting or are already planting I would highly encourage you to buy the book just for part II of the book. Part II of the book gives great advice for shepherding even for those who are not planting. Part III then establishes what the service and the life of the church planting team should look like. Part III gives a theology for the life of the church and advice on how to shepherd your congregation to maturity. Part III discusses issues such as hospitality, be a welcoming church, and being culturally sensitive to the areas which you may be planting in. Part III would be extremely helpful even for pastors of established churches and not just church plants. Part IV discusses the difficulty of planting a church in a post modern, moralistic, therapeutic society. Part IV warns of the importance of not gearing our churches towards unbelievers (e.g. Willow Creek Community Church). Part IV also has a helpful section on different ways to present the gospel in different contexts (e.g. direct, indirect, family evangelism, ect). In this section the authors provide practical ways to share the gospel with your community (e.g. free breakfast, giving away books, library at your church, a hand written letter, ect).
I would highly recommend the book to anyone considering church planting or even to the seasoned pastor of an established church. The book is filled for incredible practical advice for church plants. The book also is filled with great citations. What I mean by that is that there are not any church planting books, that I know of, who quote Bavinck, Kuyper, and Van Til. Generally those names are not associated with good church planting books, but I have found that they truly are. This is book is certain to go down with the great titles in church planting (e.g. Keller's Church Planting Manuel, Patrick's Church Planter, Stetzer Planting Missional Church, ect). Just to re-iterate this book is amazing and I think it would be a great addition to any pastor's library.
~ Adam ~
I am not a pastor nor an elder, but I am an active member in a PCA church that has just entered a period of refocusing, after our pastor of 12 years accepted a position at another church. The past 8 months have been difficult for us, but we have grown strong through the preaching of two of our interns, and the guidance of our 3 elders. Today, we formally moved into a period of revitalization by installing an interim pastor from our Presbytery. These next 2 years will determine if our church folds, or grows.
Prior to reading this book, I was struggling through a lot of tough questions. Clearly, after 12 years and a church that hasn't grown, there is something wrong with the Reformed way of doing things, right? Maybe our DC-suburb culture isn't right for a reformed church. Maybe we need to start XX program or have more talented musicians (as the worship leader and half of the instrumental team, I know we can do better!). Maybe we need to have a more excitable preacher, or focus on something other than expository preaching. Maybe Reformed churches don't work for unbelievers, and we should just focus on being a "stage 2 Christian" church.
Right from the beginning, this book started to put things in perspective. Before it dives into the practical application that I was originally looking for, it sets it on a foundation of who God is, and why He has established His church. The first part alone was worth reading. It is a breath of reassurance that God is the one building his church, and that He has sheep who will hear His voice when He calls. Whether that is through our church is not to be known; what is known is our call to be faithful to the word, the sacraments, fellowship, discipleship, and evangelism. This has been a great book, and I'm glad it was easily found, for me to read. I'm weary, but being energized again. I cannot wait to pass this along to the rest of our church's leadership.