Based on a recent post, I’ve decided to put together a list of what I believe to be the most important books for any person that wants to get involved in the insanity we call “Church Planting.” So here goes:
#1 – 7 Practices of Effective Ministry by Andy Stanley – We just had someone from our staff leave to start a church in Hartford, CT and I don’t think I would have let him pack up his U-Haul without reading this book. This is the 1 book that I believe every Pastor needs to read when it comes to focus, strategy, and direction for their church. This book revolutionized how we do church in Miami Lakes. I came out of one of the biggest churches in America that has over 100 ministries, activities every night of the week, and no matter what your need is, there will be a ministry that can meet it. For them, it’s a great model. But when I started CCML, I wanted to go in a slightly different direction. I didn’t want to go the “Ministry-menu” route. So we decided to simplify our strategy and focus all of our energy on a common goal: getting people into discipleship groups (More on that some other time). Most churches have so much “Sideways” energy going on that you don’t know if you’ve accomplished your goal as a church because there wasn’t a clear goal to begin with. I heard Reggie Joiner teach the contents of this book in 2003 at Catalyst, which was almost 3 years into our plant, but if I could go back in time, I would have avoided a lot of unnecessary mistakes with the wisdom shared in that book. This focus will affect EVERY area of your ministry: the positions you staff, the dollars you spend on ministry, even the type of facility you would meet in. But most importantly, it will force you to decide what the bull’s eye on the target for your church is. Once I read this book, we really trimmed the fat and got down to what was most important. I can’t recommend this book enough – order it now! Book #2…coming next week.