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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.
Table of Contents:
Foreword: Was the Reformation Missions-Minded?—Michael S. Horton
Introduction—Daniel R. Hyde and Shane Lems
Part 1: The Foundation of Planting Churches
1. The Fruitful Grain of Wheat—Brian Vos
2. The Sovereign Spirit of Missions: Thoughts on Acts 16:6–10 and Church Planting—Daniel R. Hyde
3. The Reformed Confessions and Missions—Wes Bredenhof
4. No Church, No Problem?—Michael S. Horton
Part 2: The Methods of Planting Churches
5. Church Planting Principles from the Book of Acts—Daniel R. Hyde
6. Heart Preparation in Church Planting—Paul T. Murphy
7. Church Planting: A Covenantal and Organic Approach—Paul T. Murphy
8. Planning the Plant: Some Thoughts on Preparing to Plant a New Church—Kim Riddlebarger
Part 3: The Work of Planting Churches
9. On Being a Church Planter—Daniel R. Hyde
10. Being a Welcoming Church Plant—Kevin Efflandt
11. Flock and Family: A Biblical Balance—Shane Lems
12. Declare His Praise among the Nations: Public Worship as the Heart of Evangelism— Daniel R. Hyde
13. “How’s the Food?” The Church Plant’s Most Important Ingredient—Michael G. Brown
14. Church Membership and the Church Plant—Michael G. Brown
15. Shepherding Toward Maturity, Part 1: The Authority in Church Planting— Spencer Aalsburg
16. Shepherding Toward Maturity, Part 2: Identifying a Mature Church Plant— Spencer Aalsburg
17. Motivation: The Planting Church and the Planted Church—Eric Tuininga Part 4: The Context of Planting Churches
18. Church Planting in a Melting Pot—Shane Lems
19. The Cultural Factor in Church Planting—Mitchell Persaud
20. Growing Contextually Reformed Churches: Oxymoron or Opportunity?—Phil Grotenhuis
21. Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?—Michael S. Horton
Epilogue—Daniel R. Hyde and Shane Lems
Appendix A Church-Plant Timeline: A Big and Brief Picture of a Plant—Daniel R. Hyde and Shane Lems
Appendix B The Steering Committee—Spencer Aalsburg
Appendix C Guidelines for the Steering Committee—Spencer Aalsburg
Daniel R. Hyde and Shane Lems are the church planters and pastors of the Oceanside United Reformed Church in Carlsbad/Oceanside, California, and United Reformed Church of Sunnyside in Sunnyside, Washington.
Michael S. Horton, Brian Vos, Wes Bredenhof, Paul T. Murphy, Kim Riddlebarger, Kevin Efflandt, Michael G. Brown, Spencer Aalsburg, Eric Tuininga, Mitchell Persaud, Phil Grotenhuis
"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
"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 twenty-first-century Western world is seen by many as having moved into a post-Christian era. The church is divided and declining and increasingly is becoming a despised and persecuted minority. However true that may be, there is another sense in which there has never been a century that is more like the first century than this one. In the days of the book of Acts, the culture was pluralistic and the church was all the things that it is today; yet never was there a time of greater gospel growth and of the church being more widely established within a single generation. That was a century of opportunity, and ours is too.
The contributors to this volume on church planting in the twenty-first century see today’s world very much in the light of the world in which the apostles labored. Each one of them, directly or indirectly, has been involved in seeing new churches planted, and together they provide the church with a resource that makes us look with optimism and confidence at the opportunities we have to see Christ continue to build His church. They challenge the church of our day to lift its eyes and see a harvest that is there to be reaped." - Mark G. Johnston, Senior Pastor of Proclamation Presbyterian Church (PCA), Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania