Not going to lie, I was thinking I would enjoy this book a bit more than I did. Viral Churches was a good book with tons of useful information. That is pretty much my entire review. It’s not as if I didn’t enjoy it or that it was not a good book, it was just not what I had expected. To me, the book reads as a collection of individual books. To be fair – this is pretty much stated in the introduction so it is clearly my issue. I guess maybe I just didn’t believe it.
The audience for this book is twofold in my mind. One, it aims to be a guidebook to those who are trying to figure out what this new hot topic of “church planting” is all about. This book does a good job or using a wide-angle lens to explain what planting a new church can look like, and what the differing opinions of how that plays out are. Two, it aims at the folks who are wanting to plant a church but are unsure of where to begin or what to believe. This is not so much as a manual as a written discussion about the end result of various options. For example, the book does a basic explanation of Acts 29 and what their goal of church planting is and how it is achieved. This is quite different from how Saddleback plants churches. If you were looking for a way to start and an organization to align with, it would be helpful to read this book.
So, certainly not for everyone but if you have interest in church planting it would be good to peruse. I would not suggest sitting down and reading it as much as reading the chapters that interest you. Once again, this is stated in the introduction. I guess I just have to learn the hard way!
As the Church Planting Intern for Maine I have been asked to help with the recently launched site for people interested in planting or interested in helping plant churches in Maine http://www.mainechurchplanting.com/. One of the ways that I will do this is to look through the various blogs out there for anything that would help the readers in any way. I thought I was supposed to do that THIS week however, we start the ramp up NEXT week. So, this is the week that was that didn’t get was there, but is was here. Got it?
The first is written by Chuck Lawless from Thom Rainer’s site. 5 years ago I would not have even read anything by a southern baptist, and here I am following them on twitter and referencing blogs. This s a great post about ‘Praying Evangelistically’. As you are praying for the souls of people in your town, keep these ideas in mind.
The second is from a bit of an unlikely source but I do think that there is much to say here. I am an insurance guy by day and I have taken to reading various business journals to start my day. This one jumped out at me in the context of planting a church. If you are a church looking to send out people or a core group looking to solidify your goals, take a look and let me know what it makes you think of. Which aspect of church planting do you feel this most directly speaks to?
The third is from the Gospel Coalition. As you are looking to reach people in your community, please make sure that you are acknowledging those who WILL see things differently than you. I know that this is a specific way that I tend to struggle. I am absolutely guilty of thinking in ways that can discourage an artist. Artists can and should help bring us to the throne of God on a regular basis. How can you include instead of exclude?
Well, there you go. The week that was. Let me know what you think.