Spiritual Formation + Community

30 Best Resources on Church Planting

Since I’ve dived (dove? diven?) into the life of a church planter, I’ve come across some really great resources—among some less-than-helpful ones—and thought I’d share them here for my friends and co-laborers in missional ministry.


Tim Keller’s Why Plant Churches?, Planting a Church in the City, Advancing the Gospel in the 21st Century

Christine Hoover’s 25 Things I’ve Learned from Church Planting

Sermons & Lectures

Ed Stetzer’s What Makes Churches Multiply and Do the Work of an Evangelist

Randy Nabors’ Why We Plant Churches in the City

Manuals & E-books

Redeemer Church Planting Manual ($35)

Ed Stetzer’s Exegete Your Culture

Verge Network’s Simple Ways to Be Missional

Exponential’s Dream Big, Plan Smart

Assessments & Profiles

I found these to be the most helpful assessments and personality profiles for personal reflection and planning. Of course, I’m going through personal assessments with Sojourn Network and other groups. These will be helpful for those interested in planting within 1-2 years though:

Lifeway Church Planter Candidate Assessment ($50)

Church Planter Profiles ($99)

KOLBE Index/Instinct Test ($50)

Style of Influence Assessment ($50)


I won’t be able to attend all of these, but from my research, these will be the most helpful church planting training events in 2017. (You’ll notice that most of these are in the middle of the country.)

Sojourn Network Weekend – Louisville, KY – March 17-18

Acts 29 Heartland Regional – Kansas City, MO – March 21-22

Engage Acts 29 Conference – Reno, NV – May 1-3

Exponential Chicago – Chicago, IL – Nov 7-8


I’m finally fully committed to the podcast trend. It’s the future, people. My buddy Mike Cosper’s two pods are the most insightful conversation on work and culture out there, so they’re essential to the church planter. Gimlet’s Startup podcast is about starting an organization in general, but it’s honest, well produced and entertaining. New Churches has 150+ episodes if you can’t get enough Stetzer in your life.

Harbor Media’s Cultivated: Conversations about Faith & Work and The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

Gimlet’s Startup

Lifeway’s New Churches


There’s a disappointing lack of worthwhile church planting books out there, probably because the best church planters can’t sit still long enough to write a whole book. So these books cover a handful of issues that have been helpful to me.

Ed Stetzer and Daniel Im’s Planting Missional Churches: Your Guide to Starting Churches that Multiply

Lesslie Newbigin’s The Gospel in a Pluralist Society

Larry McCrary and others’ Tradecraft: For the Church on Mission

JR Woodward and Dan White’s The Church as Movement: Starting and Sustaining Missional-Incarnational Communities

Michael Frost’s Surprise the World: Five Habits of Highly Missional People

Jeff Vanderstelt’s Saturate: Being Disciples of Jesus in the Everyday Stuff of Life and Gospel Fluency: Speaking the Truth of Jesus into the Everyday Stuff of Life

Rebecca Pippert’s Out of the Salt Shaker and Into the World: Evangelism as a Way of Life

Bill Hybels’ Just Walk Across the Room: Simple Steps Pointing People to Faith


I think that’s more than 30. You’re welcome, haters!


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