Worth Reading: Church in the Making
“Why do we continue sending planters out to the field by themselves with no momentum, very little support, and the odds stacked against them?” So ask Ben Arment in his new book Church in Making: What Makes or Breaks A New Church Before it Starts. And this is the big question that many veteran church planters and there families have found themselves asking after seasons of discouragement and disillusionment. This book is written from the perspective of one who has been there and worked through what it takes to build momentum, gather support, and overcome obstacles. We may not like many of the answers. There is need for cultivation, it’s sometimes necessary to pull the plug, the best planters are locals and not big shots that parachute into town, ability to build a social network is a necessity. I hope every church planting strategists will read this book for solid ideas about prepping the ground and knowing what planters on the field are going through. For church planters, the questions for discussion after each section would be great for core development meetings. Well worth reading. Plan on keeping this book close to the desk for a few years.
You’ll also do yourself a favor by following the author’s blog.
Here’s a few of my favorite quotes:
- “Just like farming, there are two activities for church planters: cultivating and planting. If you do the right thing in the wrong season, you get zero results.”
- “If you dive headlong into planting a church on tough soil, you’ll get discouraged quickly and burn out.”
- “behind every great church is a cultivated community.”
- “there’s nothing more destructive to a church planter’s well-being than starting a church with no momentum.”
- “Buzz covers a multitude of sins.”
- “Church planting is the fine art of emptying ourselves for people who reject us and forgiving them for the sake of the gospel.”
- “As church planters we have to be careful to plant the church our community needs, not the church in our heads.”
- “The minute your congregation decides to exist for itself, the church is dead.”
- “It’s easy to sacrifice vision when the money is running low and you could generate revenue by becoming more things to more people.”
- “By putting personality ahead of purpose, we make our churches difficult to reproduce, let alone sustain.”