Author: Mike McKinley
Genre: Church Planting/Ministry
The subtitle of the book tells the story: How God Uses Messed-up People to Plant Ordinary Churches That Do Extraordinary Things. The idea behind this book is that you do not have to be extraordinarily gifted to plant churches. Often people think that it takes one type of personality to plant churches. This book hopes to break that mold.
It is, however, not about church planting (from scratch) but church “revitalizing” or “replanting”. Through connections with Capitol Hill Baptist, McKinley was hired as the pastor of a very small church. After spending time on staff at Capitol Hill, McKinley and a few members from there set out to revitalize Guilford Baptist about 45 minutes away. This book is their story, but it is filled with practical cross-situational advice.
What I Liked:
This was one of the most fun and thought provoking books that I have read in awhile. As an example of McKinley’s writing skill consider his description of the church building he inherited, "like a worm-eaten old cat sucking in its last few beleaguered breaths".
But it is not simply good writing that makes this book phenomenal. McKinley is unashamedly biblical; he exalts the sufficiency of Christ and His Word in building His church. This is a refreshing book on church planting/church growth. In the midst of so many pragmatic—“do this and be awesome”—books, comes a humble pastor encouraging us to patiently and passionately proclaim God’s Word.
Another added bonus is that McKinley does not just stop with how to do ministry in the church. In such a short book it is refreshing to see that an entire chapter is devoted to loving your family in the midst of such a difficult task.
Furthermore you could easily read this 128 pages book in one sitting. And it will keep your attention well enough to do so. I found myself unable to put this book down—although I had to at times to think about what is being presented.
What I Disliked:
I have never been involved in church planting so I am certain that there may be a few things that others would disagree with. Perhaps McKinley could be charged with over-simplification at times. But at the end of the day he is not really trying to say “do this and be awesome”. His plea in this book is the biblical plea of Paul—God uses ordinary broken vessels to spread His glory to the nations. I honestly cannot think of anything I disliked in this book.
Should You Buy It?
Even if you are not a church planter you should buy this book. Churches should be involved in planting churches (or revitalizing and replanting). If you are involved in church planting then you most certainly need to buy this book . You can read it in a couple hours and it’s under 10 bucks.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars