inREVIEW — Church Planter: The Man, the Message, the Mission, by Darrin Patrick

by Lee Buford on October 10, 2010

I just finished Darrin Patrick’s new book, Church Planter: The Man, the Message, the Mission, and I’m excited to share a few thoughts with you. I will tell you from the outset that I highly recommend you read this book, and sooner rather than later. Here’s why…

I wrote about some of what Darrin shares in this book, and shared the video trailer for it, in We Need Better Men. Patrick is lead pastor of The Journey in St. Louis, Missouri, and serves as Vice President of the Acts 29 Church Planting Network. He’s a veteran of church planting and a man of depth and Christ-honoring conviction, both of which you will sense very early on in the book. He speaks from the heart, the head, and most importantly, the Bible.

For those of you who don’t know, I should tell you I am not a pastor or a church planter, but I am a follower of Jesus currently serving in and through a church plant in my city. I say this to ensure that you understand my recommendation that you read this book is not predicated on your role (or lack thereof) as a pastor or church planter. In fact, the book may just be more beneficial to those of us who desire to serve and make disciples from a seat in the congregation rather than a view from the pulpit.

Whatever your role, Patrick’s knowledge and experience will meet you where you’re at, teaching, encouraging, and calling you out…prodding you by way of the Word and the Holy Spirit to constantly die to self and live for Him.

Divided into three key parts, each appropriately contained in the title, Patrick details and expounds upon the key aspects of church planting: the man, the message, and the mission. And while all three are indicative of the roles of the pastor, the gospel, and the mission of the local church, they are also inclusive to the person of Jesus himself. As Patrick so adequately presents, Jesus is the Man, the Message, and the Mission.

The components of each are outlined in specific chapters as follows:

The Man: A rescued man, a called man, a qualified man, a dependent man, a skilled man, a shepherding man, and a determined man

The Message: historical, salvation-accomplishing, Christ-centered, sin-exposing, and idol-shattering

The Mission: the heart (compassion), the house (the church), the how (contextualization), the hands (care), and the hope (city transformation)

As I mentioned the book is extremely applicable to all Christians…not just pastors, or those who aspire to be pastors. Patrick’s analogies, experiences, and conclusions provide a great look at the foundation and role of a biblical church community on mission for God’s purposes. In our current-day reality there is much we can learn and apply from such teaching, and it’s my prayer that God might use this book to encourage many Christians to do just that, pastors or not.

If you pastor of an existing church, or if you are in the process of church planting, you really should read this book. If you serve in a ministry or leadership role in the church, you really should read this book. If you are a follower of Jesus, and you desire to further understand the call on your life as such, you really should read this book.

You get the idea. Now get the book. You can thank me later.

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