Here are some recommended CP manuals on the nuts and bolts of planting.
Gary Rohrmayer has planted tons of churches and wrote a helpful course called First Steps: Missional Church Planting. First Steps is strong on the nuts and bolts and guides the planter through six stages of the first year of missional church planting. These stages include:
- Relating to God and Others
- Networking and Gathering
- Building a Launch Team
- Designing Worship Services and Ministry Strategies
- Launching Public Services
- Establishing the New Community and its Ministries
Another one of its strengths is that it is principle, not model driven. So, it accommodates a variety of models and encourages contextualization. Though the course is launch driven, some of the templates for budgets, position descriptions, financial accountability, etc are helpful jumping off points. You can also purchase a membership at CoachNet that allows electronic access to the entire workbook and PDFs and take the course.
Redeemer Planting Manual
Tim Keller’s Redeemer Church Planting Manual is incredibly strong on missiology and philosophy of ministry. If you really want to know how to become lead missionary that cultivates a church of missionaries, follow Tim’s approach. At times, it is overwhelming (and I have background in Anthropology!), but there are a lot of riches to be found in this manual.
Exploring the Land
Exploring the Land focuses on understanding your target people and culture(s). This book was written for reaching unreached peoples, which is why it is so helpful for domestic church planting. It forces to ask questions that we think we already have answers for, forcing you to do the hard, loving work of contextualization.
Church Planters Toolkit
Bob Logan’s Church Planters Toolkit is a standby that offers a lot of pracitcal helps and is used by the Evangelica Free Church. Logan has actually transformed some of his personal convictions about methodology and is now planting more organically. He co-wrote an expensive book on this with Neil Cole called Beyond Church Planting.
Dynamic Church Planting Handbook
Dynamic Church Planting Handbook is built around strong theological and pastoral foundations, but with modern methods. I found myself continually challenged to rely on the Holy Spirit, plant in spirtual health, and plant for the Glory of God when reading this manual. Some of the nuts and bolts were disappointing, however.