Book Review: Church Planter

Church Planter: the man, the message, the mission by Darrin Patrick is not a book specifically for church planters. This is a book for anyone considering church planting, is church planting, considering church leadership, or is in church leadership. In essence this is a primer on what it means to be a church leader.

Patrick is very thorough, challenging and clear in his writing. He covers 3 area’s of importance:

  • The first section looks at who is qualified to be a church pastor. He states the obvious – converted, but also looks at the call and being dependant. These 2 issues are vital if someone is going to be a pastor for the long haul. I know of guys who come in and drop out of church leadership because they were not called and dependant. My conviction after reading this is that it is better to have less men going into ministry who are called and will live in utter dependence.
  • The second section looks at the message – the gospel. This is a helpful, if obvious, section. However, in wanting to avoid assumed evangelicalism, I guess we need to make sure we are always restating the gospel. He has really challenging thoughts on the nature of our preaching and how we should expose sins and idols. Very helpful.
  • The last section is about the method – basically looking at mission, the church and communication. His chapter on Contextualisation is basically a retelling of a Tim Keller sermon (and he says as much himself) but it is a very important chapter in today’s climate. I must be honest, a couple of the chapters in this section were a little weak.


In all, this is a book that everyone considering church leadership should read – especially planting a church. It is not a manual, how-to of setting up a plant, but rather a check list of the kind of man you need to be to lead a church.

It is not for the faint of heart.

If you are not sure whether you should go into the pastorate, read this book….he’ll help you decide.

It is one of those books I wish I’d been able to read 10 years ago. I think it would have saved me a lot of mistakes and frustrations.

Here is Patrick explaining the book:


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