Planting for the Gospel

Graham Beynon’s forthcoming book is due to be published in January. It’s a hands on guide to church planting. He’s  got experience of church planting having planted Avenue community church, Leicester. He’s currently studying a PHD and acting as Course director for ‘Team’ (Training for East Anglia Ministry) and involved in church ministry in Cambridge.

This is a subject close to my heart; church planting. It’s over five years since we did our last one at CCB. That’s too long. But we’re in the Lord’s hands. And he hasn’t given us the opportunities we might have hoped. It’s allowed a period of reflection on what we did and how we did it, which has been rewarding in itself. I suspect that this book will help that process enormously.

This is the publisher’s blurb

“One sunny April day a group of people were standing nervously outside a school building. We were waiting for the caretaker to come and open up for us. He was late and I was getting anxious. It was the first meeting of our new church plant. About 50 adults and 20 children from a nearby church were meeting together for the first time on a Sunday morning. All our plans were laid but we weren’t sure how it was going to go, and right now the caretaker wasn’t helping! He soon arrived however and it turned into one of the best mornings I can ever remember.”

For Graham Beynon, this wasn’t the beginning of the journey; there had been many things to reflect on and to plan to get to this point. This planning work would lay the foundations for a group of Christian people, a church, to be committed to one another; a church that is praying, learning and growing together; a church that seeks to be healthy, flourishing and biblically grounded. That journey is not an easy one. Are you planning to plant a church or being challenged to do so? This guide recognises that no church starts out the same and there are various different models. It will all depend on your beliefs about church, its aim and purpose, and context as to what model you might adopt. There will be important things to decide upon such as leadership, decision-making processes, outreach, and community involvement. This is an opportunity to consider the principles and practicalities of church planting with case studies and questions to consider at the end of each chapter.

Graham’s got a pretty impressive line up of commendations

 

“This little book will introduce you to the many different ways that people go about planting churches. Given that the Church is God’s chosen instrument to save the world, what could be more important than learning about how new churches can begin?”

Adrian Warnock, Blogger (adrianwarnock.com) and author

“The goal of Planting for the Gospel is that Jesus would use us to build His church for His glory. Graham Beynon provides a series of preliminary ideas to encourage us to think of church planting as a fruitful means for making disciples and spreading the Gospel. This resource is very helpful for mother churches to think strategically about planting a daughter church and also for young pastors to explore their calling in following the will of God as bearer of God’s mission to people of all nations.”

Scott Thomas, President, Acts 29 Network

“Christians can easily ascribe to Graham Beynon’s desire: “to see God glorified by his gospel being spread and his church growing”. But we often do not see as he does the consequence of such a desire: “This will inevitably mean more churches and so church planting”. And even when we see that inevitability, we often do not see the complexities of the task. Graham has done a great service by teasing out some of the many issues involved in church planting. I warmly commend this book to all who would like to follow through on the inevitable outcome of their evangelistic desire.”

Phillip Jensen, Dean of Sydney Cathedral

” It is simple without being simplistic. Accessible without being predictable. Useful without being boring. Informative without being prescriptive. Graham Beynon has done us all a huge favour in writing this, and I very much hope it helps provide an effective way into one of the most pressing and urgent needs of our day – the littering of our world with communities of light, aka. churches!”

Stephen Timmis, Director of Acts 29 Network in Western Europe

I’m biased about Graham. He’s a mate from theological college. And so I suspect i’ll be less objective than usual and just rave about whatever he’s written! But Graham’s writing is eminently theological and practical and so I’m looking forward to it enormously. If you’ve not read his previous books, you should. He’s been enormously productive over the past few years; there’s

Mirror, Mirror, on the issues of identity and self-esteem

God’s New Community, on the church

Last Things First, on the issues of eschatology

Experiencing the Spirit, on the work of the Holy Spirit

And a couple of booklets called Jesus at Work and Jesus at Leisure.

You can get them here.

I’m looking forward to getting my hands on the book. But I suspect it’ll make me wince as I realise what I should have done. But good to know for next time, because I don’t think I’m done with planting.

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