Art & Science

Truth be told, I really didn’t want to write this blog, even once a month.  I’ve been reading the other authors because I know many of them and they have some great things to say – it really is a strong group of church planting bloggers with incredible experience and insight.  For me it’s been kind of like showing up to play basketball (grew up in Indiana) and everyone is 6”8” and really fast.  I’m 5”8” and limp because I didn’t pay attention when everyone told me to quit racing dirt bikes!  Besides, I really don’t think anyone is really reading this blog – I remind you of my last name?  But, a friend asked & I said yes – I’m really big on keeping my word, as I’m sure you are as well.

So, here is what I decided to do.  Use this opportunity to articulate and write about what I believe and what I’ve learned about church planting over the last 10 years.  Plus, it really helps when someone asks me to speak (why do they ask? again, my last name) because I pull from the ideas/content to help shape my talk.  And, there is actually logic to the topics and their order, at least in my mind.   I started with Dreams & Visions, built on that with Call & Answer and followed that with Good News & Bad News.  And now, the topic at hand – Art & Science.

That is the lens I look through when I view church planting.  There is great material on the “science” of church planting – tons!  Planting Missional Churches by Ed Stetzer is an excellent example and I recommend it to most church planters I work with.  And, there is more, plenty more, but I personally lean towards the “art” side the most.  There really needs to be more written in this vein, but allow me to suggest 5 books that absolutely rock when you look through the “art” lens of church planting:

  1. The Shaping of Things To Come by Michael Frost & Alan Hirsch – the single most influential book I’ve read on church planting since I’ve been involved – Alan has become a friend and he’s brilliant.
  2. The Spontaneous Expansion of the Church by Roland Allen – way, way, way ahead of his time.
  3. The Forgotten Ways by Alan Hirsch – 2nd most influential for me.
  4. Glocalization by Bob Roberts – yes, Bob is a great friend, but I would recommend it even if I didn’t know him – incredible thinking, it is the future.
  5. Church Planter by Darrin Patrick – absolutely nailed it.

If the “art” of church planting was a brand, you know, like Nike (always liked their tag line, “Just Do It”), what would be the tagline for the brand, Church Planting Art?   I know, do you?