TGC Asks: 3 Books Every Church Planter Should Read

Matt Smethurst | March 8, 2016


Church planting is hard. Ever since the Book of Acts, it has stretched and exhilarated and exhausted those called to the work.

But church planting is also essential. If the gospel is going to spread, which it will (Matt. 16:18), then multiplying churches is vital to the mission (Matt. 28:18–20).

Every planter needs books—companions and guides for the journey. Whether thinking through philosophy of ministry or structures of polity or specifics of strategy, good literature can cast vision, steel resolve, and replenish empty tanks. But with so many books clamoring for your attention as a planter, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. It’s not like you have much spare time.

What, then, should you pick up? I asked 20 pastors what three books every planter should read and why.


J. D. Greear

  • Tim Keller, Center Church (Zondervan, 2012) [interview | excerpt]. There’s no single resource that engages the full range of questions church planters should be asking. But Keller’s magnum opus speaks with clarity on theology, preaching, revival, cultural engagement, and everything in between.
  • Jim Cymbala, Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire (Zondervan, 2003). I pray we never lose the sense that God is real and moving in his church, and that he answers the fervant, faith-filled prayers of his people. We insult God not by expecting too…

To read the rest of this article, visit https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/tgc-asks-3-books-every-church-planter-should-read.