Monday, June 14, 2010

Church Planting Is For Wimps – Mike McKinley

This is a new book (as in 2010) I received last week (because I bought and paid for it … no freebies here).

And I loved it. I read it this morning. (In other words, this is not John Owen or John Edwards. It’s not even John Piper. It’s Mike McKinley. So it’s a short book [126 pages including the appendices]. And it is easy to read.) But it’s good.

It’s a book about McKinley’s experiences in revitalizing/replanting Guilford Baptist Church.

Now, some of you will be uncomfortable because McKinley likes punk rock and has tattoos.

Get over it. It’s still profitable.

Others will be uncomfortable because he added “Baptist” back into the name because he thought it was borderline dishonest not to have it in there.

Get over that too. You should probably do it. If you’re not a Baptist, repent now and become one instead of waiting for heaven and having to get in the back of a long line to do it. (It’s a joke, people. See comments on humor below.)

Here’s the bottom line: McKinley has no secrets to church revitalization or church planting. Trust me, I was looking for them.

His formula is pretty simple: Preach the Word, and love people.

Now there’s a few other things thrown in, like church leadership, clear membership, live in the community you are trying to reach, protect your marriage, train leaders, get Capitol Hill Baptist Church behind you (okay, that wasn’t really a point … but it probably didn’t hurt the effort there).

Appendix 1 has the plan that Dever and McKinley put together to take to CHBC, which is interesting in and of itself to see their thoughts about how to do this.

It also has some pretty funny stuff in it. It’s my kind of humor, which means a some people might not get it and a lot won’t think it’s funny. But I did.

If you are interested in church planting or church revitalization, you will probably benefit from this book. I know I did. It encourages me to do what I am already convinced is the right thing (preach the word, love people, and live with the people you are trying to reach). It just reminds me that I have a long ways to grow in two of those areas.

I am encouraged to be reminded that it’s not a numbers games. Successful pastoring doesn’t mean blowing the doors off numbers wise.

I am reminded to make preaching the priority for church leadership and revitalization. If you make something else the priority, it’s because you don’t really believe that the Word is the way in which God builds his church.

And if I repeat everything that I thought was helpful, I would break copyright laws.

So get the book and read it. Enjoy it and learn from it.


Anonymous said...

Apparently, he left out the most important part. Go out and confront people and seek to win them personally with a broken heart full of love for them and a realization they they are going to hell and you may be the only one standing between them and eternity. I know men who could hardly speak English who built a Church with that philosophy and unction from the Holy Spirit. Anyone can build a church with sensationalism.

Larry said...

Anonymous (please use a name),

Why would you say that? I can only assume you haven't read the book, which would make it hard to know what he left out, wouldn't it? If you would have read it, you would know he didn't leave it out.

He talks about evangelism quite a bit in the book, beginning with the whole idea of preaching the word.

Here are some examples:

When he first went, he started cleaning up the membership rolls which had been bloated by people who hadn't been in church in years. He went and tried to evangelize them.

He and his wife moved into the community so they could be with the people they were trying to reach in order to evangelize them.

He talks about how he prayed for God to send them someone who spoke Spanish because the church was in an area that had a lot of Spanish speakers, and how God sent them a couple who were native Spanish speakers who began evangelistic Bible studies and saw people come to Christ. And they started a Spanish speaking service for these new believers.

So, no, he didn't leave out "the most important part," as you say. He did it. He talks about it.

The book is absent of sensationalism. It is mundane stuff like studying to preach, cleaning up the membership rolls, loving people, training leaders, etc. There is no sensationalism in it at all.

And I don't think everybody can build a church with sensationalism. In fact, I don't think anybody can build a church with sensationalism, because whatever sensationalism might build, it won't be a biblically defined church.