Recommended Reading Categories

The topics for articles and books recommended for reading are listed below, with the articles/books regarding each subject in the subheads following.

  • Cell Groups
  • Church Planting
  • Church Planting
  • Coaching
  • Ethnic
  • Evangelism
  • Healthy Churches
  • House Churches
  • Small Groups
  • Leadership
  • Marketing
  • Mission Plan
  • Missional Church
  • Mobilizing Members for Ministry
  • Reaching Today's Postmodern World
  • Secular books of interest to the church
  • Team
  • Urban

Church Planting, General

  1. Dayton, E. R. and D. A Fraser.  Planning Strategies for World Evangelism.  Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1990.
  2. Easum, Bill, Unfreezing Moves, Following Jesus into the Mission Field.  Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2001.
  3. Faircloth, Samuel D.  Church Planting for Reproduction.  Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1991.
  4. Graham, Thomas.  How to Select the Best Church Planters.  Evangelical Missions Quarterly Vol. 23 (1): pp. 70-79, 1987.
  5. Maphurs, Aubrey.  Developing a Dynamic Mission for Your Ministry.  Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1998.
  6. Malphurs, Aubrey, Planting Growing Churches for the 21st Century, 3rd edition. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2004.
  7. Mannoia, Kevin W.  Church Planting: The Next Generation.  Indianapolis: Light and Life Press, 1996.
  8. Moore, Ralph.  Starting a New Church: The Church Planter's Guide to Success.  Ventura, CA: Regal, 2002.
  9. Murray, Stuart. Church Planting: Laying Foundations. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 2001.
  10. Patterson, George and Richard Scoggins.  Church Multiplication Guide: Helping Churches to Reproduce Locally and Abroad.  Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library, 1993.
  11. Regele, Mike. Robust Church Development. Rancho Santa Margarita, CA: Percept, 2003.
  12. Saarinen, Martin F.  The Life Cycle of a Congregation.  Washington, DC: The Alban Institute, 1986.
  13. Shaller, Lyle E., Forty-four Questions for Church Planters.  Nashville, TN: Abingdon1991.
  14. Stetzer, Ed, Planting New Churches in a Postmodern Age. Nashville: Broadman and Holman, 2003.
  15. Werning, Waldo J. The Seed-Planting Church: Nurturing Churches to Health. St. Charles, IL: ChurchSmart Resources, 2003.

Church Planting, American Anglo

  1. Becker, Paul.  Dynamic Church Planting.  Vista, CA: Multiplication Ministries, 1992.
  2. Logan, Robert E. and Steven L. Ogne.  Church Planter's Toolkit. Pasadena, CA: Charles E. Fuller Institute for Evangelism and Church Growth, 1990.
  3. Malphurs, Aubrey.  Planting Growing Churches for the 21st Century: A Comprehensive Guide for New Churches and Those Desiring Renewal.  Grand Rapids, MO: Baker Book House, 1991.
  4. Maphurs, Aubrey.  Advanced Strategic Planning: A New Model for Church and Ministry Leaders.  Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1999.
  5. Murray, Stuart.  Church Planting: Laying Foundations.  Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 2001.
  6. Schaller, Lyle E.  Forty-Four Questions for Church Planters.  Nashville, TN: Abingdon.
  7. Silva, Ron. Starting High Definition Churches. Ocala, FL: High Definition Resources, 2004.
  8. Wagner, C. Peter.  Church Planting for a Greater Harvest.  Ventura, Ca: Regal Books, 1990.


  1. Logan, Robert E., Sherilyn Carlton with Tara Miller.  Coaching 101: Discover the Power of Coaching.  St. Charles, IL: ChurchSmart Resources, 2003.


  1. Behnken, Kenneth W.  Planting Missions Across Cultures.  St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1999.
  2. Foster, Charles R.  Embracing Diversity: Leadership in Multicultural Congregations.  The Alban Institute, 1997.
  3. Hesselgrave, David J. Planting Churches Cross-Culturally.  Baker, 1980.
  4. Ligenfelter, Sherwood G. and Marvin K. Mayers.  Ministering Cross-Culturally.  Baker Books, 1986.
  5. Yee, Edmond.  The Soaring Crane: Stories of Asian Lutherans in North America.  Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 2002.


  1. Allen, Roland.  The Spontaneous Expansion of the Church.  Eerdman's, 1962.
  2. Barna, George.  Growing True Disciples.  Ventura, CA: Issachar Resources, 2000.
  3. Easum, Bill.  Unfreezing Moves: Following Jesus Into the Mission Field.  Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2001.
  4. Haggard, Ted.  Dog Training, Fly Fishing, and Sharing Christ in the 21st Century: Empowering Your Church to Build Community Through Shared Interests.  Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2002.
  5. Hunter, George G. III. The Celtic Way of Evangelism: How Christianity Can Reach the West Again. Nashville: Abingdon, 2000.
  6. Keifert, Patrick R.  Welcoming the Stranger: A Public Theology of Worship and Evangelism.  Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1992.
  7. Luecke, David.  Evangelical Style and Lutheran Substance: Facing America's Mission Challenge.  St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1988.
  8. Malphus, Aubrey and Michael Malphus. Church Next. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Academic & Professional, 2003
  9. Rainer, Thom S. Surprising Insights from the Unchurched.  Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2001.
  10. Rainer, Thom S.  Effective Evangelistic Churches.  Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996.
  11. Rainer, Thom S. The Unchurched Next Door. See review.
  12. Sweet, Leonald. Aqua Church, 264 pages. Loveland, Colorado: Group, 1999.
  13. Sweet, Leonard. Post-Modern Pilgrims. Fall, 160 pages. Nashville, TN: Broadman and Holman, 2000.
  14. Sweet, Leonard. Soul Tsunami: Sink or Swim in New Millenium Culture, 433 pages. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1999.
  15. Van Engen, Charles. God's Missionary People. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1995.

Healthy Churches

  1. Schwarz, Christian A.  Natural Church Development.  St. Charles, IL: ChurchSmart Resources, 1996.
  2. Schwarz, Christian A.  Natural Church Development: A Guide to Eight Essential Qualities of Healthy Churches.  St. Charles, IL: ChurchSmart Resources, 2000.
  3. Steinke, Peter L. Healthy Congregation. Bethesda, MD: Alban Institute,1996.
  4. Walling, Terry and Rick Tansey. Maximum Health (Manual) -leaders guide and participant manual. Anaheim, CA: Church Resource Ministries, 2003.
  5. Werning, Waldo J., 12 Pillars of a Healthy Church. St. Charles, IL: Churchsmart Resources, 2001.

House Churches/Cell Groups/Small Groups

  1. Finger, Reta Halteman.  Paul and the Roman House Churches.  Scottsdale, PA: Herald Press.
  2. Marables, Dwight. Groups Ablaze or SG - ( Small Group Training.
  3. Neighbour Jr., Ralph and Lorna Jenkins, eds.  Where do We Go From Here? A Guidebook for the Cell Group Church.  Houston, TX: Touch Publications, Inc., 1990.


  1. Barna, George.  Building Effective Lay Leadership Teams.  Ventura, CA: Issachar Resources, 2001.
  2. Blanchard, Ken and Sheldon Bowles.  High Five! The Magic of Working Together.  New York: HarperCollins, 2001.
  3. Callahan, Kennon L. Twelve Keys to an Effective Church.  San Francisco: Harper, 1983.
  4. Callahan, Kennon L.  Effective Church Leadership: Building on the Twelve Keys.  San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1990.
  5. Cladis, George.  Leading the Team-Based Church: How Pastors and Church Staffs Can Grow Together into a Powerful Fellowship of Leaders.  San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1999.
  6. Clapp, Rodney.  A Peculiar People, the church as culture in a post-Christian society. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press 1996.
  7. Easum, Bill.  Leadership on the Other Side (No Rules, Just Clues).  Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2000.
  8. Ficken, Joch.  Change: Learning to Lead and Living to Tell About It.  Lima, OH: Fair Way Press, 1999.
  9. Hendrix, Olan.  Three Dimensions of Leadership: Practical Insight on Management, Finance and Boards for Churches and Christian Organizations.  St. Charles, IL: ChurchSmart Resources, 2000.
  10. Herrington, Jim, Mike Bonem and James H. Furr.  Leading Congregational Change: A Practical Guide for the Transformational Journey.  San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 2000.
  11. Kimball, Dan, The Emerging Church, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2003. See review.
  12. Luecke, David S.  New Designs for Church Leadership.  St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1990.
  13. Malphurs, Aubrey. Being Leaders: The Nature of Authentic Christian Leadership. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2003.
  14. Martoia, Ron. Morph, The Texture of Leadership for Tomorrow's Church.  Loveland, CO.: Group, 2003.
  15. Maxwell, John C.  The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership.  Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1998.
  16. Maxwell, John C.  Developing the Leader Within You.  Thomas Nelson, 2000.
  17. Maxwell, John C.  The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader: Becoming the Person Others Will Want to Follow.  Thomas Nelson, 1999.
  18. Oswald, Roy M and Otto Kroeger. Personality Type and Religious Leadership. Bethesda, MD: Alban Institute, 1988.
  19. Sine, Tom.  Mustard Seed versus McWorld.  Baker Books, 1999.
  20. Stanley Andy, The Next Generation Leader.  Sisters, OR: Multnomah, 2003.

Marketing Your Church

  1. Barna, George.  Marketing the Church: What They Never Taught You About Church Growth. Colorado Springs, CO: Navpress, 1988.
  2. Levinson, Jay and Seth Godin.  The Guerrilla Marketing Handbook. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1994.
  3. Shawchuck, Norman, Philip Litler, Bruce Wrenn and Gustave Rath.  Marketing for Congregations: Choosing to Serve People More Effectively.  Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1992.


  1. Arn, Charles.  How to Start a New Service: Your Church CAN Reach New People.  Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1997.
  2. Barna, George.  Turn-around Churches: How to Overcome Barriers to Growth and Bring New life to an Established Church.  Ventura, CA: Regal Books, 1993.
  3. Bowman, Ray with Eddy Hall.  When Not to Build: An Architect's Unconventional Wisdom for the Growing Church.  Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1992.
  4. Carter, Stephen J.  Pastors on the Grow: Continuing Education Can Improve Your Ministry.  St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1986.
  5. Joerz, Jerald C. and Paul T. McCain, eds. Church and Ministry: the Collected Papers of the 150th Anniversary Theological Convocation of The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod.  St. Louis: The Office of the President, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, 1998.
  6. Maphurs, Aubrey. Ministry Nuts and Bolts: What They Don't Teach Pastors in Seminary.  Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel, 1997.
  7. Mead, Loren B.  More Than Numbers: The Ways Churches Grow.  Bethesda, MD: The Alban Institute, 1993.
  8. Mulder, David P.  Narrative Preaching: Stories from the Pulpit.  St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1996.
  9. Richardson, Peter Tufts. Four Spiritualities: Expressions of Self, Expressions of Spirit - A Psychology of Contemporary Spiritual Choice. 213 pages. Palo Alto, CA: Davis-Black Publishing, 1996.
  10. Schaller, Lyle.  The Interventionist. Colorado Springs, CO: Navpress, 1988.
  11. Schaller, Lyle.  The Interventionist.  Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1997.
  12. Scudieri, Robert J.  The Apostolic Church: One, Holy, Catholic and Missionary.  Fort Wayne, IN: Lutheran Society for Missiology, 1996
  13. Strom, Mark. Reframing Paul: Conversations in Grace and Community. 243 pages. Downer's Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2000.
  14. Sweet, Leonard, Brian D. McLaren, and Jerry Haselmayer. A is for Abductive: The Language of the Emerging Church. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2003.
  15. Walther, C.F.W.  The Congregation's Right to Choose Its Pastor.  St. Louis: Concordia Seminary Publications Texts Series, 1997.
  16. Warren, Rick.  The Purpose-Driven Church. Grand Rapids:  Zondervan, 1996.
  17. Zizioulas, John D. Being as Communion: Studies in Personhood and the Church. Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1985.

Mission Plan

  1. Malphurs, Aubrey.  Advanced Strategic Planning.  Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1999
  2. Behnken, Kenneth. Developing a Plan For Your Ministry (Accompanying workbook forAdvanced Strategic Planning)   Irvine: Concordia University Press, 2004.

Missional Church

  1. Frost, Michael and Alan Hirsch: The Shaping of Things to Come, Innovation and Mission for the 21st Century Church. Hendrickson: Peabody, MS.,2003.
  2. Minatrea, Milfred, Shaped by God's Heart. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2004. See review.

Mobilizing Members for Mission

  1. Wilson, Marlene.  How to Mobilize Church Volunteers. Augsburg, 1990.
  2. Mallory, Sue. The Equipping Church and, with Brad Smith, The Equipping Church Guidebook.  Zondervan, 2001.
  3. Ellis, Susan. From the Top Down: The Executive Role in Volunteer Program Success. Energize Books, 1996.

Today's Postmodern World

  1. Ashley, Jennifer and Mike Bickle eds. The Relevant Church.  Lake Mary: Relevant Books, 2004.
  2. Barna, George.  Generation Next: What you Need to Know About Today's Youth.  Ventura, CA: Regal, 1995.
  3. Bandy, Thomas G., Kicking Habits upgrade edition. Nashville: AbingdonPress, 2001.
  4. Callahan, Kennon.  The Future That Has Come.  San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2002.
  5. Callahan, Kennon.  Visiting in an Age of Mission. San Francisco:  Jossey-Bass, 1994.
  6. Clegg, Tom and Warren Bird. Lost in America. Loveland: Group Publishing, 2001. See review.
  7. Hammet, Edward H., The Gathered and Scattered Church. Macon, GA: Smyth & Helwys, 1999.
  8. Heinecke, Paul T., Kent R. Hunter, and David S. Luecke. Courageous Churches: Refusing Decline, Inviting Growth.  St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1991.
  9. Hunter III, George G.  Church for the Unchurched.  Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1996.
  10. Hunter III, George G.  How to Reach Secular People. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1992.
  11. Kimball, Dan. The Emerging Church--Vintage Christianitiy for New Generations. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2003. See review.
  12. Malphurts, Aubrey and Michael Malphurs.  Church Next. Grand Rapids: Kregel 2003.
  13. McIntosh, Gary L.  Three Generations: Riding the Waves of Change in Your Church.  Grand Rapids, MI: Revell, 1995
  14. McNeal, Reggie.  The Present Future. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2003. See review.
  15. Mead, Loren B.  Five Challenges for the Once and Future Church.  The Alban Institute, 1996.
  16. Mead, Loren B. The Once and Future Church: Reinventing the Congregation for a New Mission Frontier.  The Alban Institute, 1991.
  17. Miller, M. Rex.  The Millennium Matrix. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass 2004.
  18. Rainer, Thom S.  Surprising Insights From The Unchurched.  Grand Rapids: Zondervan 2001.
  19. Reid, Alvin L. Radically Unchurched: Who they Are and How to Reach Them. Grand Rapids: Kregel Academic & Professional, 2002.
  20. Sweet, Leonard.  Post-Modern Pilgrims: First Century Passion for the 21st Century World.  Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman, 2000.
  21. Sweet, Leonard, ed.  The Church in Emerging Culture.  Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2003.

Secular books with great insight for the Church

  1. Blanchard, Ken.  Whale Done! The Power of Positive Relationships.  New York: The Free Press, 2002.
  2. Blanchard, Ken.  Gung Ho!  Turn On the People in Any Organization. New York: William Morrow and Co. 1998.
  3. Boylan, Bob. Get Everyone in Your Boat Rowing in the Same Direction. Holbrook, MA: Adams Media, 1995.
  4. Collins, Jim.  Good to Great.  New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 2001.
  5. Ford, Kevin Graham and James P. Osterhaus.  The Thing in the Bushes: Turning Organizational Blind Spots into Competitive Advantage.  Colorado Springs, CO: Piñon Press, 2001
  6. Gladwell, Malcolm.  The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference.  Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 2000.
  7. Goleman, Daniel, Richard Boyatzis, and Annie McKee. Primal Leadership: Realizing the Power of Emotional Leadership. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press, 2002.
  8. Johnson, Spencer, M.D.  Who Moved My Cheese?  New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1998.
  9. Nanus, Burt. Visionary Leadership. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 1992.
  10. Reingold, Howard. Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution. 215 pages. Cambridge, MA: Perseus, 2002.

Team Ministry

  1. Barna, George.  Building Effective Lay Leadership Teams. Ventura, CA Issachar Resources, 2001.
  2. Cladis, George.  Leading the Team-Based Church. San Francisco, Jossey-Bass, 1999.
  3. Cordeiro, Wayne. Doing Church as a Team.
  4. Ott, E. Stanley. Transform Your Church with Ministry Teams


  1. Bakke, Ray with Jim Hart.  The Urban Christian: Effective Ministry in Today's Urban World.  Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press, 1987.
  2. Conn, Harvie M., ed.  Planting and Growing Urban Churches: From Dream to Reality.  Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1997.
  3. Dennison, Jack. City Reaching on the Road to Community Transformation. Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library, 1999.
  4. Law, Eric H. F. The Bush Was Blazing But Not Consumed. St. Louis, MO: Chalice Press, 1996.
  5. Law, Eric H. F. The Wolf Shall Dwell with the Lamb. St. Louis, MO: Chalice Press, 1993.
  6. Linthicum, Robert C. City of God, City of Satan: A Biblical Theology of the Urban Church. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1991.
  7. Nunes, John. Voices from the City. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1999.