Book Review: Planting, Watering, Growing

Planting, Watering, Growing: Planting Confessionally Reformed Churches in the 21st CenturyPlanting, Watering, Growing: Planting Confessionally Reformed Churches in the 21st Century by Daniel R. Hyde
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a very helpful book for those who want to plant ordinary means of grace churches, churches that are centered around worship, sacraments, preaching, teaching, hospitality, long term covenantal growth, and evangelism. There is a lot of good advice in the book on how to start church plant and when not to, how a church plant should interact with the mother church and the denomination, the priority of doctrine and preaching, how to properly contextualize, how to make the church plant welcoming, what should be looked for in a church planter, etc.

They are also willing to recommend books outside the reformed tradition, such as those from the Acts29 Network or those from more seeker sensitive models.

There are of course, places I disagree. My main disagreement was the need to go over the confessions before membership.The sample list of questions for new members (p. 185-86) is daunting. My view is that a person professes faith in Christ, is baptized, and then can become a member. After that there should be systematic teaching in whatever confession the church plant adheres to. I do not think there needs to be a long process for membership. But even here the writers reminded me of the need for systematic instruction of the saints in doctrine. I would just do it post-membership.

Though my church plant is eight years old and on solid ground there are still many ideas from this book that I will try to implement at some point in the future. The book is a worthwhile read for all in the reformed tradition who want to plant churches or want to be involved in churches that are evangelical, reformed, and Biblically sensitive to the surrounding culture.

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