Although we hear much doom and gloom about the prospects for Christianity in this next decade, the nay-sayers seem to ignore the rapid growth of what were once called 'house' churches and are now more often referred to as 'new'churches. These are churches 'planted' from scratch by a small group of Christians,which may indeed initially meet in a home, community centre or school,sharing the vision of changing for the better the community in which it is built.
This is a very practical book and rooted in the reality of the author having planted 3 churches, in three very different places, himself, as well as having trained and encouraged many other people to do the same. Each of these churches began wih a handful of people and now in Bedford and Birmingham 3-400 people gather in a school each Sunday, many of whom are involved with an active and effective work among the poor and marginalised during the week. The most recent plant in central London, currnetly meets in the Picadilly theatre and has grown from 20 or 30 people with a vision to make an impact for God in London, to a lively group of over 500 and growing, in the space of 5 years. So when David Stroud writes about preparing to plant a church, the character traits of a church planter, gathering a team and getting the show on the road, he certainly knows what he is talking about.His vision is for the church to be rooted in the community,not as a particular building but as a group of people with whom God can be encountered, where his presence can be felt and where his Kingdom can grow in power.
Whether or not you feel called to plant a church at this moment, read this book.You may not begin a new church as a result, but you are very likely to be changed,challenged and excited by the vision of what can happen in communities when God touches lives and turns them around.