These are my favorite resources for church planters. Some of them may not be what you typically think of as church planting resources, but after planting a church, I found them to be most helpful.
Resources for Church Planters – downloadable list
The Purpose Driven Church by Rick Warren – This was by far one of the best book I’ve read on church planting. Why? Because it encourages you to explore the Biblical reasons for why the church exists and focuses heavily on formulating a biblical mission and vision. If you do the work, you will come out with a clear vision for your church plant right from the start and this will put you at a huge advantage.
Liberating Ministry from the Success Syndrome by Kent Hughes – The comparison game can be very challenging when planting a church. This book gets to the heart of what it means to have Biblical success.
Confession of a Reformission Rev by Mark Driscoll – This is a true and real picture of church planting.
Launching New Churches in a Postmodern Age by Ed Stetzer – This is the text book on modern day church planting in North America. Stetzer has many books on the subject and lists many resources in this book as well as the companion website for the book – newchurches.com
Launch: Starting a Church from Scratch by Nelson Searcy and Kerrick Thomas – This book has some good ideas but they will need to be contextualized.
Ten Most Commons Mistakes Made by New Church Starts by Jim Griffith and Bill Easum.
Center Church by Timothy Keller
Church Planting Networks
There are many great church planting networks. These are just a few I’ve found that are helpful. I have personally been trained through Association of Related Churches (ARC). Some of these are denominational networks and others are not. The bottom line is there is no reason not to receive training before planting a church. Take it from me (I went through it after planting), you need this!
Association of Related Churches (ARC) – arcchurches.com
New Thing Network – newthing.org
The Acts 29 Network – acts29.org
The Exponential Network – exponentialnetwork.com
The Church Multiplication Network (Assemblies of God) – churchmultiplication.net
Every Nation – everynation.org
Redeemer City to City (Tim Keller) – redeemercitytocity.com
Church Planters Network – churchplanters.com
North American Mission Board (Southern Baptist) – namb.net
Church Planting Blogs and Websites
Church Planting Conferences
Association of Related Churches (ARC) All Access Conference – arcchurches.com
Exponential Conference for Church Planters – exponential.org
Velocity Conference – churchplanters.com
Urban Church Planting
Free (yes I said free) Resources
NewSpring Church – newspringnetwork.com
Life Church.tv – http://open.lifechurch.tv
GROW Network – Video openers, sermons, graphics and tons of other resources offered through Church of the Highlands in Birmingham, AL – http://www.growleader.com/
Association of Related Churches (ARC) – share.arcchurches.com
Church Signage and Mailing
Group Imaging – all your signage and they offer a FREE 3 x 7 portable roll out banner to church planters – groupimaging.com
MailWorks – mailworkssii.com
Proclaim Church Presentation Software – it’s in the cloud so it’s great for anyone from your church to be able to work on it. For $30/month you also have access to moving backgrounds and other resources
Planning Center Online
Clover websites – offer a $1000 dollar template that’s easy to update and looks sharp too – cloversites.com
New Life Media – logo design, website development using easy to update WordPress platform –newlifemedia.me
Financial Management Resources
Touchpoint – I would advise every church planter to have some type of system to keep records, especially money. They give their service free to church planters for one year and this is a system your church can grow with! This keeps all your donor records as well as membership information and more. bvcms.com
Donor Tools nonprofit donor database for online fundraising, online donations, donor management, and web-based nonprofit CRM. Get started Free! donortools.com
QuickBooks – buy the program or pay a monthly fee for the online version to manage church expenses. quickbooks.intuit.com
The City – a social network for churches that also can manage donations onthecity.org
Church Planting Grants
They are tough to get but they are out there!
The Day Foundation – unique to New England
The Des Plaines Charitable Trust
The Mustard Seed Foundation – http://msfdn.org/
Resources for Church Planting Wives
The Church Planting Wife by Christine Hoover
Grace Covers Me Blog by Christine Hoover gracecoversme.com
ARC Women – arcchurches.com/women
Start Church – They exist to help start new churches, legally. startchurch.com
Christian Law Association – Free pro-bono legal help. They can help with Articles of Inc. (this may be different for different states) and bylaws as well as help with the filing of your 501c3. christianlaw.org
Love Your Law – Examples and help on how to file your 501c3 and much more. loveyourlaw.org
Other Resource Lists
Have some resources you’ve found helpful but you didn’t see on here? Let me know! I would like to compile the most comprehensive list of resources we can find!