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Reach Blog

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4 Books Every Church Planter Should Read In 2016


As we approach the New Year, we’re often drawn to new sources of inspiration and ideas for doing things better. For that reason, we created this list of some of our favorite books.  Each of them has the potential to help you reach more people and make 2016 the best year ever for your church.

The Rise of the Nones: Understanding and Reaching the Religiously Unaffiliated

This thought-provoking book addresses the need for churches to reach the religiously unaffiliated, or "the Nones". Getting their name because they check the “none of the above” box for religious affiliation, the Nones are the fastest growing segment of our society. This unfortunate fact should make church leaders stand up and take notice.

Author and Ph.D., James Emery White explains that most churches grow their communities by transferring people from other churches, not from adding any Nones. But churches have to do better. If church leaders want to connect with people outside the church, they need to adjust their mindset and strategy. Glossy mailers advertising hot coffee, contemporary music, and relevant messages aren’t enough to attract the Nones.

Simple Church: Returning to God's Process for Making Disciples

When given the choice between simplicity and cluttered complexity, most people would agree that simple is better. Authors Thom Rainer and Eric Geiger believe that simple is also better for churches, and they use case studies from 400 American churches to prove this point. Shown time and time again in this book, simple churches are healthier and more likely to thrive.

Unfortunately, most churches grow in complexity as they add programs. So keeping things simple takes work. This book gives you the key principles simple churches use to hold true to their mission and align their ministry structure around what’s important- making disciples.

Jim and Casper Go to Church: Frank Conversation about Faith, Churches, and Well-Meaning Christians

Have you ever wondered what an atheist thinks about church? Pastor Jim Henderson did, so he enlisted the help of his atheist friend, Matt Casper. The two visited a variety of churches around the country to get Matt’s perspective on the sermons, music, and more. What follows is this book, which is an entertaining discussion about their experiences.

This story is a quick read, and it isn’t just entertaining. It provides valuable insight that will benefit all church leaders. Be sure to pick up a copy so you can see your church through the eyes of an unbeliever. What you’ll learn is priceless.

Deep and Wide: Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend

If you’re a church leader who’s interested in reaching people outside the church, this is the book for you. It’s told in a style that’s part how-to-manual and part memoir, and it covers pastor Andy Stanley’s personal journey and all he learned in his quest to reach the unchurched.

Since Andy knows how to build church communities that attract people not regularly attending worship services, his knowledge is invaluable. With two sections specifically addressed to church leaders, you’ll walk away with tangible ideas for increasing conversions and helping new Christians grow in their faith. Now isn’t that powerful inspiration for your new year?

Other Recommendations?

Well, how did we do with our list? Did we forget to include any great books? We're always on the look out for inspiring books, so we'd love to hear your favorite books.

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John Rougeux

John is co-founder and CMO at Causely. When he's not trying to build the most philanthropic company in the world, he's probably hanging out with his wife and three daughters in Lexington, KY. You can also find John on Twitter and LinkedIn.


Matthew Watson

Matt is Customer Success Manager at Causely, where he does everything in his power to help our customers succeed. He loves sports, his wife, his dog, and the great outdoors, but not in that order. He may love his dog more than sports. You can find Matt on Facebook and Twitter.


Sarah Werner

Sarah is a writer, marketer, and brand specialist. She has experience in both non-profit marketing and financial development as well as for-profit content marketing and social media. She holds degrees in English and Art from Asbury University. When she’s not writing content for Causely, you’ll find her outside with a book or camera enjoying the company of trees. You can also find Sarah on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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