Review: Church Planting Movements

Church Planting Movements: How God is Redeeming a Lost World
Church Planting Movements: How God is Redeeming a Lost World by David Garrison

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Blurb

“Look to the nations. Watch and be utterly amazed!”

Today this ancient prophecy is being fulfilled in ways never before dreamed possible. This book reveals how God is turning millions to new life in Jesus Christ through the miracle of Church Planting Movements.

In this book you will discover:

  • How 4,000 churches were planted in northern India in just ten years.
  • How 150,000 gypsies in Western Europe turned to faith in Jesus Christ.
  • How 160,000 Chinese were baptized in a single year.
  • How 150,000 Muslims turned from Muhammed to Jesus.
  • How 15,000 new churches were started in a single year.
  • How the first century explosion of Christianity has been reborn in the 21st century.
  • How you can join God in bringing a Church Planting Movement to your community.

My Thoughts

Church Planting Movements by David Garrison goes straight to my “4-and-5-star-books” shelf on Goodreads. It’s an easy 5/5. I feel like it’s been a while since I’ve reviewed a book that I was entirely enthusiastic about. This one was my lucky break. “It was amazing!”


In terms of it unputdownability—as I’ve heard the trait referred to—Church Planting Movements performed very well in my experience. Not being particularly drawn to history and statistics, the part two of the four-part book was less compelling to me. Mr. Garrison looked at examples of “church planting movements” around the world to give readers a solid grasp on what he was referring to whenever he used the term after which the book is named. Though less interesting to me, it was informative and laid a sturdy foundation.

By the time I reached the third part of the book, I was feeling familiar and friendly with the new terminology. I was at a comfortable place to start hearing it in the context of theory and practice. The following chapters were what I really enjoyed. As is typically the case with none fiction, part of my enjoyment of the book is attributed to raw interest in the matter. If you share my interest in church planting, you’ll be glad to know I thought this book was an excellent read. I read eagerly, the content making me feel inspired and equipped.

Besides being compelling, I thought Church Planting Movements promoted a high view of Scripture. Verses were referenced frequently. Much to my delight, Mr. Garrison used them within the context of the immediate passage and of the Bible as a whole. When new lingo was used, it was included in a Biblical index at the back of the book where Bible verses were listed as evidence of the Scriptural origin of the concept.

Really, doctrinal soundness should be the price of entry of any good book. Church Planting Movements went above and beyond in that it resensitized my heart towards the lost and stoked my desire to be involved in the Great Commission. I was skeptical when I first read the blurb. I thought Church Planting Movements might promote an obsession for numbers of converts and churches. Indeed, it took some time for me to warm up to the inclusion of headcounts. But the author convinced me that it’s not a sin to think about numbers and that it’s possible (perhaps good) to simultaneously think about quality and quantity.

All that is to say that I give Church Planting Movements by David Garrison an unreserved 5/5 stars. I wouldn’t recommend it to people who are bored by church planting, disciple-making, or Kingdom expansion work—simply for reasons of interest. But besides that, I would absolutely recommend it.

A Note on Content

The following may contain spoilers. Please read at your discretion.

This book contains accounts of physical persecution without going into the details. Such accounts include:
-multiple instances of beatings, including one beating to death,
-a father who threatens to kill his son, and
-a violent interrogation.

Sexual Immorality:
None that I recall. There could have been instances of sexual abuse in persecutions, but if there were, they weren’t outstanding to the point that I remember them.

Magic and the Occult:
This book includes references to demons being driven out and gives some small background on pagan beliefs.

Foul Language:

False Doctrine or Abuse of Scripture:

Let’s Discuss

  • I didn’t know church planting movements were a thing until this book was introduced to me. Did you?
  • Are you interested in church planting? Disciple-making? Evangelism? Is it the type of interest that present but passive, or does it compel you to action?
  • What was the last 5-star book you read?

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