I recently read Darrin Patrick's book Church Planter. I did not really know what I was getting myself into when I began reading. I thought that this was simply a book on how to be a church planter and what that looks like but found the book to be much more profound. The book is broken into 3 sections; the man, the message, the mission.
The Man talks about my generation and how we are ban, both boy and man. It talks about the trends of how we spend our time, money, and what we are passionate about. I was encouraged in reading because I don't fall into the living at home with mom and dad paying my bills, spending my time playing video games, and lacking maturity, but I was discouraged thinking about a lot of my friends who fall into this category and how sometimes I lean to the edge in time wasting activities. This part of the book personally challenged me in seeing my call to do ministry. It excited me to think about the stage of life that I am in now where I will be getting back into the ministry and focusing on discipline volunteers and families.
The Message brought into light the focus of the church and what God's plan for me as a minister is, sharing Jesus Christ. In thinking back about the lessons that I learned growing up, I don't remember a lot of the stories or fun activities that we did, but I do remember learning about the love of Jesus and how I should follow Him. I liked that this part of the book explained that Jesus truly does love us and that we don't need to be in ministry to make Him happy because nothing we can do will earn more of His love.
The Mission begins with having compassion for God's people and then moves into what we need to do to reach others. I am not a very compassionate person and so this part of the book really challenged me to see people as Christ does and to love them regardless of their faults. I have been praying for compassion and for this personality shift to occur in my life. I want to be more like my wife and to truly love people who are messed up. I also want to be more like my dad and be touched by emotion. Hopefully over time this will take place in my life.
Anyway, I REALLY liked the book and have been thinking about it since I finished. Very rarely do I read a book twice and I'm thinking about starting this one again in a few weeks. Good stuff!