Church Planting


by Aaron Klinefelter

  • Associate for Children & Family Ministries at Trinity Church in Menlo Park
  • Studies Theology at Church Divinity School of the Pacific

A bunch of folks have asked me about my bibliography for my big paper on Church Planting in the Episcopal Church. Some have asked about that as it relates to Emerging/Emergent/Emergence Church and Fresh Expressions. So I compiled a separate selected bibliography. Of course there are LOTS more that could be added, but here’s my recommended reading (some academic, some less so) for the new church.

a bibliography for a new church


Gibbs, Eddie, and Ryan K. Bolger. Emerging Churches: Creating Christian Community in Postmodern Cultures. Grand Rapids, Mich: Baker Academic, 2005.

Bielo, James S. Emerging Evangelicals: Faith, Modernity, and the Desire for Authenticity. New York: New York University Press, 2011.


Pagitt, Doug, and Tony Jones, eds. An Emergent Manifesto of Hope. Grand Rapids, Mich: Baker Books, 2007.

McLaren, Brian D. A Generous Orthodoxy: Why I Am a Missional, Evangelical, Post/Protestant, Liberal/Conservative, Mystical/Poetic, Biblical, Charismatic/Contemplative, Fundamentalist/Calvinist, Anabaptist/Anglican, Methodist, Catholic, Green, Incarnational, Depressed-yet-Hopeful, Emergent, Unfinished Christian. El Cajon, CA: Youth Specialties, 2006.

McLaren, Brian D. A New Kind of Christianity: Ten Questions That Are Transforming the Faith. New York: HarperOne, 2011.

McLaren, Brian D. The Great Spiritual Migration: How the World’s Largest Religion Is Seeking a Better Way to Be Christian. First Edition. New York: Convergent, 2016.

Marti, Gerardo. The Deconstructed Church: Understanding Emerging Christianity. Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press, 2014.


Tickle, Phyllis. Emergence Christianity: What It Is, Where It Is Going, and Why It Matters. Grand Rapids, Mich: Baker Books, 2012.

———. The Age of the Spirit: How the Ghost of an Ancient Controversy Is Shaping the Church. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2014.

———. The Great Emergence: How Christianity Is Changing and Why. Grand Rapids, Mich: Baker Books, 2008.


Guder, Darrell L., and Lois Barrett, eds. Missional Church: A Vision for the Sending of the Church in North America. The Gospel and Our Culture Series. Grand Rapids, Mich: W.B. Eerdmans Pub, 1998.

Bosch, David Jacobus. Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission. 21. printing. American Society of Missiology 16. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2005.

Newbigin, Lesslie. The Open Secret: An Introduction to the Theology of Mission. Rev. ed. Grand Rapids, Mich: W.B. Eerdmans, 1995.

Neighborhood Incarnation

Smith, C. Christopher. Slow Church: Cultivating Community in the Patient Way of Jesus. Downers Grove, Illinois: IVP Books, 2014.

Sparks, Paul, Tim Sorens, and Dwight J. Friesen. The New Parish: How Neighborhood Churches Are Transforming Mission, Discipleship and Community. Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 2014.


Bass, Diana Butler. Christianity after Religion: The End of Church and the Birth of a New Spiritual Awakening. New York: HarperOne, 2013.

Piazza, Michael, and Cameron Trimble. Liberating Hope: Daring to Renew the Mainline Church. Cleveland: Pilgrim Press, 2011.

Church Planting

Branson, Mark Lau, ed. Starting Missional Churches: Life with God in the Neighborhood. Downers Grove, Illinois: IVP Books, an imprint of InterVarsity Press, 2014.

Paas, Stefan. Church Planting in the Secular West: Learning from the European Experience. The Gospel and Our Culture Series. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2016.

James, Christopher B. Church Planting in Post-Christian Soil: Theology and Practice. New York: Oxford University Press, 2018.

Episcopal Church

Brown Snook, Susan. God Gave the Growth: Church Planting in the Episcopal Church. New York: Morehouse Publishing, 2015.

Gortner, David. Transforming Evangelism. Transformations the Episcopal Church in the 21st Century. New York: Church Pub, 2008.

Gray-Reeves, Mary, and Michael Perham. The Hospitality of God: Emerging Worship for a Missional Church. New York: Seabury Books, 2011.

Fresh Expressions

Baker, Jonny, and Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (Great Britain). Curating Worship. London: SPCK, 2010.

Mission-Shaped Church: Church Planting and Fresh Expression in a Changing Context. New York: Seabury Books, 2010.

Moynagh, Michael, and Philip Harrold. Church for Every Context: An Introduction to Theology and Practice. London: SCM Press, 2012.

(if you made it all the way down here I’ll note: a big gap that is missing is work on ecclesiology – that needs work)


Jason Fout, BSSW, suggested adding the following resource  under an “ecclesiology” heading:

Moynagh, Michael. Being church, doing life: creating gospel communities where life happens. Oxford, England, UK: Monarch Books, 2014.

In response to that, I am adding:

Kärkkäinen, Veli-Matti. An introduction to ecclesiology: ecumenical, historical & global perspectives. Downers Grove, Ill: InterVarsity Press, 2002.

About the Author