What makes church growth in an African American community different? Michael Cox, New Church Planting Director for the American Baptist Churches in the USA, and Joe Samuel Ratliff, pastor of Brentwood Baptist Church in Houston, TX, bring unique insights into the difficult process of successful church planting. Grounding their work in a comparison between the gospel story and African American story, the authors draw upon the experience of many successful church plants and planners. They then set out a compelling vision for church planting including the central role of a sponsoring congregation. This is followed by the importance of the personality and role of a church-planting pastor. The final chapter deals with the difficulties and roadblocks church planters have encountered - and how to avoid them. These are especially aimed at the differences between African America church planters and church planting in general. This is a valuable resource not just for church planters, but also evangelists, community activists and urban planners.
Reviewed by Brian Witwer