The Trellis and the Vine – Colin Marshall & Tony Payne
This book looks at the relationship between “trellis work” – the necessary organizational structures and systems in place in our churches – and “vine work” – the biblically mandated charge given to the church to proclaim the Gospel, make disciples, and mature disciples. This classic book looks at the relationship between the trellis and the vine, what part people play in each, and how we can get more people involved in “vine work”.
Church Zero – Peyton Jones
This book, in typical Peyton Jones fashion, packs a punch. It is a prophetic call to the church to reform and return back to her roots as a Spirit-filled, Gospel-sharing, Church-planting, Believer-equipping force. It’s time to abandon the long-held strategy of self-preservation and infiltrate enemy territory with the Gospel once again!
Kingdom Matrix: Designing A Church For The Kingdom of God – Jeff Christopherson
This classic book is a paradigm shift. Christopherson challenges believers to take a hard look at whether they are truly building the Kingdom of God, and he (rightly, I believe) asserts that many who are focused on growing churches are actually expanding the kingdom of darkness, not the Kingdom of God. The book is challenging and also packed with stories and examples that make it a really great read.
Total Church – Tim Chester & Steve Timmis
Chester and Timmis emphasize that church isn’t another commitment to add to our calendar, but rather a people we belong to and a lifestyle we are to live 24/7. This book looks at how to make the Gospel and community central in the life of the church and applies it to various aspects of church life like evangelism, church planting, discipleship, world missions, apologetics, etc…
The Church – Mark Dever
This is a classic book that outlines the doctrine of the church. Dever answers questions like, “What is the church?” and “What does the church do?” This is a great place to start if you want to get a grasp on a biblical view of the church.
One Assembly – Jonathan Leeman
Leeman presents a glorious picture of what the church could – and should – look like according to Scripture. He makes a strong case that a church is a particular group of believers covenented together who gather at one place at the same time. Chapter 3 alone is worth the price of this book.