Planting a Church Without Losing Your Soul: Nine Questions for the Spiritually Formed Pastor, By Tim Morey alt

Planting a Church Without Losing Your Soul

Nine Questions for the Spiritually Formed Pastor

by Tim Morey
Foreword by Scott W. Sunquist

Planting a Church Without Losing Your Soul
  • Length: 192 pages
  • Dimensions: 0 × 0 in
  • Published: December 22, 2020
  • Imprint: IVP Academic
  • Item Code: 5343
  • ISBN: 9780830853434

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Christianity Today Book Award

What does it take to be a church planter or other ministry entrepreneur? Most leaders start out with passion, a sense of calling, and a focus on building ministry skills. Such things might get some results, but they are not enough to sustain a healthy ministry—or a healthy life. Beyond the vocational capacities every church planter needs, there's a range of capabilities more difficult to measure but even more essential: what veteran church planter Tim Morey calls spiritual competencies.

Morey provides here a practical guide to spiritual formation geared to the unique needs of church planters. He helps readers answer the questions, What are the spiritual capabilities that I as a church planter need to develop? How might I lean into the work Jesus is doing in these vital areas? Spiritual competencies have to do not just with behaviors but also with the motivations, agendas, and scripts that drive behaviors. Morey explores how church planters can become people who

  • invest in their own physical, emotional, relational, and spiritual health
  • accept limits and share responsibilities
  • can be trusted with power
  • are able to stay resilient and grow through difficulties
  • can minister without being noticed
  • find a sustainable pace that helps them avoid burnout

The health of a church or any ministry organization is directly linked to the health of its leaders. Church planters may be used to improvising, but when it comes to their spiritual lives, they can't afford to just wing it. Featuring real-life stories from leaders, suggested practices, and discussion questions in each chapter, this book will equip individuals and teams (and those who coach them) to commit to an intentional plan for spiritual formation—for the good of their churches, their relationships, and their own lives as disciples of Jesus.

"Tim Morey did a courageous thing. He told the truth. In a space that is often filled with the retelling of airbrushed success stories, Tim wrote a book that revealed the difficulties often found in church planting and the effects those difficulties can have on church planters and their families. But Tim doesn't leave us there. His book enumerates many practicalities that will guide a church planter to avoid the worst and thrive in the work of church planting. Planting a Church Without Losing Your Soul is a refreshing book and a significant contribution to the church planting conversation."

Ed Stetzer, professor and dean at Wheaton College, executive director of the Wheaton College Billy Graham Center

"There are very few books on the subject of church planting that I would say are a must-read for church planters—but this is one of them. Tim Morey writes transparently as he surfaces the war wounds common to the assignment and helps the reader understand the deeper issues that surround and exacerbate the pain. As I read Tim's thoughtful guidance, I found myself continually saying, 'Yes, yes!' as I saw my own story recounted in his words. Buy this book. Read this book. And give this book to every church planter that you know."

Jeff Christopherson, cofounder and missiologist at the Send Institute, executive director of Church Planting Canada

"Tim Morey's work takes a much-needed turn off the church planting highway of assessments, structured pathways, and preconceived definitions of success. Rather, Morey takes on the honest, painful, and difficult task of helping us unpack our own emotional and spiritual well-being. The probing questions and practical responses transcend the particularities of social location and expose the heart and spirit of those who seek to partner with Christ in planting a community of faith."

Dwight Radcliff, Pannell Center for African American Church Studies, assistant professor of theology, mission, and culture, Fuller Theological Seminary

"After decades of planting churches and training planters, I've come to believe that the first work of planters is to ground our identity in God, lest we become possessed by our image. I can say one thing unequivocally about this book: Tim, with hard-won wisdom, identifies ten areas that are paramount for leaders to contemplate and engage, if we want to have a life worth imitating and not fall captive to the powers. This book is for planters who are in it for the long haul."

JR Woodward, national director of the V3 Movement, author of Creating a Missional Culture

"Tim Morey has cracked the code for Planting a Church Without Losing Your Soul. It is the genius of Jesus: the responses to life and leadership flow from the heart. I have been involved in church planting for forty years and can tell you that Tim has crucial things to say. I hope this book enables the next generation of church planters to be simultaneously fruitful and well with their soul."

Todd D. Hunter, bishop of the Anglican diocese Churches for the Sake of Others, author of Our Character at Work

"Tim Morey peels back the curtain to provide a glimpse into the hearts and minds of church planters. Tackling foundational emotional and spiritual essentials, this work is an encouragement to potential and on-the-job new church developers alike. You will see yourself in Tim's stories and be guided through reflection to guard against burnout (or worse) and helped to cultivate your inner life as you plant. I recommend Planting a Church Without Losing Your Soul for healthy personal development while starting and growing churches."

Robert E. Logan, author of The Church Planting Journey and The Discipleship Difference

"It has never been tougher than right now to plant a new church. For that reason, Planting a Church Without Losing Your Soul is a book that has never been needed more. Tim Morey has created a handbook filled with practical tools for self-care, helpful lessons on team building, and biblical guidance for healthy church planting. If you are planting a church or oversee church planters, I recommend this book."

Dave Ferguson, lead visionary, NewThing, and author of B.L.E.S.S.: 5 Everyday Ways to Love Your Neighbor and Change Your World

Read an Excerpt


Foreword by Scott Sunquist
Introduction: What Does a Spiritually Formed Church Planter Look Like?
1. How to Be Both a Pastor and a Person
2. Growth: How Can I Plan for My Own Spiritual Formation?
3. Suffering: Can I Embrace a Life Peppered with Difficulty?
4. Power: Do Others Experience Me as a Safe Person?
5. Obscurity: Can I Minister Without Being Noticed?
6. Failure: Am I Resilient in the Face of Setbacks and Defeats?
7. Pace: Am I Treating Church Planting like a Marathon or like a Sprint?
8. Team: Have I Relinquished My Ambition to Be a Superhero?
9. Conflict: Do I Handle Difficult People Graciously?
10. Family: Am I Leading in a Way That Brings Life to Those Dearest to Me?


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Tim Morey

Tim Morey (DMin, Fuller Theological Seminary) is founding and lead pastor at Life Covenant Church in Torrance, California. He serves as a church-planting coach for the Evangelical Covenant Church and as an adjunct professor at Fuller Theological Seminary.