God Gave the Growth

Church Planting in the Episcopal Church

Susan Brown Snook

Jun/2015, 248 Pages, Paperback, 6 x 9

ISBN-13: 9780819229977



Practical and theoretical instruction for mainline church planting.

The Episcopal Church has recognized that planting new churches is a high priority through the Mission Enterprise Zones initiative, which provides grant funding for new worshiping communities, in partnership with dioceses. While there is significant literature and training available for church planters in evangelical contexts, very little is available for planters in the Episcopal/mainline context.

This book addresses how to rise up and train leaders for the difficult task of planting new churches in the twenty-first century. It answers the essential questions, such as why should we plant churches, what models of church planting are most successful, what kinds of leaders are necessary, and what problems can be expected. Through the author’s personal experience and interviews with diocesan experts and leaders in mainline denominations, it provides strategies, approaches, and problem-solving techniques.

Susan Brown Snook is a priest and church planter who founded the Episcopal Church of the Nativity, Scottsdale, Arizona, in 2006, which is now a full parish in a permanent building with average Sunday attendance of more than 200. A widely respected leader in the Episcopal Church and member of the Executive Council, she strongly believes that church planting is how to revitalize the Episcopal Church in the twenty-first century. She lives in Fountain Hills, Arizona.

“The Reverend Susan Brown Snook has offered us a unique and energetic template for our commitment to build these new communities in the world—grown from the seeds of God’s living Word. Our church, with its great tradition of evangelism and mission, has in recent years looked to other denominations for guidebooks to map our new context and to discern how we could raise up new missional communities. Snook gives us a resource from our own tradition using our vocabulary and the depth of our own theology to show us exactly how we might begin to see God working in the world.”––The Right Reverend C. Andrew Doyle, The Episcopal Diocese of Texas (from his Foreword)“Susan Snook offers everything we need in order to have a very necessary conversation about church planting. It’s all here––stories from experience, facts and figures, and inspiring vignettes––but the greatest gift in the book is a powerful vision that we can and should plant churches and that we will succeed.”––The Reverend Canon Scott Gunn, Executive Director, Forward Movement“God Gave the Growth is the kind of message the Church needs today. Snook cuts through the excuse making, the fearful negativity, and the passive resignation to present us with very doable ways for the Church to grow its witness and to make disciples through planting new Christian communities. Now, let’s get on with it.”––The Right Reverend Scott Anson Benhase, The Episcopal Diocese of Georgia“This is the book aspiring church planters have been waiting for. Susan Brown Snook understands that even the most Spirit-filled leap of faith needs some platform from which to launch and some sense of where it wants to land. This book offers ways to determine both while also offering models and inspiration for the ‘wild, joyous, careening ride’ in between.”––Katie Sherrod, member The Episcopal Church’s Executive Council and Communication Director, The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth“Susan invites faith communities into an exciting journey of discovery––readers will be empowered by her hopefulness and passion for the future church that God is birthing among us. Reverend Snook is an amazing tour guide for the new leader and a wise companion to experienced ministry developers as well.”––The Reverend Thomas Brackett, Missioner for New Starts Missional Initiatives, The Episcopal Church

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