Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Book Review: "Reproducible Pastoral Training"

All of us (I hope) would like to “go therefore and make disciples”, but sometimes we do not know how.

Reproducible Pastoral Training is a timely and easy to read book written by missionary Patrick O’Connor.

Do not let the title fool you. This book is user-friendly, hands-on, and practical in making disciples who then reproduce themselves.

While the title suggests a focus on starting new churches and preparing leaders for the harvest, it also offers a practical look at how to do this. The book is an excellent biblical resource that is not a “new fad” or hard-to-replicate program. It is written from a perspective straight from the field and has been tried and tested. It is a required “must read” for every missionary and disciple who hopes to leave a mark - a mark which is hard to erase.

When I first saw this book and heard about the movement in western Honduras, I bought ten copies. I recently bought ten more! If I could get the book for $1, I would buy 1000!

O’Connor has spent nearly two decades as a missionary in Honduras. He cut his teeth in western Honduras, where he pioneered a brand new movement of churches in rural off-the-map locations. He calls them “chains of churches” and the Lord gave birth to many of them. Indeed, before the church planting movement genre became popular, these indigenous and nationalized cluster of churches, daughter churches and granddaughter churches were taking root.

O’Connor now ministers with Action International Ministries (ACTION), on loan from Missions Door, and we are thrilled to see him serve as Facilitator for the Church Planting Movement (CPM) worldwide. He was raised in India, and now returns often to train nationals in India for reproducible pastoral training.

O’Connor did not learn these concepts in a vacuum. For two decades, O’Connor learned and applied these concepts through his mentor George Patterson. Reproducible Pastoral Training presents Patterson’s model of outreach. It presents 68 biblical principles for action-oriented multiplication. The following are few of the 68 guidelines:

-Watch out! Here come wolves!
-Dramatize biblical events.
-Apply God’s oil to rusty organization.
-Spy out the land.
-Bond with the people and their culture.
-Permit the setting to shape your methods.
-Find pointers to Christ in pagan lore.
-Lead humbly and firmly.

Whether you are a pastor, academic, lay practitioner, housewife or a missionary on the field, I would encourage you to buy and read this book.

Gene Daniels, Author of In Search of the Indigenous Church, said this of the book “O'Connor has accomplished the missiological version of crossing Niagara falls on a tight-rope while blindfolded; he has writ¬ten an organized presentation of the principles for building up indi¬genous churches without turning it into another fad system. Bravo!”

Victor Choudhrie of India put it this way: “Reproductive Pastoral Training is an impressive, up-to-date manual on Church Planting that should be studied by all who are involved in church planting movements. The principles laid are universal and scriptural.”

Reproducible Pastoral Training can be ordered by phone or online:

Order by phone: William Carey Library (1-800-MISSION; 1-800-647-7466)
Order Online:

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