Planting by Pastoring: A Vision for Starting a Healthy Church

By Nathan Knight

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Recentering the Goal of Pastoral Ministry to Cultivate God-Honoring Church Plants

As churches rapidly expand, Christians risk viewing the church with an entrepreneurial mindset. Church planters can be tempted to fixate on gaining numbers and achieving financial stability as their only metrics for success. They fail to focus on lifting up Christ’s people within the church. 

In Planting by Pastoring, author Nathan Knight pushes back against this warped view of church planting and centers the goal of pastoral ministry on a basic biblical foundation: a church plant is in fact a church, and a planter is in fact a pastor. A healthy church plant is not measured by size, speed, or level of self-sufficiency but by good pastoring that produces faith, fruit, and a flourishing community. Once pastors and church leaders redefine their plant as a church, their ministry will begin to align with Jesus’s mission to shepherd the flock and bring glory to God alone. 

  • Provides Wisdom: This book reminds church planters of the heart of the church and the core purpose of pastors
  • Offers a Unique Perspective: Addresses foundational elements of church planting other books fail to address
  • Appeals to Pastors, Elders, and Church Planters: Great for those in the process of planting a church


Nathan Knight

Nathan Knight (MDiv, Southeastern Theological Seminary) is a pastor of Restoration Church and a leader of the Treasuring Christ Together church planting network. He and his wife, Andi, live in Washington, DC, with their two sons.

Product Details

Format: Paperback
Page Count: 176
Size: 5.5 in x 8.5 in
Weight: 5.0 ounces
ISBN-10: 1-4335-8811-0
ISBN-13: 978-1-4335-8811-2
ISBN-UPC: 9781433588112
Case Quantity: 10
Published: July 25, 2023

Table of Contents

Section One: Church Planting Residency
Chapter 1: Jesus as Shepherd (The prince of planters)
Chapter 2: Pastors, Not Entrepreneurs (The posture of a planter)
Chapter 3: Qualified, Not Charismatic (The character of a planter)
Chapter 4: A Church, Not a Crowd (The markers of the planter)
Chapter 5: Unexplainable, Not Explainable (The culture of the planter)
Chapter 6: Christ, Not You (The goal of a planter)
Section Two: Church Planting Mobilization
Chapter 7: Sent (and sustained) by a Church, Not a Parachurch (The mother of a planter)
Chapter 8: The Team, Not the Man (The team of a planter)
Chapter 9: Needy, Not Hip (The place of a planter)
Chapter 10:  Love People, Not Programs (The mission of the planter)
Chapter 11: Bricks, Not Straw (The desire of the planter)
Conclusion: Defining Success 
How to Facilitate a Covenanting Service
Founding Documents: Statement of Beliefs, Church Membership Covenant