The Jesus Model: Planting Churches the Jesus Way

ISBN 978 1909281 23 3
236 pages.
Published 11/4/2013

£4.99 - £12.99

Paperback, Kindle, Epub

The JESUS Model is a unique guide to church planting based upon the ways and teachings of Jesus. It is written for those who want both a biblical foundation and practical help in starting new churches.   The JESUS Model  is also a training manual for disciples at four levels: discipling, coaching, leading a ministry area and leading a church plant. The author’s radical vision is for this sort of training to be a constantly self-replicating cycle in churches. Each member is discipling and being discipled to be most effective, according to his or her gifts, in the church’s task of multiplication by planting new churches. The goal of all training is ‘doing’ – disciples demonstrate that they have learnt by ‘putting it into practice’. Dietrich shows that this kind of discipleship is the fruit of a real and intimate relationship with Jesus, and that a trusting, mutually accountable small group helps us to maintain that relationship. He also shares from his own life how he has practised the principles that he encourages others to follow.

Dietrich Schindler holds a DMin from Fuller Seminary in the USA. Born and raised in the US by German immigrant parents, he subsequently returned to Germany, where he has since planted and pastored five new churches. Since 2008 he heads up the Church Planting department of the Evangelical Free Church of Germany. He has taught church planting at four seminaries in Germany, and has been invited to speak about church planting at conferences in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands. This book first appeared in German in 2010 under the title Das Jesus-Modell: Gemenden gründen wie Jesus. Dietrich is married to Jan Carla and they have three grown-up children.

“Jesus as a church planter? Creatively and perceptively, Dietrich Schindler shows how church planters indeed can learn from Jesus’ example, for it doesn’t just have to do with methods and strategies. With ‘The Jesus Model’, one doesn’t only have a treasure of practical helps for church planting, but more than that, valuable tips on how Christ can be the centre of church planting and church ministry.” – Prof Craig Ott, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (Deerfield/Chicago, USA), co-author of Global Church Planting

“Whoever longs to experience God’s rule in the church today will find that this resource offers them many good challenges. Whoever prays, ‘Thy kingdom come…’ will read about Schindler’s ‘Jesus Model’ and be inspired. It’s not for religious hedonists. Instead it’s for people with a desire for God’s rule.” – Ansgar Hörsting, President of the Evangelical Free Church of Germany “

Dietrich Schindler is a church planter, an awestruck disciple. I know him to be pragmatic, courageous, unconventional and goal oriented. All of this is mirrored in this book on church planting. It is similar to a guidebook to Jesus’ path – even to the basic and very practical and concrete questions that have to do with church planting. The JesusModel shows a masterful plan – not a rigid formula. Church planting is not only a topic in the Free Churches, but the Lutheran (state) church is also discovering the invigorating role that both target audiences as well as new approaches within the old structures can have. A great book!” – Ulrich Eggers, Chairman of Willow Creek Germany

There are a number of books that deal with church planting and recently there has been a greater emphasis upon the life of the church planter. Here is a book that balances the planting of a new church and the inner life of those starting these churches. Schindler traces these two elements by using the model of Christ and his life which inform both areas–personal and ministry.

The book is in two parts: “The Jesus Model” and “The Jesus Way.” In the first part the author speaks about the fact that most books on church planting center on the Apostle Paul as the model for church planting. He explains his approach, “This book contains the result of my research–the `Jesus Model’ of church planting and church growth” (8). He further states, “I derive my ideas about church planting from the vision of a church that is living close to the heart of Jesus, living out Jesus’ dream for the church” (11). In this reviewer’s opinion, a wise and effective church planter will blend together both the life and ministry of our Lord with that of the Apostle Paul to learn fully-orbed church planting.

In this first part, Schindler lists eight principles found in the life of Christ derived from our Lord’s living in the presence of God his Father. They are: “incarnational contact, motivating compassion, Christ-centered proclamation, liberating Lordship, changed identity, practical discipleship, empowering leadership, and intentional multiplication” (19).

Then in the second part, “the Jesus Way” he deals with the “Practices of Church Planting Based on the Jesus Model.” In this section, the eight principles seen in Christ are dealt with as they apply to the church planter and the church plant.

This new book provides a refreshing change from too much of an “organizational” or “mechanical” approach to church planting. Schindler draws on his own experiences, pertinent illustrations, and the research of others to fill out these practices. All church planters will find this section extremely challenging to the depth of their beings.

I will be recommending this new book to those I am presently working with and mentoring in their church planting journey. I encourage you to do likewise if you want to have the concern that the author shows at the end of his book: “We refuse to plant churches where Jesus Christ is not the centre. We only want to plant churches where Jesus is glorified and the joy of the Lord is palpable and life-changing” (200).
To aim at this high goal as a church planter or those training church planters, read and apply this book to your life and ministry.

Dr. Robert J. Vajko


Contents v

Acknowledgements viii

Foreword by Martin Robinson ix

Introduction 1



Principles for Church Planting from the Life of Jesus


ONE: Jesus as ‘Church Planter’ 7

Jesus’ Longing 9

Church Planting Starts with Jesus 11

Jesus as ‘Church Planter’ 13

TWO: The ‘Jesus Model’: An Overview 17

The Core: At Home in the Presence of God the Father 20

Principle 1: Incarnational Contact 22

Principle 2: Motivating Compassion 23

Principle 3: Christ-Centred Proclamation 24

Principle 4: Liberating Lordship 26

Principle 5: Changed Identity 28

Principle 6: Practical Discipleship 30

Principle 7: Empowering Leadership 32

Principle 8: Intentional Multiplication 34

Summary 35


Practices of Church Planting Based on the Jesus Model

THREE: At Home in the Presence of God the Father 39

Living with Temptation 41

Longing after God – the Spiritual Disciplines of the

Church Planter 42

God-Centred Praying – the Fuel for God’s Working 47

FOUR: Incarnational Approach 51

The Revolution of the Incarnation 51

Evangelistic and Missional Efforts 53

The Four Phases of a Church-Planting Project 64

The Four Growth Stages in the Life of a Church Planter 68

FIVE: Motivating Compassion 71

A Look Beneath the Surface 72

What is Compassion? 73

An Example of Compassion: Ruth 76

SIX: Christ-Centred Proclamation 85

People We Meet 85

The Content of the Message 87

Forms of Proclamation 93

SEVEN: Liberating Lordship 105

A Disciple’s Decisions, Step by Step 106

A Change of Lordship 109

The Shop-Window Religion of the Scribes and Pharisees 112

Righteousness Better than that of the Scribes and Pharisees 113

Putting into Practice the Liberating Lordship of Christ 116

EIGHT: Changed Identity 121

The Danger of Christian Socialization 121

Being a Child of God Creates Identity 123

Making People Disciples 126

The Collective Identity of the Church 127

Small Groups as Places of New Identity 128

NINE: Practical Discipleship 135

Developing Disciples who Lead 136

The Four Phases of the ‘M’ Model at each Level of Leadership 139

TEN: Empowering Leadership 151

Values Underpinning the ‘M’ Model 178

Tips for Coaching Church Planters 179

ELEVEN: Intentional Multiplication 183

The ‘G7’ Qualities of Great Church Planting 186

The Disciplines of a Church-Planting

Multiplication Movement 194

Problems that Occur with Multiplication 196

Afterword 199

The Glory of Jesus Christ and the Planting of New Churches 199


Appendix A: Checklists for a Church-Planting Project 204

Appendix B: Checklists for Church Planters

Once the Church is Established 209

Appendix C: Checklist for Disciples and Disciple Making 214

Appendix D: The Transformation Flow Chart 216

Appendix E: Lectio Divina 218

Bibliography 221

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