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It’s Personal: Book Review

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I just finished reading It’s Personal: Surviving and Thriving on the Journey of Church Planting, by Brian and Amy Bloye. Brian and Amy lead West Ridge Church, a large church they planted in Dallas, Texas.

Within the first few pages the Bloyes hit upon one of the key elements of church planting—it is personal. They liken church planting to giving birth. It requires great personal and family sacrifice, it is exhausting, but it changes us forever.

From the beginning, the Bloyes explain that church planting is a reflection of our relationship with God. It affects our lives, our marriages, our families, and our friendships. The authors state, “Your experience in church planting will go the way of your personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Your absolute devotion to Him will be reflected in how you build the church…”

The Bloyes also discuss the rhythms of church planting. We can make plans, but we really do not know where God is leading us. We are often faced with times when we must decide to cross major rivers of decision. These are times of testing when God, according to the Bloyes, asks, “Are you ready to go with me to this next level?”

The authors also state that starting a new church requires us to serve our communities out of love. They said, “Jesus didn’t simply go into the community; he stooped to serve the community—and he never set himself up as a rock star.” Further, the Bloyes said that this attitude demands authenticity: “Being authentic means admitting that we are all broken people.”

The Bloyes are an example of this authenticity. They profess, “This entire life, from womb to tomb, is a rescue mission.”

Each chapter in It’s Personal concludes with questions to think about and discuss.

The Bloyes have done a good job of explaining church planting from a personal and spiritual standpoint. And they show, through their own experiences, the highs and lows of starting a church from scratch. As they eloquently put it,

“Church planting is the ultimate mountain ascent. It is a quest that forces you to watch your footing, to cling to God, and to be certain that you’re tightly roped to your fellow climbers. You’ll be breathless at times, exhausted at times, but we’ll promise you this: the view is indescribable.”

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