“Let us cherish the hope that the day is not far distant when we will be in the midst of this next adventure.” (Ernest Lawrence)


Introducing The New Cartographers

It’s official ... bivocational and covocational ministry and church planting as well as social entrepreneurship are “in.” The pendulum was swung. And rightly so. This is good news and affirms what many have been doing behind the scenes without accolades and fanfare. The New Cartographers was written with the bivo / covo leader in mind. You are the new cartographers. Together we’re mapping and charting this old but new terrain. Throughout the book we’ll explore and uncover topics such as funding, financial sustainability, social entrepreneurship and startups, community and economic development, the nature of the gospel, and the importance of overlooked places and marginalized people.

The New Cartographers: Helping Social Entrepreneurs Develop a Map for Church Planting + Local Church Ministry in the New Frontier is the sequel to Intrepid: Navigating the Intersection of Church Planting + Social Entrepreneurship. It takes the ideas and concepts explored in Intrepid and dives deeper. Full of short practical chapters The New Cartographers gets to the meat and details of how to start churches and social enterprises as well as engage in community economic development in places in economic decline.

What Others Are Saying

"In an age where church planting is driven by numbers, finances, strategies, and growth potential, Sean brings a breath of fresh air.  Sean challenges us to think differently not only about where and how we plant churches, but also to consider the effect the church and church planter has upon the community wellbeing as a whole.  The conversation he brings is not only needed in our dialogue on urban church planting, but equally needed in the discussion of rural ministry. In an age where rural America is becoming the new ghetto, it is important that we develop new strategies for how we are going to effectively impact these communities. This book is a must read for those who desire to plant churches or minister in the forgotten places of rural (and urban) America." –– Glenn Daman, Author of The Forgotten Church: Why Rural Ministry Matters for Every Church in America

“Sean has been a great practitioner here in Portland, Oregon and models so well the kind of entrepreneurial vision required to advance the Kingdom in the challenging post-Christian environment we find ourselves in.” –– Kevin Palau, President, Luis Palau Association

“Church planting continues to change right before our eyes. Reading through The New Cartographers made me wish I was planting a church again. Intentionally infusing social entrepreneurship into church planting creates inroads into seeking the peace, welfare, and justice of our communities. This book is an essential read for anyone embarking to plant churches in today’s social landscape.” –– Ken Wytsma is a former church planter and author of The Myth of Equality

"I love this book and highly recommend it to church planting discussions. It makes us think in fresh and needful ways about starting churches in forgotten and economically challenged places, urban and rural. Sean confronts assumptions about financing church plants and misconception about bi-vocational planters. This requires an intentional look into the theology of salvation and its extended impact within a community. What excites me the most about The New Cartographers is the conversation it will start by those who God has wired to be both church planters and entrepreneurs. May the next decades see thousands of towns and neighborhoods coming alive spiritually and economically to the glory of Christ as we chart new ways to plant churches." –– David Pinckney, Rural Collective Co-Director, Acts 29

"I have traveled in some of the best regarded church planting circles for over 40 years, so this claim means something: While he never majors on the hip or the edgy, Sean Benesh is actually one of the most fearless, creative, forward thinking, margins-oriented church planting thinkers I have ever met. His newest book, The New Cartographers is no different. In an era when the Church so desperately needs to find a way forward, it serves as a wake-up call to expand our thinking, and our actions, to help move the Church into new, and oft sadly neglected arenas." –– Linda Bergquist, Church Planting Catalyst, San Francisco and author of City Shaped Churches

"The landscape is shifting. We are aware of this in so many ways, and yet in many places and process we are unsure.  We’ve not walked this path before. We are facing new terrain. And ‘what got us here, won’t work for now or get us there’. We know change needs to come, but aren’t always sure what it entails or how it looks. There are those in denial, who retreat back to a well-worn way. And there are those that see this shifting landscape as a great adventure. Embracing the frontier. Heading off to explore and report back. Starting to create new maps. Sean is an adventurer. Not self-promoting or self-proclaiming. But inquisitive. Brave. Insightful. Adventurous. And this is wisdom and bravery that comes from the hustle and bustle of the road, not the sanitised experience of the classroom or whiteboard.

The New Cartographers inspires, unsettles, challenges and instructs us for the new world that awaits us. It’s coming, whether we like it or not. Allow Sean to open your eyes to the possibilities and potential of this new world. To reimagine church planting and to explore social entrepreneurship. To see hope, influence, agency, community and change in our futures, and the future of our communities. And, as you read, I’d encourage you, as Sean does, to take that first step into a new future." –– Rich Robinson, Catalyst and Coach, Catalyst Change

"As a church-planter overseas I would often secretly thank the Lord that He hadn't called me to plant in the US! So much Christendom baggage to drag along––even despite the stir caused by the missional movement––with its elaborate schemes to gather cool people into cool venues in the cool part of town. It all seemed to cloud the vision for an incarnational model of God's people, making His disciples, being the church and bringing transformation to a community in need. Then I began working with Sean Benesh. Not only could he see the need for a course correction in North America, but he was articulating a potent, sustainable, Kingdom vision for planting that I'd not seen before in the myriad of books out there today on church planting. The New Cartographers is refreshing and fast-paced. It’s theological and practical. It will take you by the hand and show you how to chart a new pathway for being and bringing the Good News to that place where God is calling you to plant. My advice after you’ve read The New Cartographers is to read everything else you can get your hands on by Sean!." –– Mark Crooks, Missionary church-planter, Senior Director of Global Ministry for North America, TEAM (The Evangelical Alliance Mission)