Movement engagements in every unreached people and place by 2025 (86 months)
Church Planting Movement practitioners believe CPM methods follow the ministry methods of Jesus. Perhaps the time has come for our missionary training methods to follow the mentoring models of Christ as well.
With some exceptions, the “shocking secret” about missionary training is that the large majority of workers sent to the mission field receive little to no practical field training prior to their deployment.
However, over the last several years, mission leaders have been encouraging the growth of missionary training models that produce more effective and fruitful movement catalysts in shorter time. Veteran practitioners implementing these models are excitedly reporting that new workers are making progress towards Church Planting Movements (CPMs) much faster than those trained in traditional patterns of classroom or workshop-based trainings. Regional leaders are beginning to ask for candidates that are prepared in these disciplines. Some are even requiring this more experiential and mentoring-based training approach for new missionaries because of the observed higher implementation rate than workshop-based patterns. To expand and accelerate adoption of these models, the 24:14 Coalition is promoting a flexible, networked CPM Training Hub system to better prepare field workers to implement effective movement practices. This could serve as a standalone approach or be paired with workshop-based trainings.
I have a great appetite to see this vision become reality. As mission workers, our family labored on the field for the first seven years without seeing anyone become a disciple of Christ. After receiving CPM training we worked for an additional seven years, pioneering a local Church Planting Movement. Knowing the burden of laboring without fruit, I am passionate to deploy laborers who are well trained, who will not repeat our same mistakes (though they will make others) and who can become fruitful much more quickly.
A Hub System
The CPM Training Hub concept envisions several “phases” of training to experientially equip workers seeking to catalyze a movement among the unreached.
Phase 1—This involves people beginning their CPM training in their home-culture context. Unless a missionary candidate came to Christ within a CPM, numerous paradigm shifts are needed on the journey to CPM fruitfulness. Mission leaders are observing that it is easier for people to ingest these concepts when their learning is not started in a cross-cultural environment with the additional culture shock and language learning stress that muddy the CPM learning process. Phase 1 offers the opportunity for learning in an environment where mistakes are easily correctable by an experienced mentor. Practicing within one’s own culture also gives the missionary candidate an opportunity to affirm a call to church planting before they embark on the challenges of advanced missionary training, support raising, language acquisition and cultural assimilation.
Phase 2—Before deploying to a “final destination,” Phase 2 equips the new missionary within a cross-cultural context that is as close in affinity as possible to the unreached people group they desire to reach. This hub is led by national or expat mentors who ideally are seeing a movement in the training location, or are at least seeing some multiplication in the area using CPM principles.
This hub trains in contextualized movement principles while helping the mission workers begin language and culture acquisition. Their home culture hub experience helps them understand and apply general movement principles. Then the cross-cultural hub allows the new missionary to visualize and experience CPM in a culture similar to their intended focus culture. There they can assimilate contextualized CPM principles under the helpful guidance of movement tutors.
Phase 3—In Phase 3, the mission worker deploys to their target unreached people group (UPG) with a great deal of experience and potentially with other national or expat co-laborers they met in Phase 2. Their trainers/coaches from Phase 2 will continue to help and guide them into this third phase.
Phase 4—We have realized that if/when a movement starts, rather than moving on to another assignment, it is more strategic for these outside catalysts to go into Phase 4. This consists of helping to send movement laborers from their focus group to one or more nearby UPGs to start new movements–multiplying movements.
A Closer Look
With the goal of catalyzing movement engagement in every unreached people and place by 2025, the 24:14 Coalition is urgently working to grow a network of CPM Training Hubs. We have identified emerging training hubs training Phase 1 missionaries in their home cultures (all around the world), as well as a number of teams and organizations that have started Phase 2 Hubs, receiving trainees from Phase 1 experiences.
As 24:14 analyzed the early-stage effectiveness of this approach, we noticed that Phase 2 Hubs reported an accelerated learning process and effectiveness for missionary candidates who had been through Phase 1. Because they practiced movement principles in their home culture away from the “learning clutter” of language and culture acquisition, candidates hit the ground running and developed good movement habits in their language and culture acquisition phase. We have seen a strong correlation between the amount of practical experience in movement practices someone has in Phase 1, and how quickly they effectively implement movement practices in subsequent phases. Some have already begun to see fruits of movement in their Phase 2 Hub experience!
The time commitment to Phase 1 and 2 Hubs varies, depending on the background of workers being deployed, the sponsoring organizations and unique curricula, and the focus region. Some Hubs focus on giving candidates basic experience in movement principles, while completing a missionary training program. Some hubs direct candidates to become proficient in CPM skills before allowing them to progress in their training. Many hub locations worldwide have an initial focus on catalyzing a movement in that location, after which mobilization occurs naturally.
We have found that requiring more experience and fruitfulness from candidates before proceeding to their target destination does not have a negative effect on mobilization. It actually helps mobilize more people for the field. We also anticipate it will have a positive impact on missionary retention levels.
Several have noted that a hub system can’t be prescribed for the global Body of Christ as a requirement all missionary candidates must pursue. However, a robust CPM Training Hub system would serve well the vast majority of missionary candidates who would benefit from an opportunity to learn in the context of active coaching.
Creating a Lattice to Grow Hubs
While hub sponsors employ numerous curricula for missionary candidates, many organizations are working together to develop a lattice of criteria to help evaluate CPM Hub Training and candidate readiness. 24:14 is proposing standards of training and care gleaned from these hub leaders that could potentially serve as a global “airline alliance,” collaborating together to better train candidates.
With so many organizations and approaches out there, how can we envision a lattice that facilitates collaboration? One popular approach has been to use a simple “Head, Heart, Hands, House” framework to describe the competencies needed for a missionary to thrive at the next stage. Figure 1 is a conglomeration of what several organizations and networks have listed as competencies for people completing a Phase 1 Training Hub and deploying to Phase 2. Figure 2 shows a similar vision for competencies for Phase 2 learners transitioning to the coaching-intensive Phase 3. Many of these standards spring from years of missionary training programs, yet the focus on practical experience and implementing these skills before deploying from one stage to the next is a new and unique focus. While these competencies can be achieved through a variety of curricula and learning processes, the key underpinning of the 24:14 Hubs Network is the idea that missionary candidates are asked to become skilled in CPM principles and practices before deploying to their next phase. These training processes may be developed at a hub or out-sourced, but having a general set of recommendations allows hubs to adapt organically and facilitate collaboration between organizations.
In the months to come, the Hubs Task Force has the following plans:
- Continue to find and document new hubs.
- Gather hub leaders to develop best practices and further refine the competencies.
- Create connections between organizations sponsoring hubs, to decrease duplication and make the network stronger.
- Network interested people and organizations who want to join the hub system.
- Assist, through resources and consulting, organizations and churches that want to create CPM training hubs and become mobilization centers.
We in 24:14 sincerely believe this model can greatly increase the frequency of CPMs among the unreached of the world. You can receive more information on the hub system and the hubs survey project via our website (https://www.2414now.net/hubs) or by contacting [email protected].
Fig.1 Phase 1 Competencies
Culture Training: Understanding basics of culture, worldview, contextualization and cross-cultural expectations. Theology: Understanding basics of Theology of Salvation, Overview of Scripture, Missions, Personal Calling, Suffering and core Christian Doctrines
CPM Training: Understands the basic DNA of movements and their biblical justification using one of the common movement training templates (Transition Points of Movement, DMM, T4T, Four Fields, Zume, etc.). Understands a simple plan and process that leads to reproduction.
Language: Preparation for how to learn a language.
Pastoral Care: Knows of and is able to use available resources.
Spiritual Authenticity: Focus on seeing that the trainee has a healthy degree of the following and is making consistent progress: humility and teachability; walking in honesty and integrity; hearing and obeying God; exercising faith that God will start a movement with his/her people group;love for God and others. Perseverance: Has demonstrated perseverance in difficult circumstances. Displays a dogged tenacity to do the right things to complete the task, pressing through obstacles. Has counted the cost of personal risk. Has a long-term commitment to God’s calling.
Personal Spiritual Disciplines: Demonstrates a lifestyle of prayer, time in God’s Word, obedience, fasting, accountability, hard work and rest, abiding in Christ and personal transparency. Understands basics of spiritual warfare.
Personal Holiness: Has a lifestyle free from addiction. Lives in moderation in all things. Seeks to avoid being a stumbling block for others.
Personal Wholeness: Is in a healthy place working through personal issues (addiction, depression, self-image) and family of origin issues (divorce, trauma, abuse), has a healthy marriage (if applicable), is in a healthy place working through parenting issues. Has been evaluated by a counselor for field readiness.
Engagement and Evangelism: Has extensive practice in engaging lost people, finding potential Persons of Peace and sharing the gospel message in a way that intentionally moves the lost toward becoming disciples of Jesus. Demonstrates the Kingdom: Has learned to pray blessing over people and pray for the sick.
Discipleship and Church Formation: Has practice in making disciples that form churches (preferably from the lost) and has worked toward reproducing them generationally.
Vision Casting: Has practice in envisioning others in disciple making and Church-Planting Movements.
Training: Has practice training others in disciple making and church planting using one of the common movement training templates.
Developing Prayer Strategy: Has learned the basics of planning and executing a prayer strategy for their people group.
Planning and Evaluation: Learns to plan, evaluate the brutal reality and adapt based on the fruit he/she sees.
Personal Skills: Has good people skills, communication skills and conflict resolution skills. Can manage anger, disappointment and anxiety.
Team Life: Has learned healthy patterns of team life.
Team Training and Development: Has learned to resolve team conflict and value different roles in a team environment.
Team Experience: Preferably has extensive practice “teaming” with others as they reach out to a local target population.
Finance: Is free from significant debt and has received adequate support raising training. Has raised full support before deploying.
Fig.2 Phase 2 Competencies\
Culture: Has learned regional culture, history and religion to a level of competency necessary to understand contextual tools and navigate roadblocks to gospel inroads.
Language: Language acquisition plan developed in conjunction with trainers and coaches in Phase 2 with accountability in place.
CPM Training: Has learned CPM applications in the cultural context. Works to learn innovations and cultural applications of movement theory to the region. Has exposure to advanced movement leadership applications. Persecution and Perseverance: Has learned likely avenues of persecution in the target culture. Has learned biblical patterns for dealing with persecution and minimizing unnecessary persecution. Has learned to persevere in difficult circumstances.
Spiritual Authenticity: Demonstrates willingness to learn from others, especially locals. Shows cultural humility as a lifestyle. Has demonstrated a lifestyle of surrendering rights.
Personal Spiritual Disciplines: Has continued and cultivated a lifestyle of prayer, time in God’s Word, obedience, fasting, accountability, hard work and rest, abiding in Christ, and personal transparency in target culture. Has learned to engage in spiritual warfare.
Perseverance: Has demonstrated perseverance in difficult circumstances. Displays a dogged tenacity to do the right things to complete the task, pressing through obstacles. Has counted cost of personal risk. Has a long-term commitment to God’s calling.
Personal Holiness: Has a lifestyle free from addiction. Lives in moderation in all things. Is aware of not being a stumbling block for others.
Personal Wholeness: Continues to be in a healthy place working through personal issues (addiction, depression, self image) and family of origin issues (divorce, trauma, abuse), has a healthy marriage (if applicable), is in a healthy place working through parenting issues. Has been evaluated by sending organization for continued field readiness.
Culture: Willing to adapt to and appreciate host culture.
Engagement and Evangelism: Has extensive practice in engaging lost people, finding potential POPs and sharing the gospel message in a way that intentionally moves the lost towards salvation. Has learned reproducing evangelism tools that can equip locals in the use of these.
Demonstrates the Kingdom: Has learned to cross-culturally pray blessing over people and pray for the sick. Discipleship, Church, and Leadership: Has learned how to make reproducing disciples in target culture and has learned a strategy for church formation and leadership development that can work in the target culture. Demonstrates comfort in allowing Holy Spirit and the Word to lead through locals rather than needing to be the leader.\
Training: Has ability to train the basic DNA of movements and the biblical justification of them using one of the common movement training templates (Transition Points of Movement, DMM, T4T, Four Fields, Zume, etc.). Can train and envision a simple plan and process that gets to reproduction.
Developing Prayer Strategy: Has begun to recruit and incorporate other believing locals and expats into a prayer strategy for the area. Has recruited a number of daily intercessors to cover the work.
Planning and Evaluation: Is engaged in regular rhythms of planning, ruthless evaluation, and adaptation based on the fruit.
Tracking: Has learned to effectively track movement growth in the cultural context and apply learnings to planning and evaluation rhythms.
Presence and Platform: Has developed a strategy to implement that will minimally explain the reason for being in country and at most will give opportunities for engagement and a platform and visa for extended stay in country.
Team Development: Has adapted team life rhythms to interdependent overseas context.
Local Partnering: Is spending majority of time with local partners and the lost and is not overly dependent on expat team. Understands how to build effective partnerships.
Team Contributions: Has identified giftings on the team and has figured out ways for the team members to contribute. Has developed team agreement/ protocol and all team has reviewed and approved it. Networking: Has surveyed the mission work (especially movement related) in the area. Has learned about fruitful evangelism and discipleship processes. Maintains good relationships for partnership.
Security: Has developed contingency plan and emergency protocol document for the team. Understands and implements basic security protocols (social media, internet security, computer security, personal document security).
Leadership Development: Does not need to be “the leader.” Looks to empower, develop, and mentor others.