This is an article from the March-April 2011 issue: Church Planting Movements

Rapidly Multiplying Churches

Are We Willing to Change to See them Happen?

Rapidly Multiplying Churches

If I asked you, “Should every person on earth have the opportunity to understand the gospel and follow Jesus regardless of his language, culture and location?” You would likely say “Of course, but how? We have never been able to accomplish such a huge task thus far.”  But should that stop us? The worthiness of a task is what counts, not its difficulty.

In order to provide every person with access to the gospel, we would need to have enough churches within every people group so that each person would have access to a fellowship of Jesus followers. Is it possible to see the kind of rapid multiplication of communities of faith within every people that would make it possible for every person to have access to the gospel? There is growing evidence that it is.

This kind of rapid multiplication of believers and churches has actually been happening in dozens of places all over the world within every major sphere of unreached peoples: Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Chinese, Tribal, etc. They have been referred to as Church Planting Movements or CPMs. So why don’t we see this happening in more places, both here in the West where the church has stagnated and among unreached peoples where the gospel has not yet taken hold? Are these Church Planting Movements an aberration within God’s sovereignty, like a storm that suddenly rolls through and is gone? Or is there something we can do to cooperate with God’s desire that all should come to a knowledge of the Truth? Can we learn from what God has been doing in these various peoples around the world so we can see more of these Church Planting Movements take place, perhaps even within every people? That is what this issue of MF is all about.

For the last couple decades David Garrison and his colleagues at the Southern Baptist International Mission Board have been studying these amazing movements to see what we can learn from them and then apply the lessons learned to the many peoples that still need a church planting breakthrough. While there are many common elements that are present in all CPMs that can be applied in various contexts, we must be careful to realize that every situation is different and many factors can affect the results. In every situation we must depend on God’s Spirit to work through the messiness of human relationships. But perhaps what has been learned from studying CPMs can help us all increase the likelihood of CPMs taking place and avoid the unnecessary mistakes that have kept us from making greater progress in reaching all peoples.

While many organizations have been involved in CPMs, no organization has studied CPMs and what makes them tick as thoroughly as the Southern Baptists. We have enlisted their help with this issue so that the entire Body of Christ can benefit from their decades of intense study and analysis of these incredible movements of God.

Some have questioned the numbers for CPMs reported in this issue as “too good to be true.” Accurate statistics on CPMs are exceedingly difficult to ascertain since by their nature these movements have an indigenous life of their own beyond the gaze of outsiders. We applaud the great pains taken by the IMB to provide accurate numbers and reduce the risk of over-reporting. (see p.14) At the same time, the overall mission community needs to join with the IMB in wrestling with the assessment and reporting process for these emerging movements. Until substantial studies prove otherwise the numbers presented here by the IMB, represent the best information available at this time.

Further research work is needed in the area of Church Planting Movements, and the Southern Baptists are looking for greater collaboration among agencies of many Evangelical backgrounds. They invite the participation of those ministry leaders that want to understand CPM principles and apply them for the greater benefit of the wider Body of Christ. You may contact David Garrison through his website at http://www.ChurchPlantingMovements.com for more information on how you can be involved.

Are We Willing to Change?

It is one thing to learn the principles and practices of ministry that God is using to bring people to himself in large numbers with rapidly multiplying churches. It is another thing to make the necessary changes that will make CPMs possible. Perhaps much of the Church and its mission is locked into models of ministry and ways of thinking that prevent CPMs from taking place.

B.D.B. Moses illustrates this point in his article on page 19, “Sometimes existing Christian leaders negatively impact the movement.... Pastors who want to see growth in their own congregations often resist forming new house churches. These traditional church leaders see church buildings as essential, and even new believers may share this view, thus stunting the growth of the CPM.”

A favorite saying of CPM trainers is that: “You Will Keep Getting What You Have Been Getting If You Keep Doing What You Have Been Doing.” In order to get better results, we have to open ourselves up to changing the way we have always done things. This must be the way we approach every aspect of ministry, not just CPMs.

In the West especially, we seldom see churches planting other churches. Most churches want to grow bigger where they are and seldom think about rapid-multiplication church planting.

If We Continue to Insist...

If we continue to insist that we must have a church building in order to have a church, then we will not see CPMs  multiply and grow. We must understand that a church is people, not brick and mortar. A home or apartment or a tree with shade can house a church, too. If we have to wait to build a special church building in order to establish a new church, we will never be able to move fast enough to provide access to the gospel for every person, tribe and tongue.

If we continue to insist that every church be led by professional, seminary-trained, full-time clergy, then we will never have enough pastors to lead the millions of new churches that are needed. We must release and equip all believers for the work of the ministry and empower them to start and lead new churches. It is the only way to fully disciple each people group.

If we continue to insist on supporting emerging movements with foreign funding, then we have employed the surest way to sap them of their indigenous momentum and destroy any hopes of a Church Planting Movement. The best role of the missionary—whether Western or non-Western—is that of a catalyst, a model and initiator for a multiplying movement that will continue long after he or she has returned home.

If we continue to violate every aspect of ministry that has characterized CPMs over the last two decades of research and study, then we should not be surprised when we do not see Church Planting Movements developing in our midst. It is for us to decide how much we want the Church to grow and expand and how much we are willing to give up in order to see it happen.

What Is It Going To Take?

Ten years ago Wycliffe Bible Translators realized that at the current rate that they were translating Scripture, it would take over 150 years for them to begin a translation project in all of the language groups that needed a translation. They decided that this was not acceptable. They went about the task of evaluating everything they did in order to see how they could get a translation project started within every people that needed one by 2025. They revolutionized their processes, procedures and relationships with other translation organizations all over the world. They are now on target to reach their goal by 2038, cutting 112 years off their timetable.

Likewise, the Church as a whole needs to become dissatisfied with our current rate of progress and embark on a similar process of evaluation to see how we can hasten the day when every person from every tribe and tongue has access to the gospel. The study and evaluation of CPM strategies and other best practices in missionary outreach is part of that process of determining what it is going to take to get the job done. We will then need the courage and commitment to implement the needed changes to reach every people. The glory of God in all the Earth is worthy of the sacrifices we will have to make.

Late-Breaking News

  • More FREE books, 120 of 4 titles related to CPMs. Get them before the book you want is gone: March Promo.
  • Bible scholar responds to Christianity Today article on Muslim-focused Bible  translations.

Comments

In Asia, the Philippines, I was able to reach one island of one million people in fifteen years.  It was simple, the procedure that is, I prayed the demons out of villages. And then there was a harvest. 

The I made disciples and multiplied the prayer meetings out. Prayer at 3am each morning and all night prayer Friday nights, sun down to sun up. 

It grew to a group of 45 intercessors, 11 made a committment to fast 40 days with just water. 

Let us fight the war to win.

Michael Bailey

This current issue, and the prior two, have been tops! (Wouldn’t it have been interesting to reverse them, first being amazed at the multitudes coming to Christ through CPM’s, then learning how disciples who make disciples who make disciples are the key, then realizing the stark reality of what Jesus really expects of a disciple.)

What does the ideal, mature disciplier of disciples look like? Who is his disciplier? Oh, I remember, “he who is greatest is servant of all” – he is discipled by the least in the kingdom – the same ones he is discipling. Right?

For me it is a mystery.  The Kingdom that is.  Committment unto the death. Forsake all. and get a cross.  Then you have a foot in the kingdom. Power is to be expected and not the power of reason. it is the power to raise the dead. 

Fearless is in there somewhere.  For it is unto the ta ethnic or all ethnic groups.  When you get a cross you will need to take a sarcofigus or death to the flesh. And fasting is the fast track but martydom is the ultimate trip. Michael

author

As some have noticed, the latest three issues have focused on what it means to be the Church and disciple makers within the church. If we do not get doing church right then we will never be able to bring the gospel to every person tribe and tongue. The key revelation for me is that it is not just about mission mobilization and sending out more missionaries. For if we simply send more missionaries to spread a broken model of doing church, we really haven’t accomplished anything. We need to send out missionaries who know that the purpose of the church is to make disciples who can make disciples. We must equip and deploy all followers of Jesus to be disciple makers. The latest issue on CPMs makes the point that we can have rapid multiplication of churches and believers when we do equip and release believers to do the work of the ministry.

Since the ministry, is of the Holy Spirit. it seems that we will need to spend our lives in pray so that the evil Spirits will be pushed aside and then there can be a harvest. 

Yes then teaching ablility come in here.
Col. 4:2
Luke 18:1
And a short 40 day fast would really be wonderful tucked away somewhere in here.  Luke 4

I believe it was Jesus who said, Tarry until you are endued with power from on high and then go witness. Luke 24:49
Here is a letter that I received and sent out today. In two months In El Salvador and I do not speak the language, there is seven different groups going and two more started today over the net.  Here is he letter. 
Hello and God bless,

Here is a letter that just came into the office. Seems that God is doing a new thing. Can you feel it?  And two more house church’s was started today. One in on unknown nation and one in Houston.  Just think anyone can do this you do not have to be Bible School graduate.  All that has to happen for one to excel is for the holy Spirit to make a grand appearance.  You can MENTOR over the net.  Jesus said, Í will make you fishers of men¨ and he used the NET´. That may be a lose translation, but it is Biblical.  This lady was beaten up a few days ago and now her grand children are saved, and drawing pictures about Jesus. Sign up to be mentored over the net. I will help.  Just smile and invited Jesus and a few friends over.  You can do it!

I AM SO GLAD WITH YOU I COULD HARDLY SLEEP LAST NIGHT,AND I AM EXITING TO BE PART OF THIS NEW THING GOD IS BUSY DOING IN OUR LIVES WITH THE WEB, BOOK AND HOUSE CHURCH,THAT IS AMAZING (She is from South Africa and I am in El Salvador).

I was introduced to you by Rev Phil Kato of Uganda. It was amazing to getting this contact and i am hoping God shall prevail.

Grace.

I am a faith missionary in el salvador. Came here by GRACE. Romans 5 verses one and two.

Do not speak the language and in three months started seven new groups. Two in South Africa via the net.

In The Philippines I prayed seventy hours per week and out of that came an anointing that is still here today.

About 100% of all that I am paying for is healed. This has opened up many doors.

The goal is very clear. House Churches. Disciples made.  I now have tour Apostolic people that I have found through the Prophetic word. One man took to heart the prophetic word and healed a cancer patient the Doctors said would die. He was 30. Tha tcreated three groups.

Luke 24 verse 49 seems to say it all.

The total summare of the book of Acts is They Prayed and fasted and the Holy Spiirt SAID…...... When you get here you can write a Book of Acts.

If there is a comment that would like to talk my address is .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Remember it si by GRACE. 

Michael Bailey

thank you so much for Mission Frontiers for March /April on church planting movements . i would like to request for the free books on this matter as indicated . May God richly bless you.

my address is

2 boundary road
Northrise , Ndola
Zambia

At the end of this editorial is this note under “Late Breaking News” (bullet #2): 

“Bible scholar responds to Christianity Today article on Muslim-focused Bible translations. See the MF website for more information.”

But I could not locate this specific article.  Can you be more specific?  And would you please email the direct link to this article to my email address?  Thank you.

I’ve updated the article to link directly to that page. Sorry for the trouble.

Hello Rick,
Greetings from Bangladesh!
This is Jipu . I am an Evangelist and doing ministry in Bangladesh since 2003. My dad is an Evangelist and Pastor also.
Bangladesh is a Muslim country . 95% are Muslim, 12 % is Hindu and some Buddhist an Christian’s are less than 1%.So it is a great field for Ministry.
So I would like to invite you to started ministry /Church planting in Bangladesh. Its a great harvest field.
If God spoke to you for our Country, please come help change Bangladesh. 
Thanks-
In His service-
Jipu Barikdar

I haven’t read any mission focused magazine lately as compared to Mission Frontiers! I didn’t even know such a magazine existed. I just saw a copy with one of our mission friends from the USA last week and asked to read it when he offered me his copy. Hope I had read copies before doing our church planting.

I want to convey my thanks and appreciations to your to editors and owner of such a great mission tool.

Can I get copy online freely?

I haven’t read any mission focused magazine lately as compared to Mission Frontiers! I didn’t even know such a magazine existed. I just saw a copy with one of our mission friends from the USA last week and asked to read it when he offered me his copy. Hope I had read copies before doing our church planting.

I want to convey my thanks and appreciations to your to editors and owner of such a great mission tool.

Can I get copy online freely?

Thanks once again!

Jasper

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