Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Ten Common Factors in

Church Planting Movements (CPMs)

Found this booklet from IMB, and then actually got it for free, since it was something they were giving out for free. I read it tonight and then went back to the website and ordered 3 more for free. I'm going to give some of them out to students that are starting to catch this whole mission thing.
Anyway, below are the ten common factors in Church Planting Movements. I've listed them here with the comments from the booklet. And then I've made some comments about what I think in relation to youth culture. Would love to hear any feedback.
1. Worship in the heart language
Missionaries who identify and embrace the heart language of the people they are trying to reach are well positioned to stimulate a CPM. Nothing revelas a people group’s worldview as much as an intimate knowledge of their heart language. Missionaries who choose to work through a trade language begin their ministry with a curtain between themselves and the hearts of the people they are seeking to reach.

The language that students worship in today is so different from adults. Adults usually think its too loud. (Haha) Really though, it does have its own kind of language, texture, feel.
2. Evangelism has communal implications
Unlike the predominant pattern in the West with its emphasis on individualism and personal commitment, CPMs typically rely on a much stronger family and social connection. Missionaries in CPMs have recognized this and urged new believers to follow the web of their own relationships to draw new believers into the new community of faith.

Interesting to think of this in light of the relationships that youth have with each other.

3. Rapid incorporation of new converts into the life of ministry of the church.
In most CPMs, baptism is not delayed by length discipleship requirements. On the contrary, discipleship typically precedes conversion and continues indefinitely. Even when baptisms are delayed, new believers are expected to become witnesses immediately; these new discipleships immiedately become disciplers of others and even church planters. One elderly man who came to Christ in a CPM in India planted 42 churches in his first year as a believer.

We are not good at this, whether it is with adults or students.
4. Passion and fearlessness
CPMs are characterized by passion and a sense of urgency that attests to the importance of salvation and the necessity of conversion. A spirit of timidity or fear quences a CPM.

So often, the students I meet are way more fearless than I am.

5. A price to pay to become a Christian
CPMs often emerge in difficult settings where conversion to the gospel of Jesus Christ is not a popular or socially advantageous thing to do. In many cases, conversion leads to severe persecution or even death.

Just like #5.
6. Perceived leadership crisis or spiritual vacuum in society.
The removal of long-held symbols of stability and security prompts individuals to reconsider matters of eternal significance.

I thought we had something with 9-11. But now it seems not. In either case, you see ripples of this with tragedy, like Beslan, 9-11, or Columbine.
7. On-the-job training for church leadership.
Typically include a series of short-term training modules that do not impede the primary tasks of evangelism, church planting and pastoral leadership. Missionaries also attest to the importance of ongoing leadership training.

8. Leadership authority is decentralized.
It is important that every cell or house leader has all the authority required to do whatever needs to be done in terms of evangelism, ministry and new church planting without seeking approval from a church hierarchy.

Interesting idea. I know the students I rub shoulders with typically have a very high rate of initiative, it's hard to hold them back. That kind of energy needs to be channeled the right way, and then, get out of the way.
9. Outsiders keep a low profile.
Missionaries who have been involved in CPMs point to the importance of keeping a low personal profile as they seek to initiate and nurture the movement. Rather than waiting for new believers to prove themselves worthy of leadership, missionaries begin by drawing new believers into leadership roles through participative Bible studies and mentoring pastors from behind the scenes.

I like this idea too. It really points back to the concept of indigenous. The more and more that I think about it, it's a really good measure of health of our ministries. It negates that whole rock star youth pastor thing.
10. Missionaries suffer.
Students of CPMs suggest that the affliction may be related to a higher spiritual price required for rolling back the darkness.

Just like the excluded middle. What would happen if we change the worldview of a whole generation of students? What if the generation of students we are building have an advantage when it comes to spiritual warfare because they have been energized by a worldview that takes into consideration these kinds of ideas?

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