Reflections on a Meeting

I was browsing through my journal this morning and came upon this entry from a visit with one of the Summit Fellowships a couple of years ago. It reflects something of what happens when a group sustains its life together.

~~~

I was overwhelmed with tenderness toward the children. As the adults sang a song, the kids quietly interacted. Naomi admiring Selah’s ear rings; Graelon and Justice talking; Asa and another looking at a book. The scene was one of quiet and contentment. Safety. The children, in their innocence are surrounded by music and their parents — and me watching. Looking from face to face, capturing for an instant in each face the warmth and sweetness of childhood. 

100 places among 10

If you’ve known me for very long, you’ve probably heard me say something like, “If Jesus has promised to be in the midst of as few as two or three, then I believe it’s better for Jesus to be in a 100 places among 10 than only one place among a 1000.” My point is this: if we are serious about introducing the world to our Lord, we have to take His incarnational message to it. We need to plant communities of disciples; people among whom Jesus has come to dwell — a church planting movement that leaves behind it disciple-making communities. To do that, we have to be mobile, lithe and limber. We can’t be burdened by property and payrolls. Shane Claiborne speaks to that idea in an interview:

Small Seeds, Real Places, and the Gospel from Parish Collective on Vimeo.

What’s a CPM?

DNA Characteristics of a Church Planting Movement

Missiologist David Garrison defines a Church Planting Movement as “a rapid and multiplicative increase of indigenous churches-planting-churches within a given people group or population segment.”

God

  • God is the initiator of CPMs – they are His work and for His Glory (Habakkuk 2:14; Ephesians 3:20-21)
  • The Holy Spirit is the Author, Equipper, and Empowerer of CPMs (Acts 1:8; 10:38; Romans 15:18-20)
  • Scripture is the foundation of all beliefs and practices (2 Tim 3:16-17; guiding all changes in tradition)

Vision

  • God gives vision for reaching an UPG/city/tribe/nation to a person/team (Mt 28:18-20; Luke 10:1-12; Acts 19:10)    5)   Vision is shared and co-laborers are raised up (initially outsiders, but they then help those inside the movement reproduce vision casting)

Prayer

  • Intimacy with God & hearing the Holy Spirit’s voice in prayer is primary (John 10:27; Act 1:14; 2:42; Eph 6:18)
  • Desperate, continual, and specific intercession & fasting for the lost in the harvest is foundational (Luke 10:2)
  • Pray for Kingdom signs and wonders to open the door for the Gospel of King Jesus (Luke 10:9)
  • Doing spiritual warfare praying is essential (Ephesians 6:10-20; both personal & team)
  • Mobilizing intercessors and prayer walkers is critical

Evangelism

  • Holy Spirit-led relationships with the lost in the harvest create access for evangelism (Luke 10:5-8)
  • Use access to find and cultivate “Persons of Peace” (Mt 10:1-16; Mk 6:7-13; Luke 9:1-6; Luke 10:1-12)
  • Continually share Jesus in both truth and power (Luke 10:9; “The Kingdom of God is near” &“Heal the sick”)
  • Use culturally-appropriate evangelism (1 Cor 9:19-23)
  • Evangelism in Oikos (households and relational networks) is your main focus (Luke 10:5-8)

Discipleship

  • Disciple lost people/oikos’ to commitment with Christ (Matthew 28:19; John 6:43-47)
  • Teach them to love Jesus and obey His commands (Deut 6:4-9; Matthew 28:20; John 14:15)
  • Train all new converts to begin reaching their oikos and reproducing immediately (Mt 28:19-20; Lk 10:5-12)
  • Persecution is normal and prepared for (Luke 21:12-19; John 15:20; 2 Timothy 3:12)

Leaders

  • Outside leaders Model, Assist, Watch, Leave (M.A.W.L.; reproducible by those inside the movement)
  • Inside leaders lead everything
  •  Equip & empower all the saints to do the ministry through on-the-job training (Eph 4:11-13; Phil 4:9)
  • Local leaders are self-supporting (outside funds that might create dependency are avoided)
  • Reproducing multiplying generations of new leaders is critical – it should be your primary focus!
  • (2 Tim 2:2; a CPM is really a leadership training & multiplication movement)

Churches

  • Churches are discipled oikos’ that become obeying congregations (usually meeting in homes or wherever is safe and convenient)
  •  Scripture, the Holy Spirit, and good Christian modeling are all they need
  • Gatherings: Often small & relational, simple, participatory, and led by the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:42; 1 Cor. 14:26)
  • Begin multiplying new generations of disciples, leaders, groups, and churches immediately (2 Timothy 2:2)
  • Develop vision for the harvest and reach out beyond culture/group (Mt 28:18-10; Luke 10:1-2; Acts 19:10)
  • Discern how to redeem local culture

Plan & Evaluate

  • Prayerfully prepare a plan of “What God will do” for the End Vision (Acts 19:10; Romans 15:18-19)
  • Be very honest in evaluating both strengths and weaknesses and make all necessary changes
  • Be accountable to God and each other

Resources (Books / Websites)

Garrison, David. Church Planting Movements.  /  www.churchplantingmovements.com

Patterson, George. Church Multiplication Guide.  / www.mentorandmultiply.com

Sergeant, Curtis. “First Steps” Training. /  www.e3partners.org

Shank, Nathan. “Four Fields of Kingdom Growth” Manual. /  www.churchplantingmovements.com

T4T: A Discipleship Re-Revolution. /  www.t4tonline.org

Sutter, Kevin. Keys to Church Planting Movements. / www.CPCoaches.com

Watson, David. “Discovery Bible Studies.” /  www.cpmtr.org

Building community in Jesus

%d bloggers like this: