Church Planting Movement

Posted: April 1, 2009 by npulpit in Topical Question
Tags: , , , , ,

Credit to Brian for this new question; should be a good discussion:

I want to know if you guys have had any contact with the idea of “church planting movements.”

If not, you can go to this web-link and listen to the 4 videos about it. They are called “CPM Awareness – Parts 1-4″

If you have seen these, what do you think about them? Is it what the Bible teaches about spreading the gospel? Is there anything missing in the model?

  1. Brian King says:

    I will start this off I guess, since I have watched the first 3 of 4.

    At first I was very skeptical for a couple of reasons. YES, the guy is denominational. So he definitely has some WRONG approaches to scripture which you will notice. But see if you can watch it and look for what TRUTH may actually be in here that the church may not be putting into practice…

    The idea of beginning “a church planting movement” is not what Jesus commissioned His disciples to do, but rather to preach the gospel. So, the name could use some revision, but when you watch the videos, the guy pretty much says the same thing; that we are not called to plant churches, but to plant the gospel. So, point taken… but what’s with the name? Oh well, no big deal though.

    I must confess that something that almost immediately came to my mind was the “Boston movement.” So, just to let you all know who are thinking about watching them, at some point you feel like just dismissing the videos and say “ah, Boston again.” But please don’t. It is not Boston.

    Another thing that made me skeptical was the approach of using Business to get people to listen to the gospel and convert… I am not very sure that this guy is achieving all that he believes that he is… I wonder what the “back-door” attrition rate will be if the business that he was using in the church plant fail? I can imagine it would be a large number.

    Those were some of my skeptical thoughts about it all. However, with that being said, the model is very attractive to me for several other reasons. That might be harvested from the idea and put to use in a “more complete?” model.

    One thing that I thought was DEAD-ON accurate was his statement that buildings kill church planting.

    He also makes a statement that I wonder if you guys are encountering in your works with the church; that “paid evangelists” are by and large INEFFECTIVE at reaching the masses of lost people. I have felt this pressure here quite a bit. I am beginning to believe more and more that being paid to preach the gospel in this country is a hindrance to the gospel and a stumbling block to the lost.

    I have tried to get a relationship with my neighbors, and I was getting to know them pretty well, but AS SOON as he found out what “my profession” was… he essentially cut off our relationship and hasn’t talked to me since. He is definitely an “unchurched” man with tattoos and piercings, but when he believed that I actually cared about him and his family he talked to and listened to me! … that is right up until he found out that I was paid by the church.

    I wonder if I was “tent-making” here if I would be able to reach more souls? Is my being paid by the church hindering the spread of the gospel?

    This guy says yes. And statistically, we know that he is right. The gospel spreads best through the hands of those who are NOT paid to do it, AT LEAST in this culture, and at this time.

    Okay, this is all I will comment for now. I strongly recommend you guys watch it and comment too!! I need some iron!

  2. cthoward says:


    As far as being paid to preach goes….I sympathize with your concerns, but I have had many opposite experiences. The fact that preaching is my profession has opened many doors that probably would not have been open otherwise. When people find out I am a preacher they are suddenly more open to talking about spiritual things. Yes, there are some obstacles to overcome because we are viewed differently, but I see many advantages as well.

    But, maybe the problem with paid preachers is that despite our best efforts and intentions people still see us as the ones hired to do the evangelizing. But, unless all of the leadership and much of the membership is involved in evangelizing the local church will not be effective. Tom Rainer’s Surprising Insights from the Unchurched gives a picture of this by showing statics that indicate that most Christians come to the church through family and friends, but stay because of the preaching and teaching. Everyone doing their part gets the job done. To me, the obvious answer to the evanglism problem is to establish a plan to get the congregation as a whole evangelizing….and I believe a church-planting plan is a viable one.

    I have only looked into the CPM links you provided a little, so I am not ready to comment on their methodology yet………but I have already been convinced for some time that planting churches should be the ultimate goal of evangelism. And much of my reasoning for this comes from the tragedy of the mega-churches that draw numbers but lack community……they have to create small groups and other community-building programs to solve the problem. That should tell us something….in their efforts to grow larger they have to go smaller. But, that is essentially what church planting is about.

    Thanks for the question, Brian. Maybe you’ll kick-start the blog for us, again. Nick and I have been lax in adding new content and getting the word out, but we’ll see if we can get some discussion going again.

  3. Nick Fowler says:

    Finally made it through all the videos. He seemed to break it down into two sections: Counter-intuitive practices and Activities that must go on.
    Counter-Intuitive practices:
    1. Focus on the few to win many.
    2. Share only when and where people are ready to hear.
    3. A new, inexperienced insider is more effective than a highly trained experienced outsider.
    4. Obedience is more important than knowledge.
    5. Disciple to conversion. Do not convert to make disciples.
    6. Prepare to spend 2-3 years in this process, but expect miraculous expansion.
    7. The best time for a church to plant a new church is when it’s new.
    8. Church buildings will kill a church planting movement
    9. Paid local leaders will kill a church planting movement.
    10. No personal evangelism (in the door to door sense)
    11. No mass evangelism (in the Billy Graham sense)
    12. Expect the hardest paces to give the greatest results.
    13. Small, for profit projects often lead to greater results than charity and goodwill.
    14. Find the person in the community who God has prepared to listen to His gospel. Then, do not convert anybody, but instead, facilitate others to do it.
    15. Figure out the felt need.

    Must Haves:
    1. Prayer: 3 hours a day personally/ 3 hours a day group/ 1 day a week in fasting and prayer
    2. Scripture is the foundational source of everything.
    3. Aim for households and families, not individuals.
    4. make disciples of Jesus, not converts to religion – Stop thinking about doctrine and start thinking about the kingdom.
    5. Teach obedience to the word, not doctrine.
    6. Ministry (access ministry) meet the needs of the community and doors will open.
    7. Be an intentional planner.
    8. Find the Person of Peace and equip them to reach their community.
    9. Engage in appropriate evangelism
    10. Be intentional in church formation.
    11. A church isn’t a church unless it’s making other churches.
    12. It must be reproducible, and must be reproduced.
    13. Scripture is the only authority (haven’t I already written this one)
    14. Doctrine will come after the word of God
    15. There will be persecution.
    16. The role of the church planter is to Model, Equip, Watch, and Leave.
    17. The church must be self-supporting.
    18. Redeem the culture through the word of God.

  4. cthoward says:

    Thanks, Nick, for the outline…….I wanted to get some of his points down but didn’t have the will-power to go back through the videos taking notes. I appreciate you doing all the hard work.


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