Big Picture Strategies
Behind every CPM are intentional methods and strategies gleaned from scripture. These strategies fall into 5 primary categories: Entry, Gospel, Discipleship, Church Formation, and Leadership Development. How these strategies interact and work together to further Church Planting is The Big Picture.
This article has an accompanying PowerPoint that you can access here.
Few words are more overused, misused and abused than “strategy.” Who would dare submit a budget or funding proposal without the word ‘strategic’ liberally sprinkled throughout?
But what does strategy really mean? How can we know if we are truly strategic?
Lakota wisdom says, 'When you find yourself riding a dead horse...dismount.'
Etymology can shed some light. Strategy derives from the Greek word stratagein, which is comprised of two words: stratos and agein. Stratos means ‘a line.’ From it, we get our modern word stratification and stratosphere. Agein is a verb meaning ‘to lead.’ From agein we get our modern words synagogue (lead together) and demogogue (lead the people). Combining stratos and agein produces the compound idea of ‘leading into a line,’ think here of a battle formation; or simply the word ‘alignment.’
Stratagein and today’s ‘strategy’ conveys the idea of aligning or leading our resources in such a way as to accomplish a goal or execute a victory. Strategein was used in military contexts to refer to the battle plan that the generals would use to align their men, horses, weapons, time, and allies to win the victory. Resources of any kind that are not aligned to win the victory are non-strategic.
No one knows for certain who first coined this expression, but it is often associated with Albert Einstein: If you keep doing what you’ve been doing, you’ll keep getting what you’ve been getting. Applying it to your own situation: If what you’ve been doing isn’t accomplishing your desired vision, then maybe it’s time for a change.
In Habakkuk 1:5, God said to his people: “Look to the nations, watch and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your day that you would not believe even if you were told.”
More than 2,000 years ago, God was already instructing us to look to the nations – the peoples of the earth – which would be the arena in which he would do something so amazing that his own people would struggle to believe it.
God is doing mighty works of salvation among the peoples of the earth today. Let’s take a quick walk around the world to see what God is doing as he spreads his glory, the intimate, saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, around the globe.
A Church Planting Movement is a rapid multiplication of indigenous churches planting churches that sweeps through a people group or population segment. There’s a lot more we could add, but this captures the essence.
Rather than prescribing what could or should happen, this definition describes what is happening in Church Planting Movements. Throughout this website we will stick to what God is actually doing...
Our tendency as church planters is typically to jump in, get to work, and make it happen. While this hardworking attitude is commendable, using tools developed by others to plant churches without having a solid grasp of why, when, and how the tool should be used is like chasing after fads. This can leave a church planter blowing about by the winds of the latest models and schemes, jumping from one CPM practice to another, and unable to finish the task in their place of calling. Understanding the big picture of when, where, why, and how to use a church planting tool can help save us from frustration and disappointment. At the root of every task must be an underlying understanding of the fundamentals of church planting, as well as, an intentionality of purpose in all aspects of the church planting plan. Failure to be intentional in even one part of the CPM plan may ultimately derail the CPM plan and greatly diminish the results. So what is the big picture? What sort of underlying principles should be at the presuppositional roots of our church planting framework? What purpose and goals should guide our church planting plans? The answer to these questions is found in Scripture, and it is, therefore, to Scripture that we now turn our attention.