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.
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.
In February 2009 a meeting was held of several urban church planting practitioners from nine urban centers ranging in population from three million to twenty-five million. The selection criterion for these cities was that more than one hundred churches had been planted to at least the third generation.
The goal was to learn how these practitioners are getting to CPMs in the cities....
The goal was to learn about how these practitioners are getting to CPMs in the cities, as well as to help them each move forward. They were trying to determine what common significant factors were present in these cities and the lives of the practitioners where God is clearly at work in an extra-ordinary way. The prevailing common factors included abundant and fervent prayer; close personal relationships between the strategy coordinator and the local partner; one or more significant local partners who champion the vision and work; abundant evangelism; segmentation of the city for strategic targeting; consistent tools and methodology for training that facilitate generational growth; and a passionate work ethic on the part of the strategy coordinator and local partners.