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.

Tokyo 2010 and CPMs

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Between May 11 and 14 some 1500 mission leaders and representatives from nearly every continent (Antarctica excepted) gathered in Tokyo, Japan to commemorate the centennial of the 1910 Edinburgh World Missionary Conference. The meeting was striking for several reasons:

Purposeful Church Planting - Part III

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If you have not read Part I or II yet, it is recommended you do so prior to reading this article.  Click here to go to Part I of this series or here to go to Part II of this series.

While there has been some positive correction in the church, we still need to be more intentional about God’s glory.  Our churches must be actively and intentionally making God’s presence manifest throughout the world.  When God’s glory is our litmus test, we will see the following healthy church characteristics:

Purposeful Church Planting - Part II

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If you have not read Part I yet, it is recommended you do so prior to reading this article.Click here to go to Part I of this series.

Now that we have a little better understanding of the glory of God, let’s begin to tie it back to the church planting task.  As we’ve discussed previously, many things bring glory to God, including the creation itself.  Nothing, however, brings glory to God as much as expanding His Kingdom and growing His church throughout the entire earth, assuming, of course, it’s done His way.

Often, when Jesus spoke about the Kingdom of God and gave instructions as to its growth, He spoke using imagery and stories common to all humanity, and in most cases, the Kingdom was tied to elements of agriculture.  One such example can be found in Mark 4:30-32, where Jesus paints a picture of the Kingdom of God as a mustard seed, though smaller than all the seeds that are upon the soil, when sown, it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and forms large branches; so that the birds of the air can nest under its shade.  Throughout Scripture we find the principle of God turning something that starts small into something large resulting in glory to God.

Choosing the Best Strategy

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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.