Discipleship in Church Planting Movements
Church Planting Movements are fundamentally disciple-making movements. Discipleship here is defined as growing in Christlikeness over time. While discipleship begins immediately at conversion, and sometimes even before conversion, it continues for a lifetime: “Beloved, now we are the children of God, and it doth not yet appear what shall be, but we know that when Christ shall appear we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2).
How it is done
The process of growing in Christlikeness does not occur in the same way in every Church Planting Movement, though some commonalities exist.
In Church Planting Movements, discipleship tends to be much more life on life rather than classroom oriented. The 2 Timothy 2:2 principle is widely recited and practiced: “What you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.”
What Are CPM Churches? Part two in a series.
One of the most dynamic Church Planting Movements in the world today has taken place under the watchful eye of its overseer, Dr. Victor Choudhrie. Dr. Choudhrie is a retired septuagenarian oncologist from Madhya Pradesh, India.
In an interview with Dr. Victor Choudhrie conducted in 2003, I tried to arrive at the average size of the thousands of churches in the movement he oversaw.
He responded to me that ten adult members were the optimal size for a CPM church.
“You mean the average church size?” I asked.
“No,” he said, “the optimal church size.”
What's Good About Good News?
Christians know the answer to this question. The good news is eternal salvation in Jesus Christ. But lost people don’t always get it. Many, perhaps most, of them don’t even understand the question. If they did they would jump at the simple offer of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.
So how do people who don’t understand their own need for salvation find the good news of Jesus Christ? A good place to start is where they are.
Are You Connected?
The contrast could not have been more vivid.
Training a team of mission leaders several years ago in Europe, one of them made an astute observation. “David,” he said, “it’s 11 a.m. I bet if we
telephoned everyone of our missionaries right now, we would find them at home.” His point was clear: These missionaries had no direct connection with the lost people in their community.
Look What God Is Doing!
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.