Church Planting Movement (CPM)

The CPM training that we are offer is a 10 lesson format adaptation of David Watson’s CPM material. Some of the CPM training specifics that are covered in our seminars are the following:

One, Lesson 1 emphasizes that the whole CPM system is not accumulation of theological knowledge, but obedience-based discipleship. The best way to show our love to God is to obey His commands and teachings. The rewards of obedience we find in the Bible are incredible.

Two, Lesson 3 considers Great Commission from CPM point of view. What is emphasized here is the idea of making disciples from first contact when they start to spend time with the Christian person(s), and disciple them to conversion instead of converting them and then trying to disciple them. It is true that the main verb in the Great Commission is “make disciples”, but it also true that it starts with the words “as you go” – in other words from the first contact with the prospect believers.

Three, Lessons 4 and 5 are dedicated to the topic of Person of Peace and how to find him/her. We find this “person of peace” (PoP) concept in Matthew 10 and Luke 10. This “type” of person was the one Jesus said to look for while he was training the disciples. The whole of Matthew 10 suggests that this was to be a paradigm for ministry even after Pentecost (vv.17-18). In fact, we see this pattern also in Acts. In actual experience, around the world today, almost all movements look for this kind of PoP and when God leads this person(s) to a CPM catalyzer, actual movements have begun. In most cases you have smaller but significant numbers of people coming to faith because of the influence of the PoP. So the PoP concept is very key in all this CPM methodology. It appears that it was key in the Bible but we’ve mainly overlooked it.

Four, Another CPM key component is the concept of evangelizing groups and families (oikos) together through a process of “discovery”. Lesson 6 deals with that. The word nations, “ethne” in the Great Commission is plural. We’re supposed to disciple “nations”, not just individuals. This presupposes developing Christ followers of “societies” and not just separate individuals. It also appears that discipleship and conversion was usually a group activity instead of individual. The biblical pattern is people coming to faith in groups. Of about 30 conversion examples in Acts over 25 involve households or groups of people and only three times is it an individual (Saul, Ethiopian eunuch, and Sergio Paulus). Again this is a pattern. Is it there for a reason? We tend to do the opposite and do individual evangelism and individual, one-on-one discipleship… when we do it at all.

That is why one of the purposes of the seminar will be to give the participants the opportunity to experience and rediscover in a fresh way the power of discovery in the context of group study. In this way we permit the Holy Spirit and God through His Word to teach us directly instead thorough mediators. This model of facilitated learning through discovery is especially hard for missionaries and pastors and Bible teachers because we are not used to behind the scenes facilitation of learning. One of the main advantages of this method is the simple reproducibility of it. Anyone can do it with a new group. Yet a mature believer is always “coaching” the group facilitator or PoP. Part of the seminar is explaining how a DBS works and how the questions it includes contain the DNA of a healthy church.

These principles are all biblical. Of course the process of “discovery” is more of a teaching technique or method. The purpose of teaching the Bible is for people to learn and obey and be transformed. So the question that arises is, “What is more effective?  A 45 minutes sermon, or bible study where the pastor or teacher does all the work and also gives possible applications and the listeners forget before they leave the meeting? Or is it better for each person to learn the meaning of the text together, and talk about it together, and figure out how to obey it, and then to share it with people right away in natural ways?” Which is more like the “priesthood of all believers”, and fulfillment of the intent of Ephesians 4:11-12?

Five, Lesson 7 is about the role of prayer and Holy Spirit in CPM. In CPM the role of prayer is raised to a much higher level. Where there are movements of new churches and disciples there are also large amount of people and time devoted to prayer and fasting.

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