What follows is an edited and slightly updated version (minor changes) of Manuel's original paper entitled, "The Missing T"
Today almost 10 years after New Directions, we now have the tools, the clinics, the models, the training and the resources to help us plant churches. However we have seen very few CPMs or anything that would remotely resemble a CPM. Why is this so? We asked to be trained and to be given the tools to accomplish the task but in all honesty we must admit that it is happening only in a few places and not as we would hope that it be taking place. Permit me to give a couple of reasons for believing this is such.
1) We have become excellent church planners! Not church planTers but rather church planNers! There in lies what I call "The Missing T." We have missed the target. We are now developing meticulous Master Plans, wonderful World Views, super Segmentations of our people groups BUT still we see little result of all this efforts. This is not to be negative but hopefully to help us all get back on the right tract that New Directions intended for us to be on. It was not to be experts in the theories of church planting but to be actual church planters.
2) We are reading books on the subject by people that have never planted a church but have great ideas on how it should be done and being given seminars on the subject by folks that have great intentions and are expert didactic presenters but have never known the joys and sorrows of church planting. They present to us what others have written and lived not from actual experiences.
Our call is to be the planters not only the planners...we must come away from our computers and the printed pages we are submerged in to go into the world and DO IT! We share our plans with each other and are amazed at how well they are presented and prepared. We seem to work to see who has the best plan of attack for starting new works in a certain area. We have the right words, the tools and the training yet the bottom line has not changed much since 1997. After 10 years it is time for things to be happening...
This is a call back to why New Directions was instituted, not to scare people off the field but to usher more peoples off the fields into the Kingdom...All the training and tools in the world will not replace us going out and doing what we have learned to do. We can not teach others to do what we have not done ourselves...We do not teach people how to plant churches, we plant churches while training people...We must learn together with the church planters how to start the new works not teach them from a program that was taught to us. Nothing will prepare you to train church planters like planting itself and not from planning to plant churches.
--from "The Missing T" by Manuel Sosa, as shared on the "Church Planting