CPM's often get a bad rap because they seem so unbelievable and are so beyond what most of us ever experience or can even imagine. Maybe it is because CPMs are indeed a "God thing" rather than "our thing." It continues to amaze me how SBC politics and our regional denominational issues get all the attention and how few ever hear (or even seem to care) about the stories of the incredible things GOD is doing in today's world.
For example, check out this abridged story from IMB staff writer Erich Bridges entitled The simple way to turn 30 disciples into 100,000.
EAST ASIA (BP)--The revolution started with 30 doubting farmers.
It was long after dark. Weary from working all day in the fields, they sat in the church -- the smallest of only three churches in a county of nearly 700,000 people -- and listened to "John," a visiting Southern Baptist missionary.
John told them of his vision: at least one church in each of the 200-plus towns and villages in the East Asian county within three years. And they were the seeds God would plant to make it happen. They looked at each other, then stared at the missionary as if he were crazy.
"Everyone here can start by holding a 'family Bible group' in your own home," John said.
"How can we do that?" they asked. "Who will teach?"
"You will be the teacher," John replied.
Frowns. Shaking heads. "But we don't know how."
"I will teach you right now how to do it. It's a very simple way. You have your own story of how you became a Christian. Just write it down on one page."
John asked them to read their "story" aloud five times to themselves, then tell it to each other.
Next, he told them to list everyone they personally knew who didn't follow Christ, starting with relatives and friends. Most could easily think of 50, 60, 100 or more.
"Divide them into groups of five," John said. "Find them in the fields, in the restaurant, at home, anywhere. Bring them to your place and share your story."
He returned two weeks later to see what had happened. Only 11 of the trainees had shared with anyone. He asked them to tell of their experiences to encourage the others. Several had shared with two or three people; one had told 11.
John again challenged the "silent 19" to share with people on their list -- or not to bother coming to the next training session. To the rest, he began teaching a series of simple Bible lessons they in turn could teach -- and train others to teach.
By January 2001 (two months later), 20 small worship groups had sprung up. Four months after that, 327 small groups with 4,000 newly baptized believers were meeting in 17 towns. By the end of the year, more than 12,000 new believers were worshiping God in 908 house churches...
By mid-2003, less than three years after 30 tired farmers gathered to listen to a missionary they suspected was crazy, the church-planting movement had produced more than 9,300 churches -- and more than 104,000 baptized believers.
HOW DID IT HAPPEN?
Prayer (John readily displays the calluses on his knees).
"End vision" -- with the ultimate goal in mind.
Simple, transferable training skills.
Every lost person is a potential convert; every new believer is a disciple to be trained and sent.
John, who once rejoiced over one church start a year, doubted it could happen -- until he saw it with his own eyes.
"Jesus said, 'Go!' He said to teach them to become disciples, not just church members. We train everyone to become trainers. That is the CPM [church-planting movement] way. It is very simple, but it is a good way."
For the entire article click here.
The above isn't fiction, folks, its what is really happening out in God's world today. Let's get our eyes off ourselves, our theories, methods, issues, versions of 'conservatism', "isms" in general, denominational politics and onto Him who wills that "ALL men be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth."
UPDATE: The last report I heard from this particular CPM reported 17,000 baptisms during the month of January alone, along with 6000 new house churches planted. Isn't it time we take a second look at what we are doing and align oursleves with what God is doing today?