Recently, a year after writing the post, I received yet another comment from "Uncle" an IMB missionary serving in East Asia. What was particularly interesting to me is that "Uncle" is personally involved in what has been classified as a "Church Planting Movement". CPM is what all of us M's out there are praying for and longing to see happen in our midst.
"Uncle's" comments about CPM brings the subject back to center stage and revisits some of the issues that have made CPM a highly debated subject in many quarters. I definitely think it is worthy of our attention (especially for M's and church planters) and so I am reprinting his comments with the hope of rekindling what I believe is one of the most relevant church planting subjects out there.
"Uncle" asks, "Why not CPM?"
Hello, I must say that I just found your blog on CPM (is this thread really a year old?) …read it from top to bottom and found it interesting. I am an IMB M in EA with a city focus and we have been classified as a CPM by the current standards.QUESTIONS: What are your thoughts, comments on CPM? Can it be done in your context? Why or why not? What is different about "Uncle's" context from your own? Does our context make a difference whether or not we should see CPM? Does "Uncle" serve a different Lord than you or I? What can we learn from the above comment?
I must tell you that CPM is difficult to define outside of the definition of “churches rapidly reproducing churches”. There are lots of “handles” or “tools” that are taught at the Farm or Ranch …what ever they are calling it now that are solid principles that can help you reach your goal of a CPM.
Maybe unlike some of you I believe that these handles/tools which are what I would call “canned” do indeed provide building blocks by which you can indeed plant churches. I am not negating the role of the HS in this for without the stirring of the hearts of the lost by the HS we would not see salvation occur, therefore no church planting and ultimately no CPM. For those of you who would look at things like T4T, MAWL and others as a “model” and therefore dislike it I am sorry that you feel that way. I also know that as you will as I did when you attempt to use the material will look at it and wonder how will this simple thing work. But, I can tell you that your being on your knees, your trust in God and the HS as he does his thing will do wonders with your effort and this small tool.
Granted I know that it does not work for everyone that way and we are experiencing mixed results here in different areas of our work as a team, but I think that Clyde Meador, Executive Vice President with the IMB has a very good take on the subject in his article “Left side of the graph”. I know that in our area of work the HS used many years of folks on the “left side” to get us to a point that we got to see huge numbers of people saved. Granted it is never going to be easy and the groups and churches that are started are difficult to manage and growth is messy, but it is worth the effort. The CPM model that we are utilizing that includes T4T is showing huge results out to past the 5th generation of churches.
My word to you is don’t take away what the HS can do with your effort, a small little tool and a willing heart. There is a lot that goes into the effort part that I don’t have room for here, but would be more then willing to go into some of it later if folks are interested? Peace and grace my brothers and sisters.