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What is a church planting movement?
David Garrison, in his classic "Church Planting Movements" defines a CPM as a "rapid multiplication of indigenous churches planting churches that sweeps through a people group or population segment..." There is a whole lot more to it than that, but this gives a general idea of what it is we are talking about.
It is my understanding there are some 40+ confirmed CPMs going on in various part of the world today. In the book Garrison identifies ten common elements found in every CPM taking place around the world.
1-Extraordinary Prayer (we are talking about a lot of serious praying going on)
2-Abundant Evangelism (the idea of sow abundantly=reap abundantly; sow sparsely=reap sparsely)
3-Intentional Church Planting (not just evangelism, but planting new churches with the new converts, not trying to get them into existing churches)
4-Authority of God's Word (not only in doctrine, but in church practice)
5-Local Leadership (locals "call the shots" not so much the foreign missionaries)
6-Lay Leadership (not seminary trained professional pastors, but everyday lay people in leadership positions)
7-House Churches (no church buildings, instead many small home-based churches averaging 10-20 per house)
8-Churches Planting Churches (the idea of multiplying new groups rather than adding numbers to existing groups)
9-Rapid Reproduction (they multiply very quickly and in short time)
10-Healthy Churches (rapid reproduction in no way means lower quality, deficent teaching, or unhealthy church life)
In our case here in Ecuador we do not have a CPM--yet! While all ten elements can be found in our church planting efforts, we are weak in most of the areas that are crucial to seeing a CPM. I feel we are weakest in elements #1,3,8,9.
Areas that we are making good progress would be 2,4,5,6,7,10. If I had to label what we are observing in Guayas province it would be an "emerging CPM". We are doing a lot of the right things, but not consistently enough to see a true CPM in our midst. Our goal is to see 500,000 people come into the Kingdom in the next five years. Will you pray with us to this end? Thanks!