If you Googled "CPM" in hopes of reading something about Church Planting Movements, you've clicked onto the right place. However, for us, CPM stands for Capacitar Para Multiplicar (Train for Multiplying). It is our conviction that as we train people to multiply themselves, we will eventually see a Church Planting Movement.
Nothing really new about this concept. Many have been saying these things for years, but there is a lot of difference in talking about these kinds of principles and actually doing them.
One of the most common questions we are asked is how many churches have we planted? For me, that is not the right question. Having lots of churches used to be our goal.
In our early years of church planting in Guayaquil we were meticulous about keeping track of church starts. On any given day we could tell you the exact number (14-36-75-112 etc.) But to our dismay many of these fell by the wayside. What was happening? They had not been instilled with the DNA of multiplication. We were so thrilled to see churches added to the flock of newly planted churches, that we conveniently overlooked the fact that they weren't multiplying.
Over the past few years we have sought to correct this error. Today we are more interested in reproduction principles, rather than just planting more churches. Paraphrasing Neil Cole, "if you can't reproduce disciples, you will never be able to reproduce churches."
Three key words in our CPM:
missional vs attractional,
movements vs institutions,
empowering vs controlling
String the three ideas together and we are about empowering missional movements.
Missional is us engaging people where they are and making disciples.
Attractional is expecting them to come to us and fit in with our program.
Movements are viral and difficult to control, they flow like water.
Institutions are definable, structured places/programs.
Empowering is everyone engaged in the task of making disciples.
Controlling is about trying to make it happen our way, or take credit for what is happening.
I realize this may be oversimplifying, but we try to keep things simple. We value the power behind these three principles. They help keep us focused on the task without becoming distracted with a lot of other good stuff going on out there.
How does the above play out in our context?
We are continuously training trainers to go out and make disciples. As disciples are made, churches get planted. If we have done our job right with those we train, they are able to pass on the concepts to the next generation of disciples. We aren't looking to control anybody. We aren't even counting any more (or don't make a big deal of it.) What we try to do is empower people to engage in the missional task given by Jesus 2000 years ago. Missional is being the church where the people are, rather than trying to get people to come to institutional churches where a few do what all of us should be doing.
We measure success not by how many churches are being planted, but by how many people are engaged in the missional task of making disciples where they are. It is our conviction that any believer can (and should) be engaged with at least 3 other people, and maybe up to 20 total.
Do we have it all figured out? No.
Do we make mistakes? Way too many.
Are we open to input, advice, suggestions? Definitely.
Are we excited about empowering missional movements? YES.