One of the areas I’m exploring at the moment is the difference (if there is one) between a church planting movement (CPM) and a disciple making movement (DMM). My impression is that they both result in multiplying churches, but there are subtle differences in how they come about. Many of those involved in CPMs now seem to be emphasizing DMMs.
The CPMs I’m most familiar with are in India. They use Luke 10 principles to find a person of peace and start a church in their home. For example, a few years ago, I met with two middle-aged housewives, one of whom was responsible at that point for having started 2000 churches and the other 6000 churches. The movement they are part of has seen 750,000 baptisms each year for the past several years.
In David Garrison’s book, Church Planting Movements, How God Is Redeeming a Lost World, he defines a CPM:
A CPM is a rapid and multiplicative increase of indigenous churches planting churches within a given people group or population segment.
Three key points to note:
- It’s rapid–things happen quickly and appear out of control.
- It’s multiplicative–not growth by addition.
- It’s indigenous–the church planting doesn’t occur because outsiders come in (although they may be catalytic in the early stages) but because local, indigenous people are starting churches.
There are CPMs all around the world, but none that have been labeled as such here in the States. Church Multiplication Associates led by Neil Cole is probably the closest in this country. CMA has trained more than 45,000 people around the world since its inception.
Church Planting Movements are also characterized by things such as intense prayer and abundant evangelism, small groups usually meeting in homes, Bible study and discipleship. The churches themselves plant other churches.
Have any of you studied these areas? What have you found?