On CPMs and DMMs

It seems that the terminology is changing. People now are referring to Disciple Making Movements (DMMs) rather than Church Planting Movements (CPMs).

After my last post on this subject, one where I am just beginning to explore the differences, a few people, who have far more experience (at least of DMMs) than I do, commented. Their comments were so insightful, I decided to post them where more people are likely to read them.

John King: 

Multiple factors have produced this change in terminology. Some suggested it because Jesus directed “make disciples,” while he is the one who builds his church. Churches (communities of faith practicing the “one another” passages) will result when people are discipled to Jesus. Secondarily, the shift happened because CPM terminology was being hijacked by folks who are not seeing rapid, multiplicative and indigenous growth. When terms are used to mean whatever you want them to, they really mean nothing (sort of like the guy shooting the side of his barn and then painting a bull’s eye around where the shot landed).

Intentionally discipling disciple makers forces you to:

  • Use only resources, tactics and strategies that the indigenous people group can readily replicate.
  • Strip away all the catalyst’s cultural “over-hang” and trust the Holy Spirit to guide family/friendship groups to contextualize the gospel as they learn and obey it (since different cultures already have strong, deep views of the context in which spiritual activities transpire and how they are conducted, that will impact the kinds of gatherings they develop and eventually call “church”).
  • Model and train discovery of who God is and how he wants us to live at every level of growth and maturity. Jesus’ discipling of the 12, 72 and 500 was as much through the flow of life as it was what he said. (Here we assume giving people new information will result in transformation. It won’t. On-the-job training, just in the nick of time additional training is critical to DMM).


That is a great observation Felicity. Having been involved in a CPM in India I would say from my observation that to a certain extent a CPM is a disciple making movement. You can’t have a CPM without leaders developing leaders several levels deep. The exponential growth is a result of leaders being developed and trained to reproduce. To me that is a level of discipleship. You can’t make disciples without being first a disciple. However, I think the real question is depth of discipleship. You know the old saying, “A mile wide and an inch deep”. So on one hand a CPM is in itself a DMM to a certain level. But on the other hand, there is a need for the next level of a DMM to help sustain and grow the maturity level of each church.

Jay Pratt:

My study of CPM’s & DDM’s is that they are driven by what I call Ordinary Christians. They are non-professional, with no special theological training, who are average people but love to spend lots of time with Jesus. Many of these ordinary christians are just months or even weeks old. Another form these kinds of movement that has started in the US is the T4T Training with Jeff Sundell in North Carolina. He’s a former IMB Missionary who ignited a movement in Nepal but now is igniting one in N. America.

Anyone else with experience of DMMs like to comment?

The Rabbit and the Elephant from simplechurch.com on Vimeo.



What is a church planting movement

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:

  1. It’s rapid–things happen quickly and appear out of control.
  2. It’s multiplicative–not growth by addition.
  3. 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.
It’s further defined by David Watson as having at least 100 churches, three generations deep that have occurred within 2 years.

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?


How big is your vision? (part 2)

Photo credit: rightee (Creative Commons)

Vision is one of our greatest challenges here in the West. We think too small, and act accordingly. Our dreams are limited by what we believe we can accomplish. This post is the second part of a vision statement put out by an apostle from Asia who is constantly seeing things that amaze us. You can read the first part of his statement here.

Among all the issues and challenges, lack of vision is the greatest weakness. With all our small thinking, hiccups, resource crunch and other failures and hang-ups, is making 10 million new connections doable in three years? Just by mobilizing your disciples to catch one person per month and training them to do the same, can your disciples add 10 million to the Body of Christ in 3 years? Can we agree to this target for 2012-15?!!  

Is it possible to reach the whole world and bring them to faith in the Lord Jesus in this generation – the answer must be ‘Yes!’  Simply by being obedient to two of the commands of the Lord Jesus – Follow Me and Make Disciples!! 

What will it take for you to start this chain reaction and for it to go viral? 

Suggested thoughts:

  1. Debunk all existing myths surrounding the traditional church, even the house churches that are not multiplying.  Go for the flexible “Third Place Discipling Church” that happens wherever you spend 8 hours of the day. That way no one will have the excuse of being too busy. Focus on small group discipling as worship rather than on large group gathering and singing as worship.
  2.  Filter out all those who have excuses. Don’t waste time on them but invest time and resources only on those who are willing to invest their own time and resources. Most of the resources are in the harvest field. Regional training and apostolic visits are the only times you may need external resources.
  3. Opening of e-gates. Use mobile phones and the Internet which are now ubiquitous (five billion mobile phones in circulation worldwide; companies are planning to add another billion customers in 2012). Provide facilities for downloading Bibles in their language, God story and Christian music (Great Commission songs ). Send SMS to non-believers instead of sending wonderful gospel messages to well meaning but non-performing Christians. Use mobile phones not just for voice communication but for multi-tasking. Can be used for discipling, providing privacy and safety to both the mentor and the mentee.
  4. Focus on young people. All the disciples of Jesus and Paul were young people.
  5. Focus on women as they are relational and have access to closed doors in restricted communities.
  6. Focus on the supernatural rather than on a cognitive, academic, intellectual approach.
  7. Focus on “Church Planting Movement Planters (CPMPs)” rather than on evangelism.
  8. Focus on discipling rather than on preaching, where Christ has not been named.
  9. Focus on rapidity (instant baptism) rather than on stability (the same people gathering every Sunday).
  10. Be intentional in sparking a CPM (Church Planting Movement) but it must end out of human control. spontaneity (Holy Spirit driven).
  11. Focus on developing local leadership and passing the baton to them, but keep the connexion.
  12. Periodically monitor to see that the goals are being achieved and if necessary, do a course correction.
  13.  Measure your success not by buildings, bodies and budgets, not even by the missionary force on the field or graduates coming out of your Bible schools. Instead measure it by disciples made, baptized, equipped, sent, People Groups reached and territories possessed….until the kingdoms of this world have become the Kingdom of our Lord and his Christ.