What is a CPM? Part 1
– By Stan Parks –
A Church Planting Movement (CPM) can be defined as the multiplication of disciples making disciples and leaders developing leaders. This results in indigenous churches planting churches. These churches begin to spread quickly through a people group or population segment. These new disciples and churches begin to transform their communities as the new Body of Christ lives out Kingdom values.
When churches reproduce consistently to four generations in multiple streams, the process becomes a sustaining movement. It may take years to begin. But once the first churches start, we usually see a movement reach four generations within three to five years. In additional, these movements themselves often reproduce new movements. More and more, CPMs are starting new CPMs within other people groups and population segments.
God’s Spirit is launching CPMs around the world, as he has done at various times in history. After a few of these modern movements began in the early 1990’s, a small group of the initial movement catalysts gathered to discuss these amazing works of God. They coined the term “Church Planting Movements” to describe what God was doing. It was beyond what they had imagined.
As these modern movements have emerged, God’s Spirit is using a variety of models or strategies to start CPMs. Terms used to describe these models include Training for Trainers (T4T), Discovery, Discovery Bible Study (DBS), Disciple Making Movements (DMM), Four Fields, Rapidly Advancing Discipleship (RAD), and Zume. Many movements are hybrids of these various approaches. Many movements have also developed indigenously outside of these training models.
The global leaders who formed the 24:14 coalition chose CPM as the most helpful and broadly inclusive term. Sometimes the term “Kingdom movement” is used, meaning essentially the same thing as CPM. These Kingdom movements resemble what we see in the New Testament.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them…. Utterly amazed, they asked: ‘Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!’
But many who heard the message believed; so the number of men who believed grew to about five thousand. (Acts 4:4)
So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.
So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it multiplied.
But the word of God continued to spread and flourish.
The word of the Lord spread through the whole region. But the Jewish leaders incited the God-fearing women of high standing and the leading men of the city. They stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their region. So they shook the dust off their feet as a warning to them and went to Iconium. And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.
When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.
And some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a great many of the devout Greeks and not a few of the leading women…. Many of them therefore believed, with not a few Greek women of high standing as well as men…
(Acts 17:4, 12)
Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed in the Lord, together with his entire household. And many of the Corinthians hearing Paul believed and were baptized. And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, ‘Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people.’…
This continued for two years, so that all the residents of Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks.
In these modern movements we see similar dynamics to what God did in the early church. Part two of this post will describe these dynamics and the characteristics of a CPM.
Stan Parks Ph.D. serves the 24:14 Coalition (Facilitation Team), Beyond (VP Global Strategies), and Ethne (Leadership Team). He is a trainer and coach for a variety of CPMs globally and has lived and served among the unreached since 1994.
This material is taken from pages 35-38 of the book 24:14 – A Testimony to All Peoples, available from 24:14 or from Amazon; reprinted from the July-August 2019 issue of Mission Frontiers, www.missionfrontiers.org.