Critical Elements of a Church Planting Movement

In 1999, several missionaries who were seeing rapid multiplication of churches in their ministries, sat down together and began to compare notes on what God was doing. These rapid multiplying movements were named "church planting movements" and that title still applies. In the last blog posting, I gave some key definitions of church planting movements and the basic understanding in that post is the foundation of this article, so please read it before you read this one. At any rate, when those missionaries sat together, they identified elements that were common to the movements that they were involved with. They identified 10 characteristics that were in every cpm and 10 that were present in most cpms. This was published in the booklet, "Church Planting Movements" by David Garrison and later in a larger book by the same author with the same title (I highly recommend that you obtain these and read them).

Later when I took cpm training with David Watson, he shared a list of 18 things that he called critical elements. The basic understanding of a critical element that I have is this: it is a characteristic that is present in every known church planting movement. If even 1 of these characteristics is missing, you may have a great outreach, revival, church planting occurring etcetera, but you will not have a church planting movement as defined in the previous posting.

This year a great new book has been published and I highly recommend it as well. It is called,
"The Multiplying Church" by Bob Roberts Jr. It is published by Zondervan and is a great application of cpm type principles for the American church. In it he has included as his first appendix the Critical Elements of a Church Planting Movement according to David Watson.

So...Here they are...All 19 of them:

1. Passionate, extraordinary prayer
2. Authority of Scripture that leads to obedience
3. Household conversions, not just individual conversions
4. Making disciples, not converts
5. Obedience to the Word, not doctrine
6. Miracles
7. Intentional church planting
8. Local leadership--keeping foreigners out of the spotlight
9. Appropriate, abundant evangelism
10. Community of believers--forming believers into minimum practice groups that will become churches
11. Reaching out--missions
12. Reproducing--disciples/churches/groups--rapid incorporation of new believers that will reach out to all segments of society
13. Inside local leaders--worship in heart language
14. Authority of the Holy Spirit
15. Persecution--bold, fearless faith--suffering
16. Coaching/mentoring/training (on the job training)
17. Outside leaders who model/equip/watch/leave
18. Self-supporting--not allowing money to be an issue or drive it at all
19. Redeeming the local culture

There is the list. Think about it and we'll talk more later.


marlin.greer said…
I really respond to the church planting list--all of them, but for some reason 1 - 9, 12, 17 and adding the authority of the H.S. to authority of the scriptures (it really does take a blending of the two) especially resonated w/me. Thanks for sharing! I really feel that you have hit on the niche for your life, at least for now.
Love, Marlin

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