What is a Church Planting Movement?
by David Garrison from the booklet called Church Planting Movements
A simple, concise definition of a Church Planting Movement (CPM) is a rapid and multiplicative increase of indigenous churches planting churches within a given people group or population segment.
There are several key components to this definition. The first is rapid. As a movement, a Church Planting Movement occurs with rapid increases in new church starts. Saturation church planting over decades and even centuries is good, but doesn’t qualify as a Church Planting Movement.
Secondly, there is a multiplicative increase. This means that the increase in churches is not simply incremental growth—adding a few churches every year or so. Instead, it compounds with two churches becoming four, four churches becoming eight to 10 and so forth. Multiplicative increase is only possible when new churches are being started by the churches themselves–rather than by professional church planters or missionaries.
Finally, they are indigenous churches. This means they are generated from within rather than from without. This is not to say that the gospel is able to spring up intuitively within a people group. The gospel always enters a people group from the outside; this is the task of the missionary. However, in a Church Planting Movement the momentum quickly becomes indigenous so that the initiative and drive of the movement comes from within the people group rather than from outsiders.
If this definition isn’t enough, we might also clarify what a Church Planting Movement is not….
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