When ministry as usual is not enough

I've just read an advance copy of an outstanding book on church planting movements (CPMs). The book hasn't bee released yet, but one of the authors has written an article that tells the story of one of the world's most prolific disciple-making movements.

Ying Kai, a Chinese-American church planter and pastor, served with his wife Grace as a missionary in an Asian city where they were able to start a new church every year. In the year 2000, though, Ying’s assignment changed. He was asked to reach 20 million people in a corner of one of Asia’s many crowded countries. Ying’s new assignment was of such magnitude that ministry-as-usual would never succeed in reaching the teeming millions who were flooding into the cities and factories.

read on and learn how God worked through Ying Kai to spark a movement of over 1 million new believers . . .

He who holds the creation in his hand . . .

From the birthplace of our faith, a hauntingly beautiful Christmas carol from Eastern Christian traditions of the Feast of the Nativity. Byzantine free chant in Arabic (Antiochian Orthodox) from a recording featuring both Melkite Catholic and Antiochean Orthodox chanters.

HT: Andrew Bolt

Getting people excited about CPMs

iStock_000011381440XSmalled.jpg A question from Ray:

Hi Steve

I’m starting to get a feel for the extent and potential for church planting movements (CPMs).

Do you have any suggestions on how to excite an existing church and transition them into a church planting church?


My answer:

Hi Ray

Thanks for the question. It’s an important one. The good news is I think that after twenty years of championing CPMs, I’m beginning to learn something about how to help existing believers and churches transition.

Don’t try to change/excite/motivate/convince anyone. It will only lead to frustration for you and the people you are trying to get on board. You may even add to their resistance.

A far more effective strategy is to follow Jesus’ example. You get out among people, share the gospel, make disciples, form communities. As you do, you share the stories of what God is up to. You offer training and look for obedient and fruitful people.

Typically only 10-15% of people are ready and willing to dive in and get involved. They’re the people you’re looking for. You want to train them in how to share their faith and make disciples and get them doing it immediately.

Meanwhile the majority of people need to hear the stories of lives changed and disciples made. Give them permission to come on board at their own pace. You want them to know what is going on, and to be encouraged, and be praying. The more you pressure them, the less open to change they will be.

It’s much wiser to cast vision, then pilot and experiment with early adopters, rather than imposing a new model of church and ministry on existing believers.

On the podcast I’ve interviewed, Dave Lawton, Tim Scheuer and Jeff Sundell. Each of them have done a great job of leading by example and inviting existing believers to get involved without alienating those who are not ready.

Perhaps 5% of people will oppose any attempt to reach lost people. Rebuke them gently and pray for their souls. Most people will get excited if you communicate well and give them the freedom to buy in at their level. 10-15% are ready to do something now. Go find them.