Monday, August 28, 2006

 

CPM conference

We spent the weekend with our regional leadership in a conference designed to teach locals the principles of a church planting movement. They shared lots of information with our people in a short amount of time. The teaching was divided into two weekends and a combined total of 50 or so participants. One couple from our church came to the conference. The goal is to obey the great commission by making disciples of all nations by involving every believer in the great commission. That means that people are organized into small groups, or either small groups are gathered. We then evangelize through interactive stories. Afterwards, those that accept the message that we have to share stay in their small groups, are baptized, and equipped to go out themselves to do the same.

The steps to our work are prayer, gather and win lost people in a way that will be catalytic, or begin a chain of churches that will be reproducing more churches. In order to be effective, we need to get to the gospel quickly, have an intentional plan from the beginning, use methods that are reproducible, emphasizing family and intimate friends. We need to base the training in obedience, make it simple, have goals of multiplication, saturate areas with new works, disciple mentors and form networks that will keep the process going.

It is necessary that the national believers catch the vision and join us in the work if we are to accomplish our goal. Many churches here are not interested in this idea because it does not grow their church, and these independent groups have no one to control them and teach them the rules. Instead, when a question arises, they are given the Scripture passages that address such questions, and they have to depend upon the Holy Spirit give them understanding of these passages. God's word is powerful, and that He speaks through His word. We can trust our people to His care. He will speak to them directly. His plan from the beginning was to have a priesthood of believers, a chosen people with whom He can show His character.

I have spent a lot of time sharing my faith in Sajonia, the area of town where I work. I have also been working with the youth of a church in another part of the city with the hopes that I can use them in the ministry. My goal is to take the church youth on mission trips in that area of town. Although they are not ready to lead Bible studies, they should have no problem doing open air concerts, skits, prayer walks, or even tract distribution in that area of town.

I started working with the youth because I felt that I could use them in ministry; also, there was no one else doing so, and the youth were bored and felt abandoned. The Lord has provided others to work with them, so my purpose is to equip this team to do the youth work, and invite them to do evangelistic events. One couple was at the CPM conference that our regional leaders taught this past weekend. They were challenged to enlarge their vision, and join the work. I look forward to what lies ahead for all of those that were in attendance.

Next month, we plan to take the youth on a retreat with other churches in the area so that they can learn how to organize themselves into cells. I am convinced that God changes lives when people meet regularly in small groups and apply God's Word to their lives.

Monthly events are planned between now and December, and after that, I will work through the youth leadership that I am now establishing to continue the ministry. The end of May, my family and I will go on stateside assignment and be in the States until the end of October. We look forward to seeing many of you then!!

In the month of November, we are planning a concert in the park in Sajonia. The goal is for them to hold a concert for those in the park, while I hand out invitations to start a small group Bible study.

Comments:
I am very pleased to hear of this conference and interested to know more of the results.

Your following comment especially intrigues me:

"It is necessary that the national believers catch the vision and join us in the work if we are to accomplish our goal. Many churches here are not interested in this idea because it does not grow their church, and these independent groups have no one to control them and teach them the rules."

I am really interested to hear any thoughts on what we can do to work more closely with our national brethren in order to see New Testament churches multiply. I agree with you that our success in "accomplishing the goal" depends on this.
 
Donnie,

A good post. What we struggle with is KNOWING all these good steps and the actual DOING of it.

For example, one of the nut-and-bolt issues is, what do you do to gather people into small groups to be able to evangelize through interactice stories? It seems we have agreement on what needs to be done, but how do we do it? A lot of the process depends on being able to gather people to begin the process and to maintain their interest over a period of time so that the H.S. can work.

I would be interested in your sharing what you learn as you begin to implement these good principles into practice. What works down your way?
 
I met with a man last night who had participated in the CPM conference. While there, I asked him what he thought about what he had learned there. He said that it was interesting, but he wasn't convinced that a small group meeting in a house could be a church. He is very traditional.

Guy, I am struggling with this very issue. That is why I decided to work with my church's youth group. I can invite the people to a concert in a park, or another event in public.

Thanks for your comments.
 
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