I have recently completed a series of articles on Roland Allen’s missionary classic, Missionary Methods: St Paul’s Or Ours? (1912) and posted them on my other blog, tangiblethoughts. I have just begun a series on John L. Nevius’s The Planting and Development of Missionary Churches (1886) there as well and will soon begin posting on Allen’s The Spontaneous Expansion of the Church And The Causes That Hinder It (1927).

If you are interested in church planting and church planting movements, I would encourage you to read Roland Allen and John L. Nevius. Even though they lived and ministered one-hundred + years ago, their perspectives on church planting principles and practices are as relevant today as they were when these missionary voices from the past first penned their works.

In the meantime, please visit me at tangiblethoughts and check out my posts on Allen and Nevius.

I have recently finished the reading of Missionary Methods: St. Paul’s Or Ours? by Roland Allen. The book was written in 1912 and contains insights from the ministry of the Apostle Paul that are relevent for missions and cross-cultural ministry today.

I have written a post on this book on my other blog site, tangiblethoughts. I would invite you to visit it here and leave your thoughts

I have recently come across a couple of web sites that are dedicated to The Great Commission and Church Planting Movements (CPM) that I think you might be interested in.

Both sites contain a wealth of information and articles that both inform and inspire us toward the fulfillment of the Lord’s Great Commission.

The first site is a social network site called Great Commission Initiative (GCI). It was started and is moderated by Tim Ahlen, a pastor and missionary, in Dallas, Texas. In addition to the articles that you find here, the site provides you with the opportunity to connect with others who are committed to being a part of the Christ’s global plan to reach the world for Himself through the starting of new churches.

The second site is Church Planting Movements – Best Practices From Around the Globe. This is the web site of David Garrison, the Southern Baptist missionary who wrote the book, Church Planting Movements – How God Is Redeeming a Lost World. You’ll find many articles here under the headings of “The 5 Parts of CPM,” “Profiles in CPM,” and “CPM Resources.” along with much more. (Note: you can find a link to the Church Planting Movements booklet under the “Church Planting” heading in the right-hand column of this blog.)

I pray that you’ll be blessed by these sites. When you visit (and join) the GCI site, look me up there and connect with me as a “friend.”

Nearly 200 people from more than 37 nations met in Delhi, India in November to discuss, report on, and pray about what the Lord is doing around the world to reach a lost humanity for Himself through house churches, house church networks, and house church movements.

The Summit’s Steering Group has produced a 14-page summary report of the meeting that I think you will enjoy reading if you are interested in organic, simple churches and house church movements.

The report includes: 

  1. Notes on keynote sessions that addressed topics such as Global Trends, Reaching the Unreached, and Involving the Whole Family in ministry
  2. Country reports
  3. Highlights of the Summit
  4. Benefits of the gathering

The paper also includes a contact email if you would like to receive “full collected papers and reports” of the Summit. I have requested the material and am looking forward to receiving, reading and praying through them.

You can read the Steering Group’s Report here.

Bindu Choudrie and her husband, Victor, have been used of the Lord of the Harvest to plant thousands of simple, organic churches in India. And the multiplication of churches continues.

In an article entitled “Simple Church – Bindu’s Response,” John White, a house church coach in Colorado, shares some of a conversation that he had with Bindu about leadership in church planting movements.

It’s a very short article, but one that I think you’ll find interesting.

It can be read here.

Neil Cole wrote a very interesting and insightful paper on the missionary strategy of the Apostle Paul that I have just discovered and read. The paper was written in 1998 and is entitled “A Fresh Perspective Of Paul’s Missionary Strategies.” The sub-title really speaks to the content of the paper. It is “The Mentoring for Multiplication Model.”

In the introductory section of the paper, Cole writes,

This article will examine Paul’s missionary methods, and demonstrate that he improved upon their effectiveness and fruitfulness with each journey as he focused more concerted energy in mentoring and multiplying leadership.”

Cole then walks us through the missionary journeys of Paul, showing us from Scripture how the Apostle’s strategy for ministry and leadership development matured with each journey.

The first missionary enterprise was carried out by a two-man team – Paul and Barnabas. By the time of the third missionary journey, Paul understood the need for the multiplication of leaders for the work of the ministry and the spreading of the Gospel. He then established a teaching and training ministry at the School of Tyrannus in Ephesus which, in essence, was a “regional church planting saturation strategy” training school. From this school, according to Cole, church planters were sent into Asia Minor and churches, such as the one at Colosse, were started and established. The men who had been trained in the school and served as the Asia Minor church planters are, per Cole, the elders that Paul addresses in Acts 20.

Neal then shows us how Paul, years later while under house arrest in Rome, continued to minister the Gospel, mentor believers and multiply ministry leadership.

The thrust of Neal’s paper, based on the ministry of The Apostle, is that if we are going to effectively reach our world for Christ, we must place an emphasis on the raising up, mentoring, and multiplication of leaders for the work of the Kingdom.

“Out of the harvest … For the harvest”

Read the paper in its entirety here.

Last night I was going through some files of church planting-related papers and articles that I have collected over the years and found an article that I was excited to read again.

The article is entitled “Lessons on Evangelism for North America Church Planting.” I first read it in 2005 when I found it on the Church Planting Village website of the North American Mission Board (SBC).

The author of the article, a missions professor at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary by the name of Dr. Morgan, writes about three particular principles and lessons found in CPMs that are occurring around the world that he believes “can be especially useful in establishing an evangelistically effective church plant” in North America.

The three principles are:

  1. Immediate Redeployment of Converts in Evangelism
  2. Obedience-Based Evangelism
  3. Discipling New Believers in Groups of New Believers

Under the “Immediate Deployment” heading, Dr. Morgan makes a reference to the “T4T” (Training for Trainers) “system” of training new believers how to share the Gospel with their networks and organic (natural) connections. I was interested to see the reference to T4T, something I had forgotten was included in the article, because I have recently been exposed to the  T4T material and am currently working my way through it and the accompanying facilitator training material. 

While we know that CPMs are the result of the activity of the Lord of the Harvest, these three principles can, and should, be intentionally integrated into the ministries of established and new church ministries. If we do so, I believe that we would discover that our churches are more effective in their making of disciples, the spreading of the Gospel, and the starting of new churches that penetrate and saturate our communities and world for the cause of Christ.

Read the “Lessons on Evangelism for North America Church Planting” article here.