Church Planting Movements by David Garrison

Church Planting Movements – How God Is Redeeming a Lost World by David Garrison was such an informative and inspirational book the first time I read it several years ago that I thought I would read it again.

The book has been as informative and encouraging the second read through as it was the first time.

In the book, Garrison reports on what the Lord is doing to bring a lost world to Himself through church planting movements that are occurring around the world.

Garrison defines a CPM as “a rapid multiplication of indigenous churches planting churches that sweeps through a people group or population segment.”

He “unpacks” the definition of a CPM in Chapter 2 by saying that they …

  1. Reproduce rapidly. “Within a very short time, newly planted churches are already starting new churches that follow the same pattern of rapid reprouction.”
  2. Are characterized by multiplication. CPMs do not simply add new churches, they multiply churches.
  3. Are indigenous, that is, they are generated from within, as opposed to started by outsiders.
  4. Are a movement of churches that are starting churches.
  5. Occur within people groups or interrelated population groups.

This is exciting because we know that new churches and the starting of new churches is the most effective means of evangelism that we can be involved in and committed to.

After clarifying the difference between CPMs and mass evangelism and the Church Growth Movement, Garrison says that it is important for us to understand this activity of God because:

  • God is mightily at work in them and we can learn much about the Him through them
  • We need to be ready to “align” ourselves with His activity and how He would use us in CPMs
  • CPMs are “without exaggeration … the most effective means in the world today for drawing lost millions into saving, disciple-building relationships with Jesus Christ.”
  • CPMs “multiply the glory of God” and that is our purpose and objective for life and ministry.

Church Planting Movements in different parts of the world are described and discussed in Part 2 of the book. I was particularly interested in the description of what the Lord is doing in China (“Wo Ai  Zhong Guo”).

With respect to CPMs in China, Garrison describes a model for house churches that combines multiple lay leadership development, mutual accountability, biblical authority and rapid reproducibility. He refers to this model as the P.O.U.C.H. church.

P.O.U.C.H. churches are characterized by:

  • P – Participative Bible study and worship
  • O – Obedience to God’s Word as the mark of success for every believer and church
  • U – Unpaid and multiple church leaders
  • C – Cell groups of believers meeting in
  • H – Homes or storefronts

As P.O.U.C.H. churches are started and developed, two very important ingredients are built into their DNA. The first is multiplication. When the churches grow to about thirty members, they multiply (not divide) and start another church. Through the multiplication of churches, communities and networks are penetrated and saturated with believers and authentic faith communities. The second ingredient built into the DNA of P.O.U.C.H. churches is leadership development. The equipping and releasing of believers for ministry is critical for the multiplication of disciples, leadership, and churches to continue.

My heart is thrilled by the rapid multiplication of churches and the development of leadership that is released to do ministry and start new churches that we see in China.

If the church in the West is going to see the communities where we live and minister won to Christ, it would behoove us to seriously pray about, consider, and embrace a P.O.U.C.H. church-type approach to ministry. We do this recognizing this model’s potential for reaching people for Christ and its practical value when considering the cost of land, property, and buildings in most of our metro and urban areas. 

This approach to ministry, though it would be more properly referred to as house church network ministry, is being done in the Dallas-Ft. Worth (TX) metroplex and Denver, Colorado areas. Check out the Ethne Network (Denver) and the Church of a Hill Connection (DFW) links under the “Church” heading on the right sidebar.

I believe this model for ministry would be very effective in reaching students enrolled at our local universities and colleges. In other words, start simple churches that reach and disciple students and meet on campus or in its surrounding areas.

Over the course of the next few posts I want to share some of the information about church planting movements that David Garrison has discovered and reports on in his book. I believe that much, if not most, of this information has real potential for application in our local ministries if we are committed to doing whatever it takes to reach our communities for Christ.

~ Blessings ~


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11 Comments on “Church Planting Movements by David Garrison”

  1. beatthedrum Says:

    Thanks for this excellent review!

    I may have go out and buy this.

  2. tangiblethoughts Says:

    Thanks for touching base about CPMs by Garrison. I really do think that you’ll enjoy and be blessed and inspired by the reports of what the LORD is doing around the world to bring glory to Himself.

  3. Hizkias Fako Says:

    Please pray for me that the lord my God can make and create something very new in my heart and mind that can yield in me just the spirit of the man of very powerful, biblical, critical and dynamic strategy in the area of teaching, training and disciplining the nation through the finished work of our lord Jesus in the battle field of all spiritual realm that truly allows me to penetrate the line of the enemy of the kingdom and helps me to keep the balance of my spiritual equilibrium which expand the kingdom of God all around my ministry direction and keeps my spiritual life very active by updating all the time.
    Everything we are is from God… All we will be is from God we just yield ourselves body soul and spirit and let him do the work in us.
    Ethiopia is a Christian nation Islam will not rule, Coptic will not rule, spiritualism will not rule but Jesus will rule and bring prosperity and then Eritrea, Sudan, Djibouti and Somalia will be impacted.
    Hizkias Fako
    Outreach Pastor

    • tangiblethoughts Says:


      Thank you for your contact and very passionate appeal for prayer for ministry and service in Ethiopia. May the Lord protect, lead, and empower you for the special ministry He has called to you in your homeland. May He be glorified in and through you.


      Your brother,


  4. Hizkias Fako Says:

    Dear Scott,
    I have out reach team leaders in the northern Ethiopia getting monthly support from my partner outreach center.How can you train my team in northern Ethiopia for this strategic outreach program?I would like it if you have this program in africa and invite me i will try to join or if you have plan in ethiopia then good to join you if you allow me.I will let to know the outreach center supporting my ministry in ethiopia.

  5. hizkias fako Says:

    When Christ the morning star reins and shine in our heart

    The Bible declares that how God emphasizes and gives priority with concentration in believer’s life to see the life of godliness. That is why apostle peter is much focusing on godliness life in the second peter chapter one.” By his divine power God has given us everything we need for living godly life.”2Peter 1v3. God granted us his divine power through all things that we may pertain the life of godliness. What does his divine power do in us in order to master the life of godliness? Why the divine power is needed and how it can work in us? These are some of my preliminary questions. Before I come to these questions I just want to see how Jesus changed my life and how did I become the followers of Jesus and united in the family of the living God? It was true that my life was full of old nature with the worldly desire and attitude of ungodly life before got changed. When Jesus came into my life those all attitudes floated and removed even unintentionally. What I really sensed the love of Jesus was it is his mercy up on me did so as to all. When Jesus comes inside our life and started controlling the entire system of it then we are in a position to crave the pure spiritual milk in order to help us to grow with full experience of salivation. In my personal experience I realize that the power that changed my life was above the power that controlled my old life before. The power that controlled my old life before was the power of this world and the power that overcame the evil was the power of the reserruction, the completed work of Jesus on the cross and his unfailing love. By way of I understand his love in my life next to that moment it won my life so that I submitted my life to him to rein in me and lead the rest of the remaining time.

    In my comprehending to answer the question like why the divine power was needed? How it works and what it does in us will be seen as follows. At first it was his power that gave us strengthen to understand the true love of our savoir Jesus by controlling our life through the attraction of his goodness so as to helpe us making the final decision with the intention of Jesus is our lord and saviour.With the purpose of our descion God brought the sovereignty of Jesus in us to influence all the old nature with respect to stop by manse of giving us the ability to stand firm before the living God in the name of Jesus and to call him Aba father. The glory of our lord Jesus, the Excellency of his entire attitude and the promise he has to us lead us to the presence of our father to give us the father son relationship with the knowledge of our conformity in salivation. How a wonderful and beautiful descion it is!!!

    The great things that the sprit of God participated in his mechanism of changing our old nature is by giving us the knowledge we can understand our savoir and distinguish him from something that can not save us. The knowledge that we received includes the wisdom how we can follow him particularly in our life as a disciple of Jesus, the insights from his words that we study, the understandings of the truth he has done on the cross, the awareness of eternal life in believing Jesus and eternal death for not believing in Jesus the son of God. The same knowledge that we received from him lead us to the experience, involvement and practice of kingdom ministry to the world around us. Through it we developed the familiarity of kingdom life among the people who were the enemy of God before and now his family. How it is the wonderful knowledge that works in us from the spirit of God given to us. In his spirit we became the people of thoughtful, talented one, indulgent and developing the skills for how we can manage to subdue the entire world and the beautiful creation of God in it to bring the glory to the one who created.

    We are his people who shared the divine character in our changed nature having the pleasure to worshiping God and stay in the lovely atmosphere which declares the presence of God. God has put in us the attraction for the righteousness which the spirit of God does in our life to show that we are the temple of God where he dwells in us. Now our sharing of his divine nature persuade us to experience and practice the character of God with the aim of influencing the quality of his Excellency both life and ministry. When our internal make up is well corrected in the attributes of his Excellency in his word and his spirit so that God glorifies Jesus in any area of our ministry and life activities so as our spiritual environment will come to the level of the fullness of God.

    When our life come to the spiritual fullness of God there will be some other things happen all around the ecosystem of our spiritual environment. The spiritual ecosystem of our environment will refuse to accept the idea of the corrupted world and the ungodly desire of the flesh. The flesh can not over control our spiritual goal and activities since the superiority of inward quality belongs to Jesus. The idea of immoralty, dishonesty, bribery and harmfulness to one another will became very less or have no impact in us. All our internal desire and longing is the lovely and enjoyable life that we received from Him with the gift of the eternal life. Therefore our need and our hunger will become the glory of God that will surpass the entire nation, the generation of this day and the generation that will come.

    What attracts the changed life? The word of God attracts. The sprit filled prayer attracts. The promise we have in Jesus attracts us. In his promise our internal quality will increase with all Gods given talents that can help us to support and sustain our daily life in Christ. Our identity is also much connected with the ability and the spiritual DNA of our heavenly father. So as to make our life more granted and warrant on this earth as we live the life of born again Christianity under the lordship of the spheres of kingdom influence. We are the people of covenant on this earth that we live as a guest. We are the people of heaven; our promise that we have from God assures and approves that we are the ambassador of this world but not the permanent citizen of it. Our unity and conformity with the work of Holy Sprit declares that we are the people of heaven living here on the earth and working in the goal of achievable mission by the expectation of final rewards from God after the completion of our earthly race. Our life is much attracted in the suitability, appropriateness, otherness and brilliance nature that created in us which practically shine the glory of God in us through our lord Jesus Christ. That shines the light on the dark world all around us. The great things we experience in our changed life are we together with the people around us will value our life much greater than it was, recognizing that we are very important people in the world. We are very important people in the economy of this world, politics of the world, social life of the world, and civilization of the world.

    One of the qualities of the changed life is the life that lives under the discipline of self control. The self control revolves around the rule of the spirit in our daily life that influenced with whatever mechanism He works in us. In self controlled life the super intending of our entire life is Holy Spirit. He is the head, the director and the governor of both our ministry and our life. In the experience of living as such a character we definitely develop some limitation, restiriction, border and boundary with the society where we live in its tradition, culture and value system in regard to sin and its root causes. That is why this is the place where our life need strong managements. How can we manage our life in this area? In study of his word and living in it, supervising our weakness and strengthen in his word, prayer and ministry that we are offering to reach out the lost and discipline ourselves under the guidance of Holy Spirit are some of the area we manage our lives. Whenever we minister and live for him under the order line of the spirit of God, we will have the uniformity of the ministry of the kingdom with the early time and the time will come in the future.” Jesus Christ is same yesterday, today and forevere.”Heb 13v8
    The next step to the self control is the life of godliness. Godliness is the life of holiness, purity, devotion, goodness, righteousness, blameless and scared experience.Holyness is not the activities that we can make by our self but it is Holy sprit that can do it in our life. God honors the holiness life. Sexual purity, transfarency, clarity of what we are doing in our hand and ministering the generation determines our commitments to live the holiness and serving God in righteousness.

    Godliness life is the life that you live under the holiness of God and experiencing the divine nature we shared from God. It is the life that we better experience the life of patience, broad mindedness for the different situation we face in the ministry and personal life. There are several things in the world that definitely tests the level of our tolerance in many areas of our activities. Our uncomplaining, forgiving, accommodating, and accepting of the situation we face shows how our inner spiritual equilibrium is well balanced and working well.

    In the root of patience’s we will experience the life of love for one another and loving GOD. In love for one another our life certainly tastes the beauty of the life of the kingdom. We grow kind heartedness for one another in the time of need, good hospitableness for the guests, approachability for the stranger peope, taking care of the ignored and friendliness with all age level in Christ centered fellowship. The love that originated form our life will flow to our friends in the world in a way that it creates the passion of our lord Jesus by showing the sweat heart that loves God and his word. It has the power to create the enthuaisism to know God and the secret wisdom of the sprit which sustains the life of the kingdom with fervency.

    As we come to reach this level of life experience our ministry in the church, out side the church, at home, in the community and in the large society will come to fruitful in sowing of the seed of the word of God, rich enough in life and love to the lost, effective in sharing of the good news together with the completed work of the cross that Jesus has done for us. We can be dynamic to ignite the power of God both in love and action beside that we will be the people of self motivated ministering the lost, prayers for those who are in prison and under the bondage of Satan, and we can be energetic in the lovely relationship with one another. We will be very constructive but not destructive, we will be practical than only the people of words, with the entire attitude and action we will became the valuable and positive people to fill the gap of the world in its entire crisis in the places where the world lack the life of Christ in both life and its application.

    Christianity is the life that carries the entire message of Christ to this world. The life which carried the message of our lord Jesus shines in the world and the world to come.” How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messengers who bring the good news, the good news of peace and salivation, the good news that the God of Israel reins.”Isa 52v7.We are the people that God has called us and changed us from all the old nature that was dominated by the power of Satan. We are the people of freedom in Christ. In our journey and world race in ministry and activities our life is in a process of changing forwards to the likeness of our lord Jesus. As we live the life of Christian experience on the base His Excellencies in this world and keep discipline on it so as, our daily life on the earth is full of the mission of the kingdom together with multiplication of many saved souls.

    Hizkias Fako
    Outreach Pastor
    P O Box 14070
    Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

  6. oikoskrk Says:

    Nice blog!
    I think you would like mine too.
    Been relational housechurching and planting for 30 years now.
    My blog is about Jesus, church, and life in general.

    Christopher “Captain” Kirk

  7. […] Read David Garrison’s Blog Post on POUCH Churches […]

  8. […] Read David Garrison’s Blog Post on POUCH Churches […]

  9. […] Read David Garrison’s Blog Post on POUCH Churches […]

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