Archive for July 2012

T4T Training In Bryan, Texas

July 26, 2012

T4T – Training for Trainers equips people to evangelize the unsaved and “far away from God,” disciple new believers, develop leadership, and form new CPM-type groups that repeat the process.

I will attend a T4T training event in Houston, August 6-9, and facilitate a T4T group in the fall at the church in Bryan, Texas that my family and I attend. The T4T group will be one of a number of groups that will be offered as a part of the church’s fall semester small group ministry.

I am also praying about the use of T4T for reaching the 50,000+ students enrolled at Texas A&M University, the nation’s 7th seventh largest public university that is located on our community.

If you are a member of First Baptist Church Bryan, let me encourage you to be a part of T4T this fall and spring. And, if you are in the Bryan-College Station area and are interested in reaching Aggies for Christ through T4T, please contact me.

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Five HUGE Lessons From CPM

July 22, 2012

The LORD is using Church Planting Movements – the rapid multiplication of disciples and churches – to reach the “nations” of the world for Christ. These CPMs are occurring in third world and developing nations, countries such as China, India, and those of Southeast Asia. They are happening among peoples such as Muslims in Northern Africa and Central Asia, the Ketchi of Guatemala, and the Gypsies of France and Spain.

This is a fact that is documented by CPM practitioners and researchers, men such as David Garrison, Steve Addison, and Steve Smith, and missions agencies such as the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention and Greater Europe Mission. Common elements and characteristics that are shared by Church Planting Movements, wherever they are taking place, among different people groups, have also been identified.

When we in the West look at and study these amazing movements of God, many of us ask the question, “Why are CPM not happening in the West, in the United States?” And, we pray, asking, “What on our side of the ‘God’s sovereignty-our responsibility’ equation can we do to ‘set the sails’ for the movement of God through the multiplication of disciples and reproducing churches?”

In an article, It’s Huge – Five Lessons The American Church Is Learning From Church Planting Movements, Carol Davis, missions strategist and mobilizer, may have some answers to the latter question. In the article, Carol identifies five lessons that American pastors are learning, and can learn, from Church Planting Movements, that when applied to our Western ministries can make a tremendous impact on the reaching and discipling of our homes and communities for Christ.

The lessons are:

  1. Come & Go: The shift from inviting unbelievers to come to our programs and building to sending believers into the world.
  2. Group Conversions: The shift to multiplying groups of disciples not just individual disciples.
  3. Counting Generations: The shift to count and do whatever it takes to regularly and quickly get to the 4th generation and beyond of disciples, groups, and churches (II Timothy 2:2).
  4. Reproducibility: The shift from lengthy training, policy-driven structures and more academic materials and the reproducibility of means, methods, tools, and structures.
  5. Obedience-Based Learning: The shift from teaching  for knowledge of what the Word says – to teaching and accountability for obedience to what the Word says.

Carol expands on each of the five lessons in her article.

In the concluding paragraph, Carol writes:

“The lessons from CPMs for the U.S. church are huge. The reexamination has taken us back to the Scriptures for both principles and practice. However, the reframing and retooling continues to be a bit messy. Let us persist with the reframing and the retooling until this way of life becomes the new normal.”

There are no formulas that can be applied to our ministries that will guarantee a movement of God called Church Planting Movements. But, there are truths, principles and elements of ministry that we discover in Scripture and CPM that, when applied to our Western context ministries, will go a long way to “setting the sails” for the effective and fruitful multiplication of disciples and churches.

Carol’s article presents five huge lessons from CPM that God is teaching us today. The question is: Are we teachable … are we paying attention … will we apply these lessons to our ministries in My Town, USA?

You can read Carol’s article here.

DMT – Discipleship Multiplication Training: Ignite A Movement

July 17, 2012

I have known about the T4T-Training for Trainers material for a number of years. I have been through the six sessions, and like many of you, have read the T4T book co-authored by Steve Smith and Ying Kai.

Next month, August 6-9, I will participate in a four-day intensive T4T training event. The event is called Discipleship Multiplication Training (DMT).  The sub-title of the event is “igniting discipleship movements locally and globally.”

The DMT will be conducted in Houston, Texas and is a ministry of Greater Europe Mission. The Houston training is one of three events GEM will be conducting over the next couple of months. The other two are in Denver, Colorado and Prague, Czech Republic. Smith and Kai will facilitate the training.

This training comes at a very strategic point in our personal ministry. In September, I will begin facilitating a T4T group at our local church as a part of the church’s small group ministry. I have shared with people that the sessions will be an excellent discipleship time for old and new believers alike, but the emphasis of the material, and mine, will be evangelism, the multiplication of disciples, and the formation of new CPM church-type small groups. Once the six sessions of T4T have been completed, the groups are intended to continue as a group that worships together, evangelizes and disciples people, forms new groups, develops leaders, and repeats the process.

The DMT will also be a great equipping event as we have a vision for a Church Planting  Movement on the campus of our local university, Texas A&M. A&M is the nation’s seventh largest public university with a student enrollment of over 50,000 young men and women.

For more information about GEM’s Discipleship Multiplication Training events, check out their DMT pages here.

Basic CPM Plan And T4T

July 6, 2012

In my last post, Every Picture Tells A Story: CPM Infographic, I shared a graphic that describes the Father’s heart for the “nations” and what are spoken of as “the five parts of a CPM plan to fulfill God’s heart.”

City Church of Woodbine in Nashville, Tennessee had the graphic designed based on information or teaching they received as they have committed themselves to reaching their community and the “nations” through the multiplication of disciples and churches. If you have not read my post and seen the graphic, I would encourage you take a look at it. It is pretty interesting.

Well, the other day I was looking through some website resources that I have and discovered material that I believe is the basis for the CPM Infographic.  The material is entitled The Basic CPM Plan and T4T – The critical elements for a CPM ministry plan, and how T4T helps accomplish them. It was written by Steve Smith, an International Mission Board missionary (SBC) and co-author of T4T: A Discipleship ReRevolution.

I had read the T4T book and a number of articles written by Steve prior to reading this paper. Each reading has been very informative and encouraging as we seek to be used by the Lord in our context for the multiplication of disciples and small authentic faith communities. This paper was no exception.

If you are interested in missions, involved in church planting, and are committed to making reproducing disciples and the start and multiplication of churches in your context, you will benefit richly from The Basic CPM Plan and T4T.

I believe the CPM elements found in this paper have very real application potential for effective ministry in our Western ministry contexts.