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Church Planting Movements Glossary

Cell churches—small church bodies of believers, generally 10-30 per unit, meeting in homes or storefronts, fulfilling the five purposes of a church and linked to one another in some type of structured network. Often this network is part of a larger, single church identity.

Chronological Bible storying—a non-literary method of communicating the gospel to a people by relating to them, in a culturally suitable manner, the great stories of the Bible from creation to redemption to the return of Christ.

Church Planting Movement—a rapid and multiplicative increase of indigenous churches planting churches within a given people group or population segment.

End-vision—the ultimate and overarching aim of a strategy or plan of action. In a CPM-oriented strategy, it is the end-vision that informs and measures the relative value of every objective, goal and action step.

Ethos—the esprit d’corps or spirit of the group. In a CPM ethos, there is an attitude and climate of opinion that passionately aspires toward a Church Planting Movement.

Exogenous—originating outside of the local environment; foreign, extraneous in origin.

Five purposes of a church—1) worship, 2) evangelistic and missionary outreach, 3) education and discipleship, 4) ministry and 5) fellowship.

House churches—small bodies of approximately 10-30 believers meeting in homes or storefronts, which (unlike cell groups) are generally not organized under a single authority or hierarchy of authorities.

Incremental growth—growth by addition. Thus a base number of 10 churches might add a few churches each year. This contrasts with multiplicative growth.

Indigenous—generated from within or capable of originating from within the local context. This contrasts with exogenous.

MAWL—Model, Assist, Watch and Leave. The rhythm of implementing church planting that contributes to a Church Planting Movement as a missionary models a CPM, assists the new believers in planting CPM-oriented churches, watches to see that they and the churches are reproducing and then leaves in order to begin a new MAWL cycle.

Mentoring—a form of teaching that includes walking alongside the person you are teaching and inviting him or her to learn from your example.

Multiplicative growth—extraordinary growth characterized by each part multiplying itself. Thus two may become four, and four may become eight to 10, etc., in multiplicative growth. This contrasts with incremental growth.

POUCH churches—a method of church planting describing churches that are characterized by the following: participative Bible study and worship groups, obedience to God’s word, development of unpaid and multiple lay or bivocational church leaders and meeting in cell or house churches.

Precision harvesting—a strategic placement of church planters in contact with seekers or new believers who already have been identified and cultivated through their response to mass evangelism.

Response filtering and feedback loops—employing methods for registering response to mass evangelism efforts for purposes of follow-up discipleship and church planting.

RLTP (Rural Leadership Training Program)—a program of on-the-job training for church planters and church leaders developed in Cambodia aimed at practical, short-term modules of training designed to keep students engaged in their ministry while they learn.

Strategy coordinator—a missionary who takes responsibility for developing a comprehensive plan aimed at initiating and nurturing a Church Planting Movement among an unreached people group or population segment.

Subsidies—foreign funds used to support pastors and other church workers. This is generally counterproductive for a Church Planting Movement.

For copies of this booklet contact IMB Resource Center at
 or call 1-800-866-3621.  

Table of Contents



Chapter 1 - What is a Church Planting Movement?

Chapter 2 - CPMs Up Close

•A Latin American People Group
•A Region in China
•The Bholdari of India
•The Khmer of Cambodia
•Other Emerging Movements

Chapter 3 - Ten Universal Elements

Chapter 4 - Ten Common Factors 

Chapter 5 - Ten Practical Handles 

Chapter 6 - Frequently Asked Questions

Chapter 7 - Obstacles to CPMs 

Chapter 8 - Tips for Fine-Tuning a CPM 

Chapter 9 - A CPM Vision for the World 



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