Can’t Help But…

IMB is all about Church Planting Movements, or a CPM. According to IMB, a CPM is

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

As an M in training you hear about it, read about it, have it indoctrinated into you. When you look over available job requests the end goal for every one is to “initiate a CPM.”

Then I fire up my feedreader and find this little gem waiting for me to digest and I can’t help but grin wide and share it with you. Flying in the face of everything IMB, Jonathan Dodson writes,

Contrary to popular impressions, non-Western church planting movements often take decades of silent plowing before they reach a monumental tipping point. Therefore, describing them as “rapid” can be a deceptive and naive comparison.

Instantly I think of the work the Waller family is doing in Southwest Madagascar. At present, there is little happening on the numbers chart when compared to the great CPMs of old, but spiritually, the Mahafaly are beginning to hear the gospel, believe, and be made alive in Jesus. But consider what Jodie Waller said,

Six years ago, Grant and I began praying for the unreached, unengaged Mahafaly people of Southern Madagascar. We knew nothing more than that they were unreceptive to outsiders and change and were bound by ancestral worship. We prayed that God would prepare the people…that He would soften their hearts and grow in them a desire to know the true God.

So the labor for harvest among the Mahafaly began in prayer six years ago, yet only now are we seeing the first, new believers. Dodson said,

The regenerating work of the Spirit is a mystery, moving like a wind throughout history, sometimes breezing through nations and other times rushing through people groups. Church planting movements are not the product of great strategies but of the sovereign work of the Spirit to build Christ’s church.

I agree completely as I shout, ABSOLUTELY! We cannot predict the Mind of our Redeeming Father with formulas, charts, pie graphs and Powerpoint presentations. The regenerating work of the Holy Spirit cannot be explained in an Excel spreadsheet and downloaded onto your USB jumpdrive…