Church Planting — The C&MA Way

The guiding principles that focus the efforts of The Christian and Missionary Alliance (USA) to remissionize America by participating in God’s church multiplication movement. We are persuaded that… 
1. Jesus Christ is Lord of the harvest. He invites us to join Him in gathering His lost sheep from all people groups across America. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost (Luke 19:10). 
2. Effective evangelism through church planting among under-evangelized people groups has been the historical focus of the C&MA.  
3. Church Planting is an obedient response to follow Jesus’ ministry priorities as described in Luke 4:43: He said, ‘I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.’  
4. The befriending and winning of lost people, not the attracting of sheep from other folds must be the focus of every church plant. When the Pharisees saw Him eating with the ‘sinners’ and tax collectors, they asked His disciples: ‘Why does He eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ Jesus said to them, ‘it is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.’ (Mark 2:16–17).  
5. Effective evangelism in a post-Christian country requires the innovation of new paradigms for churches. The Gospel must be incarnated in communities through relational ministry. Simple discipling structures designed to raise up leaders from the harvest for the harvest must be developed. ‘No one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, he pours new wine into new wineskins.’ (Mark 2:21).  
6. Missiological principles of barrier crossing must be employed. Host cultures must be understood and respected as the Gospel is presented simply, clearly and relevantly. The Apostle Paul captured this insight when he stated, ‘I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.’ (I Cor. 9:19,22).  
7. We are committed to investing in the church planter and spouse to equip them for the task of church planting. This investment includes providing a dedicated assessment for church planter and spouse; complete process training through a church planter’s BootCamp and the assignment of a trained coach to walk with him through the first two years of the project.  
8. We are committed to a multiplication mentality that sees the multiplying of disciples, small groups, leaders and congregations as the objective, not the mere survival of a single plant.  
9. We believe that the planting of healthy reproducing churches is an urgent matter that requires a sodalic* approach to mission, including a radical and sacrificial commitment by districts, local churches and workers. ‘Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training… Therefore, I do not run like a man running aimlessly, I do not fight like a man beating the air.’ (I Cor. 9:24–26).  
*“Sodalic” is a term that emphasizes single-minded focus, leads by vision, expects major commitment, is decisive and is willing to take risk to reap a reward.  
10. We are committed to developing a planting team for each planting project. An integral component of this team is a group of prayer partners who will support the launch team with intercessory and strategic prayer. ‘Apart from me, you can do nothing… Except the Lord builds the house, the laborers labor in vain.’ (John 15:5; Psalm 127:1).  
11. We believe in a systems approach to church planting that seeks to plant healthy churches that have fully functioning internal systems at birth. The casualty rate of premature births is high. We aim for sufficient birth weight and bodily development prior to going public. We employ a period of intentional incubation of the core group for a season of time before the new church is officially, publicly launched.  
12. We are committed to the development of structures within our districts that will result in the indigenization of our church planting movement. This includes the development of the following structures within each district:


  • Prayer Mobilization 
  • Planter Recruitment & Mobilization 
  • Planter Assessment 
  • Vision Clarification & Communication 
  • Planter Training 
  • Planter Coaching 
  • Parent Church Recruitment & Mobilization 
  • Funding Recruitment

13. The role of the National Church Planting Ministries Office is to cast vision for an aggressive church multiplication movement and to assist the districts and their local congregations in the fulfillment of this vision. It will resource and coordinate efficient equipping and coaching networks at three levels: Key District Church Planting Leadership; Key Parent Churches; Church Planters.  
14. In recognition that previous generations of the church sacrificed to give birth and extend Christ’s Kingdom, we are persuaded that every established church in the C&MA, is responsible for reproducing itself in obedience to Acts 1:8; locally in Jerusalem, regionally in Judea, among the overlooked Samaritans, and among earth’s unreached peoples.  
15. We believe the fulfillment of the global vision of the C&MA in the 21st century depends upon this generation’s sacrificial commitment to planting healthy reproducing missionary churches.  
16. We are thankful for everyone who shares our commitment to joining God’s church planting movement. We will seek to assist and cooperate with other denominations and agencies wherever and however we can to extend Christ’s Kingdom. 
Adopted by the delegates to the 1999 Church Planting Advance, March 27-30, Chicago, Illinois


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