And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses, entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.
(2 Timothy 2:2)
…great care is given to ensure we develop a reproducible model that indigenous groups can own and implement without dependence upon outside resources.
God is doing a new thing in this generation through the Church Planting Movement (CPM) phenomenon. A CPM can be defined as a rapid increase in the number of indigenous churches that assume responsibility for the planting of churches among unreached communities. It is a Holy Spirit inspired movement characterized by intentional daughter church planting, which sees a CPM DNA transmitted to third, fourth and fifth generation churches. CPM’s started in South America and then spread to Asia and Africa.
In 2002, OMS Africa took the universal CPM learnings and encapsulated them in what we called the Village Church Planting (VCP) program. This model has helped facilitate the planting of thousands of first, second, and third generation churches in more than 25 African countries since January 2003.
The VCP model works as follows:
1) A rural training center is set up in a target area where we train local bi-vocational church pastors to initiate church plants in their respective villages. Each training center is manned by a theologically qualified trainer, normally an experienced pastor and church planter seconded to the Into Africa Project by a partner denomination.
2) OMS Africa trains the trainers on the use of our pastoral training and church planting materials. The pastoral training program we use comes from the Timothy Training Institute, which has developed rural training materials highly suitable for the African context. We then also use the OMEGA course, a practical church planter training program developed by the Alliance for Saturation Church Planting Alliance. We have assisted in the translation of this material into French, Portuguese, Swahili, and other languages.
3) Each trainer trains between 12 and 16 student pastors. The trainer provides classroom instruction for five days per month and then visits the trainee pastors back in their villages during the remaining part of the month, modeling truth and mentoring the trainee as he goes about planting a church.
4) All bi-vocational church pastors attend classes for a three and a half year period. During this time, they are theologically equipped and mentored on how to initiate a church plant. Before graduation they must:
5) Student pastors are also given training on evangelism and discipleship methods. All new believers undertake baptismal classes, new believer discipleship programs, and church membership classes. We lean heavily on partner denominations to help provide this member training.
6) We help facilitate church planting for both established and new denominations by endeavoring to unearth and demonstrate first century church planting principles. These precepts will lead to an exponential growth in the establishment of churches that passionately believe that it is their mission to plant daughter churches that will in turn plant daughter churches. We currently have hundreds of training centers in which thousands of student pastors are enrolled. Together, they have initiated thousands of church plants. With our emphasis on second and third generation church planting, we are seeking God by His grace for 40,000 churches with 2 million members by the end of 2021.
7) In order to facilitate the CPM, great care is given to ensure we develop a reproducible model that indigenous groups can own and implement without dependence upon outside resources. In the initial VCP phase, support is provided for coordinators and trainers. Volunteer training centers, which have become increasingly numerous, are staffed by trainers supported locally. In the seeding of first generation churches, we provide a limited number of Bibles and other materials. As the parent of first generation churches we demonstrate our financial obligation to our children; and in second generation church planting, the first generation churches become the parents of their daughter churches and must assume their adult obligations. The Into Africa Project withdraws trainers’ salaries at the end of the training cycle of first generation church pastors, but will continue offering counseling and supervision in an area until fourth generation church planting is attained.Please join OMS Africa in praying for God’s wisdom as we seek to plant healthy churches that are committed to training responsible leaders and discipling members into fruitful ministries. Pray that these new churches would continue to be centered in God’s Word and will, and be faithful in passing on an authentic church planting DNA to their daughter churches, and so exponentially grow the number of churches on the African continent.