Posted on: 
November 1, 2018

Several ABT members recently read this book and responded to three questions:

Question #1: Why did Garrison write the book Church Planting Movements?

Response #1: David Garrison wanted to record what God is doing in large-scale, fast-spreading movements around the globe, where churches are being planted by the hundreds per year and souls brought in to the Kingdom by the thousands per year. His goal in this is that others be motivated to pursue greater visions and learn what it takes to unleash a movement of God of these proportions. Especially, that those doing evangelism and church planting among unevangelized peoples would catch this vision—and learn to ask not just, “What can I do to use my gifts?” but, “What will it take to unleash a church planting movement here?”

Question #2: From what you now know about church planting movements, what do you think of them?

Response #1: Most of the movements recorded in this book appear to be genuine, effective, and of God. None is perfect, of course (as if I would be qualified to judge them!). For instance, Chapter 7 about the Muslim world includes significant factors which I believe carry within them the death sentence of the movement. Extremely dangerous tactics because they are not aligned with God’s revealed will, such as Muslim-friendly Bible versions, Christians who call themselves Muslim, and using the Koran to teach God’s truth. Movements like in the Americas with big leaders at the top tend to corrupt or derail from the way of faithfulness eventually. Nevertheless, I do believe a tremendous amount of Kingdom growth has happened in most, if not all, of the church planting movements mentioned.

Response #2: This seems to be the fastest way to spread the Gospel. I see one precaution. We number-focused Americans can look at numbers and forget to look at the “spiritual depth” of the movement. The factors of accountability to others and an authoritative view of Scripture are a must or the movement will go off-key. I truly see meeting in homes with small groups as an amazing discipleship tool. Personally I have been involved in a men’s accountability group and I love it. In conclusion, it can obviously work based on the examples. Although care must be taken that accountability and an authoritative view of God’s Word are intertwined.

Question #3: How will having read this book impact your life and ministry?

Response #1: I think I’ll want to keep the book close by to check in with now and then. I think if I’ve been convinced of anything it was the necessity of sustained prayer. I must admit I don’t currently spend anywhere near 2 hours a day praying. And definitely the advantages of small house churches over large buildings/groups has been reinforced to me as an approach to church planting.

Response #2: I would love to see a church planting movement blossom from the community I serve to other communities. To make this happen I need to keep myself out of the driver's seat. If anything stops a church planting movement in my ministry it is going to be me by thinking I need to help make all the decisions or take too much control. I also realize I need to push myself to abundant evangelism in my life today if I hope to do it in another part of the world.

Response #3: I want to keep central in my vision and mode of operation the 10 factors present in all church planting movements, and avoid the 7 blockades. Reading this book added fuel to the fire of my conviction in these areas.

  • “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17
  • “Repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witness of these things.” Luke 24:47, 48
  • “Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations.” Matthew 28:19
  • “In you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Genesis 12:3
  • “That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the Gospel.” Ephesians 3:6
  • “That they all may be one; as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be one in Us; that the world may believe that You sent Me.” John 17:21
  • “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations’?” Mark 11:17
  • “Ask of me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance.” Psalm 2:8
  • “Behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes.” Revelation 7:9
  • “Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified.” 2 Thessalonians 3:1
  • “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” 2 Timothy 3:16
  • “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105
  • “As cold water to a weary soul, so is good news from a far country.” Proverbs 25:25
  • “More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.” Psalm 19:10
  • “All the ends of the world shall remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations shall worship before You.” Psalm 22:27
  • “Truly, as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD.” Numbers 14:21
  • “Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples. For the LORD is great and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods.” Psalm 96:3, 4
  • “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” Habakkuk 2:14
  • “That all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God; there is no other.” 1 Kings 8:60
  • “For from the rising of the sun, even to its going down, My name shall be great among the Gentiles; in every place incense shall be offered to My name, and a pure offering; for My name shall be great among the nations.” Malachi 1:11
  • “All nations whom You have made shall come and worship before You, O Lord, and shall glorify Your name.” Psalm 86:9
  • “For as the earth brings forth its bud, as the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth, so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.” Isaiah 61:11
  • "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!" Psalm 46:10
  • "This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." 1 Timothy 2:3, 4
  • "You are worthy. . .; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God." Revelation 5:9, 10