A few weeks ago we posted a video to give an insight into All Nations the organisation we will be working with in South Africa. As part of working with All Nations we will be involved in a CPx from Feb-Jun 2011, which stands for Church Planting eXperience.
We have just received the curriculum for this and thought we’d share it with you. If you’d like to get involved with this area by either attending or partnering with us through meeting some of the costs of this program we’d love to hear from you.
All Nations Cape Town is a network of simple churches that gathers for celebrations every few weeks as a church family. We are called to plant churches through holistic disciple making. We dream about igniting movements to Christ. CPx students become part of the All Nations community for the time they are with us, working side by side with our long term members as they serve the poor and share the good news in the communities where we work. In this way the students are drawn into a “church planting experience” and not just a program about church planting.
We see the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts the same way the author Luke described them: as “orderly accounts” of the life of Jesus and the growth and expansion of the church. These two books tell the story of how Jesus catalyzed a disciple making movement and then continued to ignite many more movements through the church after He ascended to heaven. The Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts are “Part One” and “Part Two” of the life of Jesus, first in the flesh, then in the church. We believe passionately in the church of Jesus Christ. We believe His church is the hope of the world because Jesus is the hope of the world in us, His people. We are devoted to being and doing church for Him, and for the sake of others who do not know Him.
We not only want to live like Jesus, but also learn to reproduce the life of Jesus in others. We call it “church planting”, but really we are trying to plant Jesus through making disciples and igniting in them a desire to be and do church with passion and purpose, with minimal dependency on us as outsiders.
The driving passions of All Nations CPx are three fold:
These three ‘vision-values’ of All Nations and CPx are simple, yet deep. We believe in them passionately, but are still learning about them as we devote ourselves fully to Jesus, His mission and His church.
The Learning Path of CPx – Six Stepping Stones
Think of the curriculum for CPx as a pathway to follow, not a set of static truths to memorize. We emphasize grace-empowered obedience as the primary way to follow this path together:
“So be sure to pay attention to what you hear. To those who are open to my teaching, more understanding will be given. But to those who are not listening, even what they think they have will be taken away from them.” … Someone told Jesus, “Your mother and your brothers are outside, and they want to see you.”
Jesus replied, “My mother and my brothers are all those who hear the message of God and obey it.” Luke 8:18-21 NLT
Each new group of students in CPx are invited to join us in the All Nations church family in Cape Town as we seek do what Jesus taught us to do: “pay attention to what we hear…to hear the message of God and obey it” (Luke 8:20). CPx students become part of the All Nations community as we seek to be obedient followers of Jesus. Learning never stops for us. We are a church community that longs to be like Jesus, and because of that, we feel free to keep learning. It is embarrassing sometimes to acknowledge how far short we fall of how we want to live, but this gives us freedom to be honest about our failures, our disobedience and our need for God. Tofollow Jesus for us is to learn and grow in God’s grace through transparency and in accountability to one another.
We read the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts, then, with this path in mind:
Persistent Prayer – We know that the transformation we want to see among neglected peoples in Africa cannot take place without entreating God in passionate prayer. We believe God is not only sovereign, but that in His sovereignty He has chosen to reward those who desperately and diligently seek Him. We look to the book of Acts for insight and inspiration for being people of passionate prayer.
Sharing the Gospel – We the good news of Jesus with those who don’t know Him. As we do that, we try to apply the lessons Jesus taught His disciples in Luke 10: to pray, preach the gospel, heal the sick, and find spiritually hungry people. The goal is to find the person of peace Jesus mentions in Luke 10 and disciple them to disciple others.
Discipling People of Peace – The parable of the sower guides our search for spiritual seekers. We believe that we as outsiders will not be as effective as insiders in discipling and transforming a community in need. We long to see the power of God at work, saving and delivering and transforming people as they believe and receive Jesus. Jesus told His disciples to heal the sick and cast out demons as they announce the arrival of His kingdom. When Jesus sent out His disciples in Luke 10, He told them to look for a “person of peace”, i.e., someone who is welcoming, spiritually hungry, willing to invite you into their network of friends and family, and prepared to obey Jesus.
Gathering Seekers in Discovery Bible Studies – This step on the journey of church planting is called “gathering”. This happens by starting what we call “discovery bible studies” or a “DBS”. A discovery Bible Study is a group of seekers who are gathering around a person of peace and they study the Bible together. We assist the person of peace to start a discovery Bible study by getting his/her friends together and “discovering” the truth as they read and discuss the Bible together.
Establishing Simple Churches – We encourage “DBS’s” to grow into simple churches. The transition from a Bible study to a church happens when there are more believers than non-believers, baptisms are taking place, they take communion, and local leaders are recognized and appointed.
Multiplication – Jesus commanded His disciples to make disciples who “teach them to obey all the commands I have given you…” (Matthew 28:20). Paul instructed Timothy to pass on what he taught Timothy to “faithful people who would teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2). To be catalysts for a movement to Christ our efforts have to go beyond us, and beyond our disciples. That means multiplication, not just of individuals, but of simple churches that start more churches.
Topics Covered in the CPx Teaching
What are the topics we focus on in CPx? They are drawn from inductive discovery Bible studies in the gospel of Luke and the book Acts. We follow the growth of the church as it spreads from Jerusalem to Judea to Samaria to the ends of the earth, and as we do so, we try to learn practices and principles that can guide us as we make disciples that are catalysts for movements to Christ. Guest teachers and staff teach and guide discovery Bible studies on the following topics:
Typical Week-by-Week Themes in CPx
? Week One – Welcome and Orientation
? Week Two – Sharing the Gospel
? Week Three – The Empowering Presence of the Holy Spirit
? Week Four – Discipleship
? Week Five – Church Planting – Part One
? Week Six – Leadership
? Week Seven – Kingdom Culture and Cultural Dynamics
? Week Nine – Prayer, Worship and Warfare
? Week Eight – Suffering, Sacrifice and Simplicity
? Week Nine – Church Planting = Part Two
? Weeks Ten to Twenty – Outreach Prep and Team Outreaches
? Weeks Twenty-One to Twenty-Two – Travel Back to Cape Town, Debriefing, Graduation, and New Members Orientation
For more information, write to Registrar at firstname.lastname@example.org