CLARIFICATION OF THE TERMINOLOGY “GENERATIONS” IN CHURCH PLANTING MOVEMENTS
I think there is a misunderstanding of the term “generation” as used in church planting movements (“CPM’s”). It’s important to get this clarified so that we all know what we are talking about. SOME PEOPLE HAVE THE IDEA THAT WE INTRODUCE A GROUP OF PEOPLE IN ONE AREA TO A CPM-STYLE CHURCH – THEN THAT GROUP IS OUR FIRST GENERATION. THEN WHEN WE GO TO A SECOND AREA, WE START A SECOND GENERATION IN THAT AREA. SO WE MIGHT HAVE OUR FIRST GENERATION IN BUNGOMA FOR EXAMPLE, AND OUR SECOND GENERATION IN ELDORET. PLEASE NOTE THIS UNDERSTANDING IS WRONG! WRONG! WRONG! (DO I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION?).
The following is the correct meaning……………
When we introduce a new person to the CPM movement, this new person, wherever they live, is part of our first generation. This new person might be a brand new believer, or an existing believer discovering the power of the CPM method of multiplying churches to impact nations. In either case the new person is part of our first generation. He/she is as it were our child in the Lord, our spiritual child. So it doesn’t matter whether the child was born in Bungoma or Eldoret, he/she is still OUR CHILD, JUST AS IT WOULD BE IN THE CASE OF A NATURAL CHILD. I have, by God’s grace, given CPM training in many countries – China, Philippines, Cameroon, Benin, Kenya, UK, New Zealand and others. All those who have adopted CPM in those countries are my first generation. Bernice in China is part of my first generation. Poupo in Cameroon is part of my first generation. Tom in New Zealand is part of my first generation. The GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION IS IRRELEVANT!!! The Lord has used me personally to “give birth” to these precious brothers and sisters – so they are my first generation. I coach them in facilitating a small, simple home-based or workplace-based church, with their relatives, friends, workmates or whoever God joins them with. Or I meet with them as a church. This is then my first generation church.
THE FOLLOWING IS HOW MY SECOND GENERATION COMES INTO BEING: I train my first generation people to share their heart and testimony with people they know and who God connects THEM with. More people become believers and CPM practitioners. I did not “give birth” to this second group of people at all. It was my spiritual “children” who gave birth to them. I may have, and should have, helped my first generation to “give birth” – but the actual “birthing” was done by them. So it is just like natural birthing of children – they are the “fathers” or “mothers” of the new group. I AM THE “GRANDFATHER”. HALLELUYAH! My second generation is born! I assist my first generation (my “children”) to train my second generation (my “grandchildren”) to form simple churches (my second generation churches).
From then on, the second generation gives birth to the THIRD GENERATION, the third generation births the FOURTH, and so on. Please note none of this will happen unless we are acting as, and making, true disciples as we go. This is why the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20, properly translated, commands us to make disciples, not mere head believers.
So there we are. Hope you don’t mind me really spelling it out! This is the meaning of “generations” as understood by Ying Kai who first articulated the “T4T” system, Victor Choudhrie who facilitates a CPM winning literally millions of new believers, and every major CPM in the world. 2 Timothy 2:2 outlines the strategy, which is followed in the New Testament by Jesus himself, Peter, Paul and all the disciples. If you understand the generational model, and practice it faithfully, I promise you will have “fruit that remains” (John 15:16).