Church Planting Movements and Dynamic Standardization

iii b philosophy 2b 600x400TUMI is dedicated to empowering church planting movements to reach and transform America's inner cities. Therefore, we facilitate strategic partnerships with and among urban churches and their leaders to trigger pioneer church planting movements that multiply thousands of Kingdom-oriented churches among America's urban poor.

We will do all we can to ensure that these churches are led by godly undershepherds serving congregations that hold to the canonical story and narrative of God's Son and his kingdom in Scripture, that affirm and display the creedal emblems of the Church, and which keep their reflection and practice anchored in the Scriptures in sync with the theological interpretation learned from the early Fathers. We will seek to strengthen their Christ-centered identity displayed in their Spirit-formed worship and community life, shaped in spiritual formation by historically orthodox doctrine, and expressed passionately in their Kingdom-oriented practice and mission.

What is a Church Planting Movement?
The fastest, most dynamic, and most effective method of winning unreached peoples into the Kingdom, of establishing Christian community, and multiplying the Gospel in communities where Christ is not known is planting churches. Throughout the world, God is moving among the unreached peoples of the globe, spreading the Gospel among the lost through rapidly reproducing church planting movements. We believe that facilitating and empowering such movements here in America can help reach and transform America’s inner cities.

What is a church planting movement? We define an urban church planting movement among the poor as “an integrated and aggressive advance of the Kingdom of God among the urban poor resulting in a significant increase of indigenous churches which fundamentally share in common a constellation of elements which provides them with a distinct and unique identity, purpose, and practice.”

While movements are grounded in shared spirituality and people group identity, they still reflect the common roots of our one true faith, the Great Tradition of the historic church. Movements respect culture and difference, but that respect does not trump allegiance to the historic Christian faith. Movements, however dynamic and integrated within culture and clan, can ignore the nature of the one (unity), holy (sanctity), catholic (universality), and apostolic (apostolicity) Church, the one true people of God.

Defining Church Planting Movements

Elements of an Urban Church Planting Movement

The unique nature of unreached urban poor communities demands that we carefully distinguish the ways in which church planting movements will spawn and grow within them, as the Lord leads. With the mind-numbing cultural diversity, the complex kinship relationships, the racial and class barriers, and the spiritual challenges of the city, we will do well to think long and critically about how the various elements of a potentially viable urban church planting movement will play out. This mind map highlights the key missional, theological, and spiritual realities and structures that will provide for healthy evangelical church planting movements. Further, it gives a blueprint for a new paradigm of urban church community, the kind which as it grows can lead to the unreached city's salvation and healing.

The Nature of Dynamic Church Planting Movements: Mapping the Elements of Effective Urban Mission
An at-a-glance summary of TUMI’s formative research on dynamic church planting movements. It highlights the dimensions of Shared Spirituality, People Group Identity, and Dynamic Standardization, showing how these, when properly integrated, lead to both fruitfulness and effectiveness in church planting among the poor.

Church Associations
This graphic describes the various elements involved in the kind of healthy, vital urban church associations that can lead to deeper levels of fellowship and fruitful ministry.

That We May Be One: Elements of an Integrated Church Planting Movement among the Poor
The ten critical elements of a coherent, dynamic church planting movement. These elements are expressions of the fundamental spirituality that growing movements among unreached peoples demonstrate, providing their rapidly reproducing movements with connection, integration, and unity.

The Threefold Cord of Urban Cross-Cultural Church Planting Movements
Graphical display of the three core principles/realities underlying urban church planting movements.

Imagining a C1 Integrated Church Planting Movement
A graphic design highlighting the ways in which an integrated vision of faith and practice can fuel a church planting vision

Dynamics of Church Planting Movements

Through the liberty won for all peoples through the death and resurrection of Christ, vital church planting movements among the poor must affirm the freedom of cultural neutrality. One need not change cultures in order to become a follower of Jesus Christ! All people groups (and the churches planted within them) are free in Christ to embody the faith within their own ethnicity and culture, expressing allegiance to him in light of their own unique cultural experience, under the lordship of Christ.  The following show the importance of contextualization.

There Is a River: Identifying the Streams of a Revitalized Authentic Christian Community in the City
A tabular document that outlines what we believe are the key tributaries of renewing an authentic expression of the historic orthodox faith in the city, the kind that can revitalize and regenerate urban Christian community. Built upon the elements of the Church confessed in the Nicene Creed. Doing the kind of biblical church study from the sound position of the Nicene creed can help us rediscover our common faith, that common stream of faith and practice that Christians has shared and cherished since the time of the apostles, and which continues to transform lives today.

The Importance of the Great Tradition for a Vital Shared Spirituality: A Safe, Easy Way to Renew Urban Churches
Vital healthy church planting movements among the poor assumes a richness in spiritual formation, a depth of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and an authentic love for all the saints. The key, therefore, to urban church renewal is finding ways for believers in community to discover and retrieve both the content and the expression of our one true faith, rooted in the apostles' doctrine and tradition. This graphic highlights the various dimensions of such a dynamic and enriching spirituality, one which balances personal piety with humble service, that emphasizes the Word and the Lord's Supper, that incorporates new Christians in a community focused on the life and mission of Jesus Christ. Renewal emerges from our commitment to live the Christ-life in community, in the power of the Holy Spirit, to the glory of God. For those interested in building a confession, spirituality, and mission based on a retrieval of the Great Tradition, these documents can show you where to start!

The Purpose, Elements, and Advantages of Shared Spirituality argues how we can be transformed and renewed by a rediscovery of the power of the Great Tradition, i.e., that faith and practice from the time of Christ and the apostles to the fifth century. Sowing Good Seed: First Steps in Recapturing the Great Tradition in Shared Spirituality offers practical, easy-to-apply steps for individuals, groups, and congregations to learn how to keep “the main thing the main thing” in spiritual growth and missional outreach.

The Efficiency of Dynamic Standardization: The Burden for Multiplication
Rapidly reproducing healthy churches among the poor establish processes that all its members submit to and joyfully practice. Vital church planting movements form, nourish, and multiply their churches in ways which allow them to leverage and coordinate their scarce resources, all for the good of each church in the movement. Aggressive advances of the Kingdom of God through integrated church planting movements allow for standardization, i.e., the ability for Christian workers, missionaries, pastors, and congregations to employ a common set of values, resources, practices, and structures to establish, sustain, and multiply its members, leaders, congregations, and church plants.