Church Planting Curriculum for CPx

All Nations, Cape Town, South Africa

CPx is a part of All Nations Family, an international alliance of missional communities, ministries and members committed to making disciples, training leaders and planting churches. CPx focuses on the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts as our primary texts for learning how to fulfill our goals of disciple making, church planting and leadership training. We believe in the whole Bible as divinely inspired truth, but we have found it helpful to focus on Luke and Acts for the primary text for our curriculum. 

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:                 

• Worship

• Mission

• Community

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.

Worship - We seek to love God by setting aside time each day for prayer and reading the Word – both as individuals and as a community. We do this to allow God to love us and for us to love Him in return. If we are to serve the poor and reach the unreached, we know we must die to ourselves and find our identity ever more deeply in Christ. Worship is our source and our goal. It is our lifestyle and our passion. It includes every aspect of how we live life, but is nurtured in an intimate and personal times alone with Jesus.

Mission – We see church as a community of people who are committed to obey God’s mission. Out of our love for God we are drawn into his mission to plant churches filled with lovers and friends of His son, Jesus. Mission flows out of hearing and obeying Jesus call to love God and make disciples. We are committed to loving the world by finding creative and effective ways to share the good news of Jesus, and as we do that, to find the “good soil” type of people Jesus spoke about in the parable of the sower.

Community – We try to love each other through transparency, accountability and investing intentionally in one another’s lives. We believe in discipling each other, not just the lost. To love each other this way, we know we must be loyal, truthful, and accountable to each other. We are a community of friends called to do life together. Church is a way of life to us, not a series of meetings to attend. We believe the church is the hope of the world because Jesus continues to touch the world in and through the 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:

    • Catalyzing a movement to Christ through finding “good soil” people and persons of peace – Luke 8:3-13 and illustrated throughout Luke chapters 4-9
    • Finding and discipling persons of peace to be the gatherers of others to hear and obey Jesus – Luke 10
    • Holy Spirit gifts to be developed and used in outreach and community – Acts 2, Acts 13 and 14
    • Discipleship paradoxes– learning to think differently about discipleship and making disciples – Luke 5 to Luke 9
    • Multi-cultural community – Acts 2,13 and 15
    • Learning to think in new paradigms about church as creative movements not static institutions – Acts 2 and Luke 5:27 – 6:19
    • Evaluated experience is the best teacher: learning to continually evaluate one’s experiences through debriefing, question asking, and personal reflection – Luke 10: 17 – 21 and Acts 20:17 – 21:14
    • Discovering the gospel as the “God story” with the goal of faithfully communicating the good news of Jesus, in the context of the culture and loyalty to the Word of God – Acts 13:13-41, 17:16-34
    • Distinguishing between being a natural church planter/gatherer, and one who makes disciples through creating “access ministries” – learning how the two work together to catalyze movements to Christ – Luke 4:18-19, Acts 6
    • Adjusting leadership styles from directive to facilitative, and from a teaching style downloading information to empowering others to discover truth in “discovery” Bible studies - Acts 17:11
    • Serving as “outside” leaders who empower “inside” leaders to lead emerging new churches – Acts 14:20, 23, Luke 10:5-10
    • New Testament decision making; the roles, authority and responsibilities of elders and apostles in church planting movements; learning how to apply the same principles to resolving conflict and making decisions in teams – Acts 15
    • Discerning and developing the five complimentary equipping gifts that all believers have in various measure (teacher, pastor, prophet, apostle and evangelist):
      • Apostles: Apostolic church planters are creative people who re-imagine how to do church and then exercise faith and vision to pioneer new communities and movements in new places and new ways to mold the church-planting model to fit cultural challenges. They are idea people who whole-heartedly believe that truth applies to all peoples and cultures and they don’t try to change the people or the gospel as they bring them together.
      • Pastors: Pastoral church planters care for people and encourage and build up local leaders. They are mentors who truly believe in and support the people they are raising up. They offer an understanding ear and an empathetic shoulder when things are frustrating in the church planting process. They are shepherds who love to pour into those pouring into others. They are empowerers of others. They have hearts of mercy for the broken and downcast and often create ministries of care that connect to the poor, marginalized and downcast in society.
      • Prophets: Prophetic church planters go on treasure hunts for “people of peace”. They receive words of knowledge to unlock hearts and encourage movements. They receive warnings and intercede for the movement not to be led astray. They are sensitive to know where the Lord has sent His Spirit ahead and where He is already working, especially if the area is difficult to access. They discern spiritual attacks against the new believers and help spot false teachers and false prophets.
      • Teachers: Church planters with a gift of teaching know how to lead people to God’s word when they come with questions. They rise up other teachers to give the churches solid foundations of truth. They can take groups through specific passages where the Lord speaks about what people in the group are going through. They exemplify a deep knowledge of being obedient to the Lord. They impart a concern for sound doctrine and obedience to the Word of God.
      • Evangelists: Evangelistic church planters are the seekers; they are fishers of men. They have an anointing of favor with people and the ability to speak about spiritual things easily. They are great for finding people of peace and discerning who is really hungry for the Lord. They introduce the presence of the Lord into conversations and relationships where He wasn’t previously welcome.

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 julianna@all-nations.co.za

All Nations Cape Town, www.all-nations.co.za and www.floydandsally.org March 16, 2010