Growth for growth sake
Some have said CPM (church planting movement) theory feeds a Western and especially American idea for the validation of numbers.
Some have said growth for growth’s sake was the ideology of cancer.
I can see where one might think CPM methodology is all about getting the numbers.
But is that really true?
CPM/DMM is about bearing fruit that bears fruit. Too many churches are spiritually sterile.
In fact, CPMs can take a long time to start (years) because of the way exponential growth works: it can take quite a few doubles to get to a size that seems ‘visible,’ and then all of a sudden the doubling takes off. In the early stages, growth vs. the total population can look like a flat line.
Paradoxically, many Westerners don’t like CPMs at large sizes because they become untrackable and unmeasurable. If you want numbers to report, you want something that grows in a more orderly and measurable way.
So ironically CPM has the appearance of meeting the Western desire for numbers. But it really won’t. Not because the numbers aren’t there but because they are too hard to get. And certainly too hard to control.
Interesting: CPM is more accepted in Africa and Asia. (Though we should not make the mistake of thinking it is widely accepted there. Traditional churches everywhere often fall to the temptation of control.)