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One Challenge has the big picture vision of discipling whole nations. OC founder, Dick Hillis, had this vision in 1952 when he began OC in Taiwan, and it rings true in the numerous countries where One Challenge and the OC Global Alliance work today. But how does a small organization like OC take on the task of whole nation discipleship? One way is through working in partnership through movements, like Church Planting Movements.

church planting movements
Church planting in Madagascar.

A Little Bit of History

From 1910 through 2010 the proportion of the world that called itself Christian remained roughly the same: about one-third (34.8% in 1910, and 32.8% in 2010).[1] The increase in new believers was largely linear and it mostly accompanied population growth. However, the church was losing ground in parts of the world without a viable gospel witness (i.e. where no churches had yet been planted). Evangelism of unreached peoples was not keeping pace.

church planting movements
Church planting in Southeast Asia.

Recently, within the last 30 years, “Church Planting Movements (CPMs),” which had actually been occurring sporadically throughout history, began to become more common. But, what is a “Church Planting Movement?” The definition OC uses is “the turning of at least 1,000 baptized believers over the past one or two decades, or 100 new church starts over the same time frame, within a given people group or ethnic community.” From the 7th to 18th centuries, there were no recorded church planting movements. In the 19th century, there were two, and in the 20th century, there were 11.[2]

Dramatic Growth

In about 1994, the number of CPMs throughout the world began to increase rapidly. In fact, it began to explode.

church planting movements

From 2000-2012, 69 movements were identified. Church planting movements appeared on every continent. There are now over 1,300 rapidly multiplying movements in the world, and there are 76 million believers in these movements.[3] God is doing a new thing, and OC is privileged to live in this moment to witness it happening.

church planting movements
The Base, a church for younger generations, in Zimbabwe.

In One Challenge, we “ask how God is at work, then assist the body of Christ to bring God’s transformation to lives, communities, and nations.” OC remains committed to promoting local research, helping pastors and church leaders in communities ask questions about how to best share Christ. A number of OC’s teams are ministering right in the middle of CPMs. The methods they use to track their growth have been creative and standard setting. What an exciting, unprecedented adventure with God!

church planting movements
Baptism for new believers in Madagascar.

Pray with One Challenge

  • Join us in giving thanks to God for the marvelous way He is at work in our world.
  • Pray for OC mission workers who seek to cooperate with Him to preserve the growth occurring in CPMs around the world.
  • Pray that God would reveal to OC workers even better ways to document CPMs, to the glory of God and the expansion of His kingdom.

[1] “Status of Global Christianity 2020.” Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary.

[2] Garrison, David. A Wind in the House of Islam. 2014. WIGTake Resources.

[3] “Global Movement Statistics.” 24:14 Multiplying Movements Together.

Church Planting & Growth One Challenge is an international mission sending agency empowering local church ministry in more than 100 countries around the world. We invest in people and opportunities that enable churches to be planted, thrive, grow, and multiply. When invited by local leaders, OC conducts training for church planters and those interested in learning about disciple-making movements.

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