We wanted one document listing key resources for proclamational missionaries needing to find tools on planting healthy churches in a missionary context. This bibliography is only a primer, and so it is limited to a few pages worth. It contains descriptions of—and arguments for—proclamational church-planting methods. As with any collection of resources, we find some of the material contained in this bibliography more helpful than other material; nevertheless, all of these resources contain useful insights into widely held proclamational missions strategies and perspectives. (We acknowledge that we’ve grappled with the most fitting name for such a model: historic, traditional, church-centered, etc. Admittedly, none best captures it, but “proclamational” is a good start.)
Movements methodologies predominant today’s church-planting paradigm in unreached missions contexts. However, in the past few years, many missiologists have issued important critiques of what they perceive to be excesses in movements methodologies, and the missions community has become increasingly interested in comparing proclamational missions strategies with movement methods. Hopefully, this primer can help in the research.
To keep this bibliography from tedium it has few subsections (e.g., “Directly Relevant”). For the most part it is a non-annotated bibliography, but any entries that require a note are under the “Miscellaneous” section.
Bennett, Matthew. “It’s Not Our Job to ‘Finish’ the Missionary Task.” 9 Marks. November 26, 2018.
_______. “More than Catch and Release.” The Gospel Coalition. May 17, 2022.
Buser, Brooks, and Scott Logsdon, Aubrey Sequeira, Mack Stiles. Pastors Talk (9 Marks), Episode 183. Interview: On Church-Centered Missions vs Movement-Driven Missions. October 12, 2021.
Buser, Brad. “There Are No Shortcuts in Missions.” The Gospel Coalition. November 29, 2021.
Carlson, Darren. “Review of J. Trousdale: Miraculous Movements: How Hundreds of Thousands of Muslims are Falling in Love with Jesus.” Journal of Global Christianity 1.2 (August 2015): 95-99.
_______. “5 Ways Mission Agencies Stretch the Truth.” The Gospel Coalition. July 13, 2015.
Carlson, Darren, and Elliot Clark. “The 3 Words That Changed Missions Strategy–and Why We Might Be Wrong.” The Gospel Coalition. September 11, 2019.
Clark, Elliot. Mission Affirmed: Recovering the Missionary Motivation of Paul. Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway, 2021.
_______. “Pastor, Do You Know Your Missionaries?” The Gospel Coalition. Feb 2, 2022.
_______. “Questions Your Church Should Ask a Missionary Candidate.” The Gospel Coalition. June 20, 2022.
_______. “Should Missionaries Expect Rapid Growth?” The Gospel Coalition. January 21, 2020.
_______. “The Trouble with Results-Driven Missions.” The Gospel Coalition. May 15, 2022.
Coles, Dave, and Don Little. Mission Leaders Conference. Debate: Movements vs. Traditional: Church Planting Debate. September 24, 2019.
Crane, Michael D., and Jesse Snodgrass. Radius Global. Debate: Urban Church Planting Models. August 2021.
DeMars, Sean, and Caleb Morell. Missions Podcast (ABWE). Interview: “T4G22: ‘Why the Need for Speed in Missions?’ Sean DeMars and Caleb Morrell.” May 6, 2022.
Dever, Mark. Radius International. Interview: Mark Dever on Church Planting Movements. October 16, 2019.
_______. T4G. Sermon: Endurance Needed: Strength for a Slow Reformation and the Dangerous Allure of Speed. T4G. April 21, 2016.
Esler, Ted, and Chad Vegas. “Church Planting Movement Model vs the Proclamational Model.” Radius International. December 17, 2018.
Gibson, A. J. “Book Review: The Spontaneous Expansion of the Church and the Causes Which Hinder It, by Roland Allen.” RTIM. June 29, 2021.
Hayward, Kenneth. “A Brief Evaluation of the Four Fields Method.” ABWE. March 4, 2022.
_______. “God and a Godward Worldview for the IMB: Concerns about CPM Theory.” Global Missiology 2, no. 14 (January 2016): 1-17.
_______. “If Not Church Planting Movements, Then What?” Founders. March 14, 2022.
Hesselgrave, David. Planting Churches Cross-Culturally: A Guide for Home and Foreign Missions. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1995.
Jay, Bryan. “Jeremiah 9:23-24 Obedience-Based Discipleship.” Gospel for Christians. September 9, 2014.
Jennings, Steve. “The Foolish Quest for a ‘Silver Bullet’ in Global Missions.” 9 Marks. March 2, 2018.
Johnson, Andy. “Pragmatism, Pragmatism Everywhere!” 9 Marks. February 26, 2010.
_______. Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary & 9 Marks. Sermon: Missions. Session 3. October 4, 2018.
_______. “The Measure of Missionary Success.” The Gospel Coalition. May 26, 2020.
Kocman, Alex. “What Should We Do With ‘Persons of Peace’?” ABWE. October 2, 2019.
Kocman, Alex, and Chad Vegas. Missions by the Book: How Theology and Missions Walk Together. Cape Coral, Fla.: Founders Press, 2021.
_______. The Sword & the Trowel (Founders). Interview: Missions by the Book: How Theology and Missions Walk Together. December 14, 2021.
Logsdon, Scott. “Revivalism on the Mission Field.” 9 Marks. June 14, 2022.
Massey, John. “Theological Education and Southern Baptist Missions Strategy in the Twenty-first Century.” Southwestern Journal of Theology 57, no. 1 (Fall 2015): 5-16. https://swbtsv7.s3.amazonaws.com/media/Theology_Journal/57.1/57.1_Massey.pdf
_______. “Wrinkling Time in the Missionary Task: A Theological Review of Church Planting Movements Methodology.” Southwestern Journal of Theology 55, no. 1 (2012): 100–137. http://www.baptisttheology.org/baptisttheology/assets/File/Massey_Wrinkling_Time_SWJT.pdf
Miller, Jim. “Missionaries Must Give Answers.” The Gospel Coalition. May 5, 2022.
Morten, Jeff. “Book Review: Miraculous Movements: How Hundreds of Thousands of Muslims are Falling in Love with Jesus.” Biblical Missiology. October 2012.
Pratt, Zane. “Obedience Based Discipleship.” Global Missiology 4, no. 12 (July 2015): 1-10.
_______. “What Should We Think about Rapid Church Multiplication?” IMB. September 26, 2017.
Pratt, Zane, M. David Sills, and Jeff K. Walters. Introduction to Global Missions. Nashville, Tennessee: B&H Publishing Group, 2014.
Rhodes, Matt. ”Advancing Conversations about Proclamational and Movements Methodologies.” Global Missiology 9, no. 3 (July 2022): 18-30.
_______. “Missionary Teaching is Urgent.” The Gospel Coalition. June 8, 2022.
_______. No Shortcut to Success: A Manifesto for Modern Missions. Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway, 2022.
_______. Pastor’s Talk (9 Marks), Episode 196. Interview: On “No Shortcut to Success” with Matt Rhodes. Part 1. February 8, 2022.
_______. “Why Missionaries Must Learn Language.” The Gospel Coalition. February 24, 2022.
Roberts, Ed. “Book Review: Church Planting Movements by David Garrison.” 9 Marks. July 25, 2009.
July 29, 2009.
Sequeira, Aubrey. “A Plea for Gospel Sanity in Missions.” 9 Marks Journal (Fall 2015): 8-21. Southgate Fellowship. Affirmations and Denials Concerning World Mission.
Span, John. “Why Does Jackson Wu State: “There are no Church Planting Movements in the Bible….” and How Did David Garrison Reply?” Biblical Missiology. Feb 15, 2016.
Stiles, Mack. Marks of the Messenger: Knowing, Living and Speaking the Gospel. Downers Grove: IVP Books, 2010.
_______. “What Could Be Wrong with ‘Church Planting’? Six Dangers in a Missions Strategy.” Desiring God. August 24, 2020.
Terry, George A. “A Missiology of Excluded Middles: An Analysis of the T4T Scheme for Evangelism and Discipleship.” Themelios 42, no. 2 (August 2017): 335-52.
Vegas, Chad. “A Brief Guide to DMM.” Radius International. June 11, 2018.
Wu, Jackson. “The Influence of Culture on the Evolution of Mission Methods: Using ‘Church Planting Movements’ as a Case Study.” Global Missiology 1, no. 12 (October 2014): 1-11.
________. “There Are No Church Planting Movements in the Bible: Why Biblical Exegesis and Missiological Methods Cannot Be Separated.” Global Missiology 1, no 12 (October 2014): 1-14. http://ojs.globalmissiology.org/index.php/english/article/view/1711
_______. “Thoughts on David Garrison’s Reply to my Article on CPMs.” Patheos. April 8, 2015.
Burns, E. D. The Missionary-Theologian: Sent into the World, Sanctified by the Word. Fearn, Tain, Scotland: Christian Focus, 2020.
Dever, Mark. T4G. Sermon: False Conversions: The Suicide of the Church. April 11, 2012.
Morell, Caleb. “Does the Book of Acts Teach Spontaneous Baptisms?” 9 Marks. March 10, 2020.
_______. Pastor’s Talk (9 Marks), Episode 118. Interview: On Spontaneous Baptisms with Caleb Morell. March 10, 2020.
Murray, Iain. Revival and Revivalism: The Making and Marring of American Evangelicalism 1750-1858. Carlisle, PA: The Banner of Truth Trust, 2002. Reprint from 1994.
Packer, J. I. A Quest for Godliness: The Puritan Vision of the Christian Life. Wheaton: Crossway, 2010.
Sproul, R. C. “The Pelagian Captivity of the Church.” Bible Researcher. (Reproduced from Modern Reformation 10, no. 3 (May/June 2001): 22-29).
Abner, Robert Christopher. “An Embryonic Ecclesiology Enabling Church Planting Movements to Flourish.” PhD diss., The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2020.
(Abner sees problems with Training for Trainers while, generally, endorsing The Big One. In his estimation Any 3 by Shipman is not a church planting strategy but an evangelism tool, and Abner identifies several problems with Any 3. While more favorable towards The Big One, Abner thinks it too is not without problems, but thinks that tool is seeking to implement healthy church dynamics which are missing in T4T and other CPM type of methods. Abner’s years of missionary experience overseas and thorough research, including his bibliography, make this a valuable tool.)
Bergquist, Linda and Michael D. Crane. City Shaped Churches: Planting Churches in a Global Era. Skyforest, CA: Urban Loft Publishers, 2018.
(Towards the end of the book they deal with Church Planting Movement issues. Crane pushes back against CPM; Bergquist is more movement-friendly.)
Robinson, George. “Book Review of T4T: A Discipleship Re-Revolution.” Global Missiology 1, no 9 (October 2011): 1-5.
(Robinson is critical of some things in Smith and Kai’s book–style, hermeneutics–but is not an opponent of movement-driven methods.)
Thank you for your encouragement. We hope it will help the global church.
(My wording of the note on Abner’s dissertation (at the bottom of our article) would’ve been better if it had said something like this…
“Abner sees problems with Training for Trainers while, generally, endorsing The Big One. In his estimation Any 3 by Shipman is not a church planting strategy but an evangelism tool, and Abner identifies several problems with Any 3. While more favorable towards The Big One, Abner thinks it too is not without problems, but thinks that tool is seeking to implement healthy church dynamics which are missing in T4T and other CPM type of methods. Abner’s years of missionary experience overseas and thorough research, including his bibliography, make his dissertation a valuable tool.”)
This is a great resource, very helpful!
Excellent! Thank you so much for putting this list together. Much needed.