10 Qualities Present in Every Church Planting Movement: Keys to Sustainable Growth and Multiplication

Church planting movements are a powerful and transformative way of spreading the Gospel message and growing the body of Christ. These movements are characterized by specific qualities and characteristics that are present in every successful movement.

In this blog post, we will explore the 10 universal characteristics that are essential for a thriving church planting movement.

1. Prayer

Prayer is the cornerstone of any successful church planting movement. In order for a movement to take root and flourish, it must be undergirded by a vibrant culture of prayer. This prayer must be both personal and corporate, with a focus on seeking God’s guidance and wisdom. Prayer is the fuel that ignites the movement and sustains it over the long haul.

2. Abundant Gospel Sowing

In church planting movements, the Gospel message is sown widely and abundantly. This sowing takes place through various means, including mass media evangelism and personal evangelism. Testimonies of the transforming power of the Gospel are shared, and people are drawn to the message of hope and redemption found in Jesus Christ.

3. Intentional Church Planting

Successful church planting movements are always characterized by intentional church planting. This means that there is a deliberate strategy in place for planting churches before the movement even begins. Church planting does not happen by accident, and it requires careful planning and execution.

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4. Scriptural Authority

In every church planting movement, the Bible is the authority for all matters of faith and practice. The Bible is translated into the heart language of the people, and it provides the rudder for the church’s life. The authority of Scripture is unquestioned, and it guides the movement in all its activities.

5. Local Leadership

In order for a church planting movement to take root and grow, it must be led by local leaders. Missionaries must be willing to mentor and disciple local church planters, rather than doing the work of church planting themselves. Walking alongside local leaders is essential for cultivating and establishing local leadership.

6. Lay Leadership

Church planting movements are driven by lay and bi-vocational leaders. This reliance upon lay leadership ensures the largest pool of potential church planters and house church leaders. Lay leaders are often better equipped to understand the needs and cultural context of their communities and are therefore more effective in spreading the Gospel message.

7. Cell or House Churches

While church buildings may be present in some church planting movements, the majority of churches are small, reproducible cell churches of 10-30 members meeting in homes and storefronts. These cell or house churches are easily replicable and can be started with minimal resources, making them ideal for rapid multiplication.

8. Churches Planting Churches

In most church planting movements, the first churches are planted by missionaries. However, as the movement enters a multiplicative phase of reproduction, the churches themselves begin to plant churches. This requires a belief among church members that reproduction is natural and that no external aids are needed to start a new church.

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9. Rapid Reproduction

When rapid reproduction is taking place, you can be assured that the churches are unencumbered by nonessential elements, and the laity is fully empowered to participate in the work of God. Rapid reproduction is a sign that the movement is healthy, and it creates momentum that drives the movement forward.

10. Healthy Churches

Healthy churches are at the heart of every successful church planting movement. The following five health indicators are essential for strong church families: worship, evangelism, service, education, and fellowship. When these health indicators are strong, the church cannot help but grow.


In conclusion, church planting movements are characterized by specific qualities and characteristics that are present in every successful movement.

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