Disciple Making Movements

Pray4Croatia exists to create strategic prayer for a church multiplication movement in Croatia.


The primary purpose of Pray4Croatia is to pray strategically for a church multiplication movement in Croatia. According to the research done by David Garrison and the International Mission Board, there are 10 elements found in every church multiplication movement. Beyond these 10 universal elements, there are also at least 10 frequently found characteristics. If we want to witness a movement ignite in Croatia, these elements give us amazing insight for how to pray strategically.

Use this guide to use the 10 Universals to pray more specifically for Croatia.


Not listed in any particular order of priority or frequency, these are 10 common factors seen frequently in church planting movements. Most CPMs see most (if not all) of these factors.

Worship in the Heart Language

Even in CPMs where the Bible is not yet available in the local language, these movements are still using their language in their prayers, songs, sermon illustrations and discussions. When the churches worship in their own language, the entire community has access and everyone can participate in forming the church. Because there is a deep connection between the heart language of a people and their worldview, missionaries who identify and embrace the language of the people they are trying to reach are in a better position to stimulate a CPM. Missionaries who rely on an outside or trade language will find a barrier between themselves and the hearts of the people they are seeking to reach.

Evangelism Has Communal Implications

CPMs tend to rely on strong family and social connections, unlike the emphasis in the West on individualism and personal commitment. Missionaries involved in CPMs recognize these strong social ties, and encourage new believers to pursue those bonds to draw new believers into the community of faith (see Acts 16:31-31). Often, the churches consist of family units led by the family’s head.

Rapid Incorporation of New Believers into the Life and Ministry of the Church

In most CPMs, a new believer is expected to be involved in the life and ministry of the church immediately. Discipleship generally begins before conversion and continues indefinitely, while the new believer also begins discipling others and even planting churches. To maintain outward growth, CPM-minded missionaries will often encourage new believers to join or help start new churches rather than attend existing congregations.

Passion and Fearlessness

CPMs are characterized by boldness and a sense of urgency, which emphasizes the importance of salvation and the necessity of conversion. Believers demonstrate fearlessness in the face of opposition. A spirit of timidity or fear cripples or stops a CPM entirely. Boldness may invite persecution, but it fuels a CPM (see Joshua 1:6).

A Price to Pay to Become a Christian

Often, CPMs emerge in settings where conversion to the gospel of Jesus Christ is not easy, popular, or safe to do. In many cases, conversion leads to severe persecution or even death. Because of this pressure, those who are not committed to the gospel tend to abandon the faith, and those who remain demonstrate a high level of dedication. In the face of persecution, believers find strong support in the testimony of Jesus and the New Testament church (see Matthew 10:17-25).

Perceived Leadership Crisis or Spiritual Vacuum in Society

The removal of long-held symbols of stability and security prompts individuals to reconsider matters of eternal significance. Major political or social upheaval, war, natural disaster or displacement are all catalysts that prepare a country or people group for a CPM. Breakdowns in society are becoming common in this changing world, and this means more areas are ready for a church planting movement.

On-the-Job Training for Church Leadership

In a rapidly increasing CPM, leaders need to be trained while still present and focused on their churches. Effective training is vital to the success of the movement, but if leaders have to leave for extended periods for training, the momentum of the movement will be hurt. The most beneficial training combines practical education with ongoing ministry. The forms of this integrated training vary from field to field, but often include several short-term training modules that do not hurt the primary tasks of evangelism, church planting and pastoral leadership. Even beyond the initial training, missionaries have agreed that ongoing leadership development will contribute to continued growth and strong
development of a CPM.

Leadership Authority is Decentralized

For a CPM to succeed, each cell or house church leader should have the authority it needs for evangelism, ministry and planting new churches. A CPM is too dynamic to thrive in a situation where a hierarchy of authority must be navigated in order for valuable, time-sensitive decisions to be made.

Outsiders Keep a Low Profile

Missionaries who have been involved in Church Planting Movements point to the importance of keeping a low personal profile as they seek to initiate and nurture the movement. A key concern is to minimize foreignness and encourage indigenousness. Rather than waiting for new believers to prove themselves worthy of leadership, missionaries begin by drawing new believers into leadership roles through participative Bible studies and mentoring pastors from behind the scenes.

Missionaries Suffer

Many missionaries who have been engaged in CPMs have suffered illness, ridicule and shame. In some instances, the suffering was due to their own self-destructive behavior; in other cases, it came at the hands of opponents. There is reason to believe the affliction comes as the cost of battling spiritual darkness (Revelation 12:12). Whatever the cause, the increased suffering of those missionaries who are involved in CPMs is certainly noteworthy. Missionaries intent on this cause of action will need to be on their guard, and will desperately need to watch, fight and pray.