Steve Smith has written an excellent article in Frontier Missions that sketches out a the path to a church planting movement using a diagram that can fit on a napkin.
Steve's challenge is to set our sails, by surrendering to God's ways, so that we are able to catch whatever movement God is initiating. This continues to reflect my own heart to position myself, in cooperation with the Spirit's ways, with the expectation that God is on the move to transform our generation in every part of the world.
Steve's diagram for positioning ourself for church planting movements begins with our own abiding, praying life in God. I love his reminder that "God uses men, not just methods; people, not just principles."
From there, Steve outlines four key principles for cooperating with God's movement:
1. Find God-Prepared People. This includes both saved people who will work alongside you as well as lost persons of peace who will draw and influence others.
2. Evangelize in a Reproducing Manner. "Lost people must hear the gospel in a way that is complete enough that they can fully follow Jesus alone as Lord and Savior and can then use the same method to evangelize others."
3. Bring People Immediately into Reprdoucing Discipleship. "They begin a well-defined process of simple short term discipleship sessions that they immediately pass on to those to whom they are witnessing through a very reproducible process."
4. Form Believers into Small Groups or Reproducing Churches. (My note: usually simple/house type church gatherings). Notice that church gatherings arise out of the reaching-discipling process and then support the ongoing work of reaching and discipling still others.
As this takes place, capable reproducing leaders will emerge who can be mentored and trained to support the ongoing movement.