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Newsletter November 2020

What Every Church Plant Needs

Patrick Bradley, Director of Operations, Passion for PlantingChurch planters rarely lack vision. They can gush for hours describing in vivid detail what their church will look like in five years, and the difference it will make for God’s Kingdom. However, what they sometimes come up short on are clear next steps needed to get to that vision. One next step every church planter must take to pursue their vision is building a team.

We’ve never seen anyone plant a church by themselves. It takes a team to accomplish what’s impossible for one individual to do alone. But how do you go about building a launch team? Where do you find people to join your team? How do you equip them to work together to live out the mission of the church?

No matter your model, every church needs a team of people to help it get off the ground. Building this team is hard work, especially if you’re building the team from scratch. That’s why we’ve dedicated this month’s newsletter to helping church planters develop dynamic launch teams. We’re filling it with tips, tools, and inspiration to help you build a team that will join you in turning the vision of the new church into reality. Enjoy!

-Patrick Bradley, Director of Operations

November 2020 – Contents

  • Where to Find Launch Team Members
  • Launch Team Development Strategy Template
  • Develop Collaborators Not Consumers
  • Launch Team Meetings

Where to Find Launch Team Members

Throughout our years serving church planters, we’ve seen churches started with insufficient funds, non-existent marketing strategies, and without facilities to meet in, but we’ve never seen a church start without people. The church is people. That’s why it’s imperative that you develop a committed group of people known as a launch team. These servant-hearted individuals work under your leadership to pursue the vision of the church together. Other than the Holy Spirit, launch team members are the most valuable asset you’ll have.

So how do you find people to be on your launch team? Our friend Mac Lake shares several ideas for finding launch team members in this blog post: How to identify and recruit team members. This is church planting gold.

Launch Team Development Strategy Template

Before you start inviting people to join your launch team, you need to have a clear picture of what you’re inviting them to. Whether they verbalize it or not, everyone you’re trying to recruit to your team will eventually ask, “What do you want me to do?” and “What will be expected of me if I join the team?” Make sure you can answer those types of questions with clarity and confidence.

To help you with this, we’ve developed a Launch Team Development Strategy Template which will walk you through key questions you’ll need to answer to build a dynamic launch team. You can hope to develop a growing launch team or you can plan for it. You decide.

If you need inspiration or clarification to help you develop your strategy, please download our Sample Launch Team Development Strategy. Pray, plan, pray some more and then execute.

Develop Collaborators, Not Consumers

Jesus promised to build his church. Today his Church spans the globe. It’s so large it’s impossible to measure, although over a billion people claim to be a part of it. How did he start his Church? He started by investing in a few individuals, who invested in a few, who within a few years reached thousands. However, before Jesus’ Church launched on Pentecost and saw 3,000 men surrender their lives to Christ, Jesus had his launch team of 120 praying for this day in the upper room (Acts 1:15). 

Think about this: during his earthly ministry, Jesus ministered to thousands of people, and yet only 120 people were on his launch team come launch Sunday. What separated the crowds from his core team? One thing was their relationship with him and his mission. Those huddling in the upper room in Acts 1 were fully bought into his vision and mission, while most in the crowds he served were content being consumers of his ministry. 

As a church planter, you need to turn your launch team members into ministry partners like Jesus did with his followers. You need to move them from being consumers to being collaborators. How do you do that? You take them to the upper room. What’s your upper room, and how do you take people there? Read Will Mancini’s Vision: The Indispensable Element blog post to find the answers to these questions. 

Launch Team Meetings

One question we get from church planters on a regular basis is, “What should I do with my launch team to help them grow and develop as a team?” Should you study scripture together? Should you pray together? Should you talk about the vision of the church? Of course, but that’s not all you should do. We recommend church planters incorporate some form of worship, prayer, vision casting, and disciple making training into their launch team meetings.

What you do with your team while it’s first forming will shape the culture of the church for years to come. One common mistake church planters make while building a launch team is creating a Bible study group. While studying the Bible is a good thing, the way many are done produce Bible scholars and not missionaries. As Doug Foltz points out in the article Launch Team Momentum and DNA, what you do earlier on with your launch team members will affect whether your launch team becomes consumers or contributors.

You only have one chance at building a healthy and growing launch team, so don’t leave it to chance. Be intentional with how you train your team to live out your church’s mission by being intentional with what you do at your launch team meetings. Worship, pray, cast vision and train your team to multiply. For ideas on way to invest in your team to help them multiply visit Movements.net/411.  

Photos by Matt Botsford, Rawpixel, Antenna, Rawpixel and Priscilla Du Preez from Unsplash.