1.25.2007

Launch Conference, Part 1: Three Key Launch Ideas

The Launch Conference is over. And as I said, it was a really great conference!

A few days ago, I mentioned that I’m not yet sure if I’ll end up doing a church plant or go to an established church, but the great thing about this conference was that a lot of the information was absolutely transferable to an established church setting.

What I want to do is give you some of the notes from the conference. You may be asking, to quote Nute Gunray, “Is that legal?” In response, let me quote Darth Sidious: “I will make it legal!”

I’m in a bit of a giddy mood, I think…

Seriously, though, folks… Nelson Searcy and Kerrick Thomas urged us to post as much of this information on our blogs as we want. They want this information getting out. In fact, one of the responsibilities of a leader, they said, is to share what we learn with other leaders.

So here goes… After some general opening comments on the need and significance of church planting, and following a summary of their experience in launching The Journey Church, Searcy and Thomas shared Three Key Launch Ideas. They are:

1. Launch large
  • The larger the initial launch of the new church, the better the chance that the church will grow.
  • “Large” is a relative term. In one region, 200 people might be a large launch, while in another region, a large launch might be 50. It all depends on the culture and the context of that area.
  • “God’s dream for your church is bigger than your dream.”

2. Launch quickly
  • The odds of successful growth increase for those churches who launch quickly. In other words, don’t get stuck overanalyzing your area or your target or whatever. Don’t wait two years to launch. You can launch successfully within 5-9 months.
  • The longer you wait, the more excuses Satan will put before you not to launch.
  • “There is always going to be a reason to postpone launching your church. Conditions will never be perfect.”

3. Launch from the outside in
  • In other words, it’s possible to launch with only the pastor, the worship leader, and their spouses as the only Christians on the initial launch team.
  • It is absolutely possible for the initial launch team to be made up largely of unchurched people.
  • “It is completely possible to launch a church in which the only Christians on the initial team are the staff.”

There you go! Page 1 (technically, it’s page 6, but whatever…) of my notes from the Launch Conference. Stay tuned for 8 Contrarian Church Launching Ideas.

6 comments:

Abe and Joni said...

I listened to some of their podcasts this week and I guess there are somethings that I'm confused about. Like how exactly do you talk 50-500 non-Christians, unchurched people into launching a church with you? How do you find these people without actually having a church (in essence, "launching")? And how does this play out in an inner city area where people are skeptical about church in general? I know reading the book might help answer these questions, but since you went to the conference I wondered if you had any thoughts.

Markus Watson said...

That's a great question and something that still amazes me! Clearly the people that are involved in starting the church are not totally against the idea of church, but they may not have much church in their background.

I think the way it works is like this: You publicize your first monthly service and invite as many people as possible. In that first service, the only "launch team" will be you, your worship leader, and maybe your spouses.

From that first monthly service, you ask some of those that came to help out with the next monthly service (maybe 30 people and 4 or 5 are willing to help). Then at the next service, they'll have invited some of their friends and then you ask more people to join your launch team.

By the time you get to the last month before your launch service, you might have built a team of 20 or 30 people who are willing to help launch the first weekly service.

I hope that helps. I'm gonna keep posting all my notes, and some of this may become more clear as you read those. Let me know if you have any more questions.

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