2.12.2007

Launch Conference, Part 8: Gathering a Launch Team from Scratch

Finally... the next section of my Launch Conference notes. This section is called Gathering a Launch Team from Scratch.

Launch Team vs. Core Group

Launch Team: A team of committed individuals who will assist you in preparing for and executing an effective launch. This is a team of people currently living in the area where your new church will meet--a team that you will build from scratch. The launch team is in existence only through the first weekly service.

The purpose of a Launch Team is simple and has a clear end. It is:
To Launch this New Church

Launch Team: A time-bound team
Core Group: An open-ended team

Launch Team: Meets to plan the launch
Core Group: Meets for spiritual growth

Launch Team: Involves anyone who is willing
Core Group: Involves only the spiritually mature

Launch Team: Is engaged to accomplish a task (a work team; a get-it-done team)
Core Group: Is engaged to encourage and support

Launch Team: Focuses on those outside the church
Core Group: Focuses on those in the group

Launch Team: Ends with an outward focus
Core Group: Ends with an inward focus

  • The word "core" implies a commitment that really doesn't exist when it comes to a church plant. Often times, the members of a core team will leave the church plant to go back to their church of origin.
  • Have a specific timeline and end-date for every volunteer position.

Five Launch Team Truths
  1. For the first monthly service, you are the Launch Team.
  2. Grow your Launch Team with each Monthly Service.
  3. Give each Launch Team member specific assignments and hold them accountable (don't let someone from another church do something that a local church attender could do).
  4. Thank and disband the Launch Team on the day after the Launch.
  5. Recruit Launch Team members as ongoing volunteers. (for 4-6 months; always give a timeline).

Three Launch Team Temptations
  1. Temptation #1: Change the Launch schedule (never change the launch date if you heard it from God)
  2. Temptation #2: Give my Launch Team too much control
  3. Temptation #3: Merge with another church

Key Guidelines for a Healthy Launch
  • Don't do a membership class until after your Launch (at least 3-6 months after launch; you don't know till later what you're actually asking people to join).
  • Do everything possible to keep your Launch Team outwardly focused (if you think you are doing enough, you're not).
  • Don't vote. You are the leader. Lead.
  • Remember that your Launch Team is a time-limited, single-focus team.
  • The Launch Team will force you to learn how to manage teams. Keep those lessons with you. Everything about church involves managing teams of people.
  • Preparing a Launch Team to maximize your first service is first and foremost a spiritual enterprise. Pray and fast--a lot!

"It is like a person who builds a house on a strong foundation laid upon the underlying rock. When floodwaters rise and break against the house, it stands firm because it is well built." --Luke 6:48