Launch Conference, Part 10A: Building Systems for On-going Growth

I think I'm gonna have to divide this next section up into two bite-size chunks. So... this is the first chunk....

A church system is simply a strategic process that:


Just as the skeletal system provides a framework for our bodies, initial church systems provide structure for a new church. When it comes to establishing healthy systems, you have an advantage in launching from scratch--you get to build the systems without being tied to any traditional ways of doing things.

Eight First Year Systems

1. The Sunday Service
  • Load In/Load Out System - setting up and tearing down Sunday morning equipment, etc.
  • Service Evaluation System - What was wrong? What was missing? What was confusing?
  • Sunday Staff/Volunteer System
  • Worship Planning/Preaching Calendar System - just keep "launching" with new series (to break a growth barrier); launch in February, at Easter, in September, at Advent, etc.

2. Evangelism and Assimilation 101

Be able to answer these questions:
  • How does someone explore or express a decision to follow Christ at our church?
  • What do we say, share or give to a person who is making a first-time decision to follow Christ?
  • How can we help the new Christian get plugged into our church?
  • How do we move someone from first-time guest to full-time member?
  • How do we know who is a first-time guest each Sunday? How do we collect his or her contact information?
  • Are we making our service easy for a first timer to attend? Does that person know where to enter, check in his or her kids, find the restroom, and so on?
  • How are we following up on first-time guests?

3. Website
  • Most church planters spend too much time on the website
  • Spend less time on the website and more time in the community
That said, here are some tips...

Do include:
  • Where your church meets
  • What time you meet
  • Directions to the church's location
  • What to expect at the service (how long, style, dress, etc.)
  • A little bit about you and any staff
  • A short history of the church
Don't include:
  • Too many pictures of the lead pastor
  • Too many pictures of the lead pastor's spouse
  • Music of any kind (you'll get people in trouble if they look at your website at work!)
  • "Under Construction" signs--just leave the area out until it's ready
  • Anything that takes a long time to load on a slower connection
  • Insider language that only seminary grads understand
  • Your personal blog
  • Anything poorly written or of poor quality
  • Outdated content
  • Links to your favorite sites