Launch Team (1 of 5)

Thought I’d take a few posts to talk about issues related to Launch Teams in church planting. I realize you may not be a church planter, but hopefully there will be application for you as well…

So if you’re starting a new church you will hopefully have a Launch Team. This is a group of people who are with you before the beginning, and will help catalyze a successful start for your new church. This group is critical for a variety of reasons, and one important issue is the size of the group. I’ve heard that the rule of thumb is that after your first couple Sunday’s, the size you will settle in at is typically twice that of your Launch Team. This means that you want a large launch team.

However, there are some things I would not sacrifice for a large launch team. I would not want anyone on my Launch Team that does not fully buy into the vision. In the future, you won’t have this luxury. You will eventually have people who aren’t totally bought in. But with your original launch team, you want radically committed people. This group is going to set the tone for everything to come. In fact, my friend John Burke (who is an expert on this stuff) says that your first 100 people are THE critical factor about your church. They will set a DNA that will be almost impossible to alter in the future. So in your drive for a large launch team, don’t accept people who aren’t exactly what you want.

If you are starting a church in the town you’ve been living in, you hopefully have a group of people who love you and what you want to do. If you are moving to a new town to plant a church, this is more difficult. I know several guys who asked friends to uproot, move with them, and find new jobs in a new town so they could be part of their launch team. Several new churches had sizable groups who did just that. That’s awesome.

If you move to a town and meet Christians who want to be part of your Launch Team … be afraid. Be very afraid. Approach with caution. Don’t just say yes. Sure, you want a big Launch Team, but you’d rather have a small Launch Team with the right people than a large Launch Team with the wrong people.

There is one kind of person you DO want on your Launch Team who is NOT bought in to what you’re doing, and we’ll talk about that person tomorrow. Until then follow the white rabbit…

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