In the first post of this series I mentioned how new churches tend to settle in at a size twice that of their Launch Team. This means you want a large Launch Team. The last two posts I’ve talked about the kind of person I wouldn’t want on my Launch Team (even if it would add to the size), and the kind of person I would allow (even if they’re not on-board with the vision). Today: How do you add people to your Launch Team?
I’ll assume that you’re living in a new area where you don’t know anyone. (If you do know people, go after them I guess.) But in a new area, first, don’t assume that people don’t want to help start a new church. We found over 80 non-Christians who wanted to help start a new church (because they realized it was not going to be the kind of church they hated and avoided.) People are open to God, open to spirituality, but they don’t like church. But if you can convince them that your church will be different, they’ll get excited.
So how and where do you find these people? (1) By intentionally living your normal life. What I mean is to use visits to the bank as a chance to develop a friendship with the teller. Go to the same grocery store at the same time every week, and to the same line, and become friends with the lady. Pick 3 or 4 restaurants that you will eat in, go to them repeatedly, be super friendly (but normal) and leave big tips. Get your haircut regularly by the same person and gradually share the vision for your church. Choose one Starbucks and work in it for a few hours everyday. Get to know the employees and other regulars. (2) By having all the people you do have throw (fun) block parties to meet your neighbors. (3) By doing donut drop-offs. Strategically pick businesses that you will drop a dozen donuts off to every week. Include a business card for your new church. Say you just want to show them God’s love in a practical way. (4) Do free car washes and give something to people with your church name on it (a balloon, Frisbee, mug). Pay people $1 to wash their car. (5) Do “Roundtable Meetings” where you ask people (neighbors, the people from Starbucks, etc.) to come for a lunch you’ll pay for, and where they can tell you all the reasons they don’t like church and refuse to go. Explain that you’re starting a church for people who don’t like church, and want to make sure you understand it correctly. See what you can learn from their complaints, and then at the end of the lunch let them know that you’re starting a church for people just like them. (6) Do a picnic like we did.
Do you have other ideas? Please share, I want to know them!
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