Launch Team (5 of 5)

One time I was talking to a guy who was starting a new church. He is a sharp dude. Anyway, I asked him about his Launch Team. He described the people who made it up, proudly telling me how committed they were to Christ and the vision of the church. I asked him about the non-Christians in the group. He looked puzzled. “There aren’t any.” Now I was puzzled. “But aren’t your people inviting their non-Christian friends to come and be a part of it?” I asked. “Well,” he told me, “We’re waiting to do that.” “Waiting for what?” “Well, our first service.”

I shared my opinion: If you have a Launch Team that is together for 6 to 12 months, and they do life and faith a certain way for those 6 to 12 months, and you expect that at some point you’re going to flip some magic switch and everyone is going to start doing life and faith differently, I think you’re deceiving yourself. I don’t think there is a magic switch. And I don’t think you can flip something that doesn’t even exist.

Maybe this is part of the reason so many churches want to reach lost people, and plan on reaching lost people, but never reach lost people. Maybe it’s because in the early days, when they are setting the DNA of their church, they are waiting for that “special day” to start living the way they’re supposed to live, but when that day comes, it’s too late. They can’t change. They’re too comfortable. They’re too inward focused.

So my advice: Live every day the way you want to live everyday. If you ultimately want to be a church that reaches lost people, start now! If you wait, you won’t. If you ultimately want to be a church that shares life in small group, start now! If you wait, you won’t. If you ultimately want to be a church that teaches people to practice spiritual disciplines, start now! If you wait, you won’t.

As you are in your Launch Team phase, make sure you have something to which your people can invite their friends. Try to set and live out whatever DNA you hope will be embedded in your church for years to come. If not, you’ll wonder why you were never able to get your church to do that. And the reason will be because there’s no magic switch.

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