Launch 5: Monthly Services

I’m gonna do a few series kind of interacting with and starting discussions about themes in some books on church planting. This series comes out of the Launch by Nelson Searcy.

So this book is big on using three to six “Monthly Services” to build your Launch Team. When we started Forefront ten years ago, I had never heard of this idea and it didn’t occur to me. It seems like Searcy built his launch team at Journey Church almost exclusively by Monthly Services.

If you’re unfamiliar: These are services you do … monthly … as kind of “preview services.” Why do them? Searcy gives a list of reason: Attract a launch team; Build momentum; Give you practice and allow you to improve your skills; Give you a chance to grow; Provide more time for follow-up; Enable more efficient use of initial resources; Lower your stress level; Make your launch day less intimidating; Build greater awareness of the church; Build excitement within the church; Help you stick to your launch date; Allow you to test your meeting location; Allow you to test a worship leader; Build your database of future weekly attenders.

He teaches that the biggest mistake you can make is to fail to collect basic contact information from those who attend these services. And the most critical thing to do is to follow-up with people thoroughly, quickly, and personally.

Questions I have:
(1) If you’re going to advertise your (three to six) monthly services, and then advertise your Grand Opening, well, isn’t that a lot of money for advertising? Do you spend less advertising your Grand Opening, or do you invest more in advertising and skimp in other areas?
(2) One of the fears that church planters have is that you’ll have so few people at your Grand Opening that you won’t have “critical mass.” That first-time people will feel awkward because there are so few people. But isn’t this almost a given at a Monthly/Preview Service? The idea is that there will be a build-up of people each time, starting small but each time getting bigger. But what about people feeling like, “This can’t be legit because there are so few people?” and “I feel weird because there are so few people, so I can’t be anonymous.” Are people willing to overlook that because they know it’s just a preview service?

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