11. Release Control: Sponsoring agencies need to give freedom to the church planter.
- Sometimes I wonder if I have to much freedom. 🙂 I can’t imagine it any other way though.
12. Support Emotionally: Adequate emotional support for the planter is vital.
- I believe this is something we have. However, I also feel like we (jenny and I) end up being the initiators for our support. We are amazed how well we are cared for though. We would have gone nuts without such support.
13. Adequate Training: Church planters should receive more than one week of specialized training.
- For me the training has been going on for almost 3 years now. You should never stop your training. Books, conferences, mentors, and other church plants have all been great resources for me.
14. Staff at Start-up: Planting a church with a team is a must! Don’t send a lone ranger to plant a church.
- It is funny to me how some books tell you who you should hire and in what order and when. I laugh because everyone’s context, support team, and giftings will be different. For us our first hire was an implementer. I needed someone who could pay attention to the details and move multiple random tasks forward. This was the best decision for us. We have a worship guy who we give a little cash to and that is about it. The rest are volunteers. We are blessed to have an awesome Student Ministry person as well Children, Nursery, and another 40 key volunteers that help make everything happen. I have not felt like a team very often and I regret that. I feel like we huddle up and go take care of our own individual tasks. This is my number one target for year two.
15. Launch Team Size: A minimum of 40 people should be involved on the start-up team prior to launch – or wait!
- Yes! We were able to have 20 people commit to one year before we started – we called them our core team. We had another 100 families that committed to once a month for six months – we called them our launch team. Our launch team started with about an 80% show up rate the first three months and about a 40% show up rate the last three months. This worked to our advantage as their absence come month 7 was not a shock. Our 20 people quickly grew to 40 and they have about a 90% show up rate. I love our core team (even though we don’t call them that anymore)
16. Ministry Opportunities: Fast-growing churches had at least three ministries in place at time of public launch: worship, children, and youth.
- We had the first two and by January we had the third one. I believe we would have had a few families who initially checked us out stay if we had youth in place from the beginning.
17. Gathering Activities: Preview services and small groups should be utilized to build the start-up team prior to launch.
- This was highly unorganized and sporadic for us but we did have it in place and saw it as effective.
18. Preview Services: Preview or “practice” services should be on a bi-weekly basis for at least three months prior to a public opening.
- We intended to do this but life and timing made it so that we only had two preview services. We were ok with this but we would advise others to try for 3-5 preview services.
19. Large Birth Weight: Do everything within your power to get at least 100 people to your public opening.
- We accomplished this but the number of people from our mother church made up about 90% of those who came.
20. Stewardship Training: Start teaching stewardship within the first six months. Don’t be overbearing, don’t whine, and don’t be secretive about your finances; instead, be transparent.
- We haven’t done any training. Our context is one in which the churches have hurt many people in the conversation about finances. We don’t even take an offering. We are very transparent and do talk about money but we have not highlighted.
21. External Focus: Fight like mad to keep your ministry focus outward.
- This is pretty much our only focus. Our Sunday Gatherings suffer because of the amount of attention we put on being a blessing in the community. It is my hope that this never changes.