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Launch Teams Training Handout, March 2012


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Handout from our first round of training for several church planting Launch Teams on the East Coast Conference of the Evangelical Covenant Church.

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Launch Teams Training Handout, March 2012

  1. 1. Launch Teams Training • HANDOUTEast Coast Conference • March 20129:30am | Saturday Morning NOTES:A. Worship & Message Message: “Outsiders, Insiders, Friends, Family - Choose Wisely”B. Welcome & Introductions What are the four types of people Minimize electronic distractions. Start on time, stay on time, stop on time. typically drawn to a new church 1. Jason Condon, Associate Superintendent & Dir. of Church Planting community? Who you embrace is 2. From each team… who you become, choose wisely! a) Pastor: name, where you’re planting, how you found the Covenant • “Outsider” - Matthew 12:46-50 b) Team Member #1: why you’re part of your church planting project (confuse concern with control) c) Team Member #2: what you hope to get out of today • “Insider” - Matthew 20:20-22a, 3. Pray 24-28 (confuse position withC. Our Larger Church Family: Introductions to the purpose) Evangelical Covenant Church & East Coast Conference • “Friend” - John 20:24-26, 1. East Coast Conference (our regional mission field) Matthew 22:11-14 (mostly positive; caution: don’t confuse 2. Our Common Christian Affirmations (with the Church-at-Large) sentiment with covenant) a) Apostolic: based on apostle’s testimony & teaching in Scripture • “Family” - Matthew 12:50, b) Catholic: part of the universal Body of Christ Galatians 3:26-29 (mostly c) Reformation: uphold salvation by grace through faith, positive; caution: don’t confuse scripture’s authority, priesthood of all believers membership with mission) d) Evangelical: pursue a gospel-centered mission 3. The “Four Als” of the Evangelical Covenant Church a) Two historic questions Covenanters asked one another: • Biblical: “Where is it written?” • Devotional: “How goes your walk?” b) As they formed in the US, they took on the name “Mission Friends”: • Missional: Are you pursuing Christ’s purposes together? • Connectional: Are you in Christian community together? 4. Six Covenant Affirmations 1) Centrality of the word of God 2) Necessity of the new birth 3) Commitment to the whole mission of the church 4) Church as a fellowship of believers 5) Conscious dependence on the Holy Spirit 6) Reality of freedom in Christ5min | TEAM TIME (just at tables):• Which of these affirmations & descriptions resonates most with you?• Why is it important to be connected with a larger family of faith?• What are the challenges of not just being “independent”?1 | Launch Teams Training • East Coast Conference, • March 2012
  2. 2. D. Vision and Values NOTES: 1. Answers: “Who are we and where are we going?” 2. “Zera” (Seed) Verse: What is the biblical story of your new church? 3. Vision: what is the dream and destination? God’s preferred future 4. Values: What defines your church? Non-negotiables that help you say “yes” and “no” to options and opportunities. God’s unique design. Between 3-8 Core Values for your church, more is too cumbersome 5. communicate these often, clearly, and consistently in word & deed! 6. Artisan Church Example: ( a) Zera Verse: “For we are God’s masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance to be our way of life.” - Ephesians 2:10 (mash-up version: NLT, NIV, NRSV) b) Vision: “encounter God, embrace people, engage culture, in the way of Jesus” c) Values: awe, beauty, roots, community, & justice20min | TEAM TIME:• Pastor: spend 5 minutes communicating the church plant’s “seed verse,” vision, and values to your Launch Team• Team: Then take 15 minutes discussing these and answering questions11:15am-ish | BREAKE. Four-Stage Overview 1. Purpose: build missional momentum and effectiveness, while having “permission” to focus and pace yourselves accordingly 2. Overview: Each stage is 3-4 months with clear benchmarks a) Stage 1 - Launch Team Development: gathering like-minded, missionally-motivated people into a healthy team b) Stage 2 - Monthly Preview Worship Services: gathering more people to the new church, developing effective ministry systems, practicing what you’ll become c) Stage 3 - Weekly Pre-Launch Worship: continuing to gather, refining the ministries, getting the systems right, acting “as if” d) Stage 4 - Grand Opening Launch: Launching for accelerated growth, unfettered outreach & evangelism, fully functioning ministry systems 3. Three Scenarios for Adaptation a) New Church Plant: from scratch, not pre-existing b) “2.0” Church Plant: pre-existing ministry, new to the Covenant, ranging from soft relaunch to hard reset c) New Campus: extending church’s pre-existing ministry to a brand-new location using principles of church planting 4. Cautions & Common Mistakes a) New Church Plants (and sometimes Campuses): • go too fast, skimp on key components • downplay or ignore benchmarks b) “2.0” Church Plants (and sometimes Campuses): • assume “regular attenders” = “Launch Team” • don’t make the “hard asks” • don’t revisit foundational principles2 | Launch Teams Training • East Coast Conference, • March 2012
  3. 3. 5. Three Key Metrics NOTES: a) Launch Team Members: Specifically asked to commit to the church plant launch, the reliable leaders and workers, count on each other b) Worship Attendance: Through prayer, evangelism, invitation, events, marketing, follow-through, and more, reach or surpass goals for each stage c) Key Ministries: Develop key ministries such as Worship, Children, Hospitality, Follow-up & Connection, Small Groups, Evangelism & Outreach. Improve “letter grades” throughout each stage 6. Example of a Suggested Launch Timeline & Benchmarks STA Preview Worship/ Weekly Pre- Grand Opening Launch Team GE: Soft-Launch Launch Worship Launch Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec LT: 30 35 40 45 50 55 60 65 65 70 70 70 WA: N/A N/A N/A 100 110 120 90 105 120 150 140 130 KM: C C+ B- B B B+ B+ B+ A- A- A- A- KEY: LT = Launch Team WA = Worship Attendance KM = Key Ministries Letter Grade20min | Team Time:• what scenario or blend of scenarios best represents your project?• what are your scenario’s advantages? disadvantages?• what questions, comments, or concerns do you have about the stages? (we’ll share these together to better address them in the afternoon12:30pm-ish | LUNCHF. Ten Church Planting Maxims (see list at letter ‘P’ on last page)G. Leadership Stool: 1. The Stool: the leadership-mix metaphor a) All three legs are required b) The seat provides strength and stability c) Legs should be near the same length 2. Spirituality: commitment to deep spiritual transformation that brings about the life- changing work of God in people a) Biblical insight and passion b) Devotions and intimacy with God c) Authentic self-revelation d) PRAY 3. Chemistry: an inviting relational atmosphere within your church that connects people to God’s community a) Personal relationships b) Small group dynamics c) Leading large gatherings d) PLAY3 | Launch Teams Training • East Coast Conference, • March 2012
  4. 4. 4. Strategy: process of sequential actions that produce fruitful ministry in NOTES: line with God-directed goals. a) Ability to anticipate tomorrow b) How to get from point A to point B c) Delegation and administration d) PLAN 5. NOTE: every church plant will receive codes to utilize a special online Leadership Stool testing tool for lead pastor, staff, and church teamsGROUP EXERCISE: Spirituality, Chemistry, Strategy• self-select into the three groups in different parts of room• joined by a leader representing your group’s Leadership Style• Leader with own group: What are our strengths & weaknesses?• Leader rotates and asks: • What about us annoys each other? :-) • How should we communicate with you and show we value your style? • How can you do the same toward us?H. Stage 1: Launch Team Gathering (3-4 months) 1. What is a Launch Team? a) highly committed leaders and hard workers who will pray, sweat, laugh, cry, grow, and bleed together for the church planting mission to which God has called them b) Pastor, you can rely on them. Launch Team, you can rely on each other. You’re the ones that show up and get it done. 2. Purpose: build, assist, provide, raise up, become, create, prevent 3. Gathering: Where will these people come from? a) pray, pray & pray some more! (Ask the Lord of the harvest…) b) work, work, & work some more! (faithful with the little things…) c) Parenting Churches, Partnering Churches, and Strategic Networks d) tap into, partner, network with existing churches & organizations e) organize and execute well targeted gathering events (vision desserts, open house, picnics/bbqs, service projects, etc.) 4. Team Mix: a) Roughly 1/3rd each: Committed Christians, Unchurched Christians, New Christians/Seekers b) reflective of your target (multi-ethnic, 18-30 yr-olds, etc.) c) balanced gifting (musical, kids, hospitality, admin, etc.) 5. Training Best Practices: a) Teach the Vision - t-shirt test (succinctly communicate its essence) b) Key Ministries Teams – break the group into the 5 or 6 teams c) Pray and Practice - reduces fear, builds skills, increases success 6. Launch Team Landmines a) tasks not titles b) faithfulness and fruitfulness need to be demonstrated c) Three “highly” people: controlling, needy, missional d) Guard against: “Insiders” & “Outsiders”; Nurture & Balance: “Family” & “Friends”4 | Launch Teams Training • East Coast Conference, • March 2012
  5. 5. 7. Agenda Harmony: How do we keep this group together? NOTES: a) critical to have clearly defined DNA, mission and vision that are Biblically based (cf. earlier session) b) planting pastor must be the champion, custodian, and defender of the mission, vision, and values c) Out-counseling poor fits is a necessary leadership task 8. Benchmarks a) minimum 30 committed, gifted adults b) 50% of Launch Team from new contacts c) planter is seen as the legitimate leader of the group d) increasing number of people contacted, coming, and connecting with the group with growing enthusiasm20min | Team Time• What is the current make-up of your Launch Team?• What would God have you do to build a stronger Launch Team? (types of people, gathering strategies, equipping, etc.)I. Stage 2: The Monthly Preview Worship (3-4 months) 1. Goals: accelerating growth, continue to build momentum to more fully express what church is becoming through public worship, and expanded attractional & incarnational ministries 2. Benchmarks a) 50 new people attending each preview service b) strong word-of-mouth: over half of guests from personal invitation c) double size of the Launch Team d) 75-125 at each monthly worship service (momentum building) 3. The ‘W’ a) for most, gathered worship is the high-bandwidth high point of Wk 1: Wk 5: their experience of God and his community at a new church Preview Preview Worship Worship b) but there’s a tension, especially early on, also need depth with Wk 3: Launch Team development, training, and small group experiences Gathering c) yet both “extremes” can overshoot many types of people you hope Event to reach, so you also need some more accessible middle ground d) Repeating Cycle: each one is “open”, invite to and at each time; Note Benchmarks from Suggested Launch Timeline (E.6.) e) Suggested Rhythm and Possibilities: 1) Worship: music, message, related key ministries, vision casting, a vital invite opportunity to the following weeks (invite at each) Wk 2: Wk 4: Launch Launch 2) Launch Team Mtg 1: orientation, bible study, vision-casting Team Mtg Team Mtg 3) Gathering Event: picnic, bbq, service project, bowling, etc. 4) Launch Team Mtg 2: prep key ministries teams for next Preview 5) Worship: like week 1, only improved upon, more new people MONTH 1 MONTH 2 … f) Applications • Brand-new Plants & Campuses - fairly straightforward, though variations are possible (e.g. Preview Worship every other week) • “2.0” Church Plants already meeting weekly • Turn weekly meeting time into a feature, leveraging the existing structure and strengths… but still honor the principles! • Build the rhythm and purposes into your weekly gathering5 | Launch Teams Training • East Coast Conference, • March 2012
  6. 6. NOTES:Question: What struggles will you face with the monthly worshipconcept and execution? Done well, what benefit will it bring? 4. Outreach a) Caution: How you “get people” is often how you keep them b) Attractional AND Incarnational • Jesus’ ministry was both “Come and See” & “Go and Serve” • both are needed (pendulum seems to swing to extremes at times) • you’ll naturally be stronger in one (that’s ok, but include the other) • Leverage strengths to address your weaker side • Example: Artisan Church: 70% Attractional, 30% IncarnationalQuestion: Which one will your church tend to do better?How will you still pay attention to the other and integrate the two?J. Stage 3: Weekly Pre-Launch Worship (3-4 months) 1. Natural continuation of Stage 2, with still some freedom to tweak, improve, and over-haul as needed (plus, people are more forgiving when it’s labeled “Pre-Launch” :) 2. Goals: a) develop more strength and structure through vital ministry teams and effective systems b) strengthen and improve your Key Ministries c) strengthen gathering and growing prior to Launch d) develop leadership and volunteers e) finalize Grand Opening Launch Strategy 3. Benchmarks a) minimum of 80 in the weekly services (75 is the enemy!) b) quality of Key Ministries improving from B to B+/A- c) increasing number of people serving in ministry teams d) 50% of adults in small groupsK. Stage 4: Grand Opening Launch (3-4 months) 1. Goal: launching strong (qualitative), launching large (quantitative), letting the entire community know we’re here! Help assure sustainability and growing Missional Impact for future generations 2. Benchmarks a) Launch past 125 in Worship, stay above 125 throughout b) Key Ministries with letter grades at B+/A- c) Great facility that can accommodate growth to 200+ d) Seeing increasing numbers of people coming to Christ e) Healthy Mix: 1/3 mission-minded, 1/3 formerly de-churched, 1/3 formerly un-churched 3. Net Growth = (Visitor Flow x Retention Rate) – Backdoor Loss pay attention to each of those variables so you know what’s working and what needs improvement (easy to focus on the wrong thing)3:00pm-ish | BREAK (Longer)6 | Launch Teams Training • East Coast Conference, • March 2012
  7. 7. L. Extended Team Time & Coaching: NOTES: for the next 75 minutes or so, work on one of the following (or combine)…75min | TEAM TIME (three options or create your own)1. Sketch out the Next 4-6 Months • one giant sheet for each month (take pictures at end to capture) • details will depend on what Stage you’re at now, but likely some combination of Stage 1 and Stage 2 • add details such as dates, events, ideas, etc.2. SWOT Analysis: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats • one giant sheet for each area (take pictures at end to capture) • In what areas are you going strong? what needs work? • What key resources do you have, what resources do you need? • Where are your greatest opportunities? greatest threats?3. Normal & Natural Pathways In this new church, what are the normal and natural pathways for… • Making Disciples that are maturing in Christ • Evangelizing People so they come to a transforming faith in Jesus • Reproducing Leaders that effectively lead, serve, and multiply • Instilling a Stewardship Culture of generosity, sacrifice, & faithfulness Stewardship Examples: • placement of offering at end of service, clear explanation connecting with mission and vision • online giving that’s done well and easy to use • Offer Financial Peace University course once per year • Multiplying Churches that are healthy, missional, and reproduce • Put down one idea for each, then go back and more fully develop a couple. • Which one will be easiest? Which one will be most difficult? (before ‘Grand Opening’, flesh out each one, revisit them from time to time)M. Wrap-Up & Q&A5:00pm | We’re Done, Thanks for Being Together!7 | Launch Teams Training • East Coast Conference, • March 2012
  8. 8. Resources & Bonus Materials NOTES:N. Web Resources: 1. a) simple resource site compiled by Directors of Church Planting across the Covenant - not pretty, tons of good content! b) Includes entire Church Planting Resource Manual - pastors, you’ll especially want to thoroughly study and adapt from the manual 2. - this is where Jason posts many of the materials and resources for our East Coast Conference church planting efforts 3. - every church plant will receive codes to utilize a special online testing tool for lead pastor, staff, and teamsO. Some Books: 1. Viral Churches: Helping Church Planters Become Movement Makers, by Ed Stetzer and Warren Bird (2010) 2. Exponential: How You and Your Friends Can Start a Missional Church Movement, by Dave Ferguson and Jon Ferguson (2010) 3. Planting Fast-Growing Churches, by Stephen Gray (2007)P. Ten Church Planting Maxims (especially for the planter, but good for all) 10.You will be broken 9. Plant behind the plow. Prayer is the plow. 8. People are polite (*cough* lie) - don’t believe them :-) 7. 75 is the enemy 6. You can’t plant from behind a desk (or computer screen!) 5. There’s no magic bullet 4. God is in the vision – the devil is in the details (so don’t ignore the details and derail the vision) 3. Its the relational – not the technical 2. Isolation kills – connection gives life 1. It’s a God thing! Which of these maxims are hardest for you to embrace?Q. The Top Ten List for Starting New Churches 1. New churches needed because majority of Americans don’t attend church 2. New churches are more effective at conversion growth 3. New churches are the only truly effective way to reach the growing ethnic populations in America 4. New churches are needed to stem tide of ideological moral erosion in America 5. New churches have historically been the best method for reaching each emerging new generation 6. New churches give a group of connected churches “market share” and greater influence in their community 7. New churches grow exponentially faster than established churches 8. New churches are a test laboratory for church leadership development 9. New churches are the research & development unit of God’s Kingdom 10.Provide excellent on-the-job training for energetic young pastors Which of these reasons resonates most with you?8 | Launch Teams Training • East Coast Conference, • March 2012