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Launch Team Training Workbook for Hope West Side Covenant Church, Manhattan NY


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Launch Team Training Workbook for Hope West Side Covenant Church (Manhattan NY), Pastor Mike Park

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Launch Team Training Workbook for Hope West Side Covenant Church, Manhattan NY

  1. 1. Launch Team Training 4-Stage Launch + 
 Your First 12 Months Hope West Side Covenant Church
 Sun Oct 1 2017 New York, NY
  2. 2. Our Larger Church Family East Coast Conference • Our Mission: “Believing we are a movement of God, the mission of the East Coast Conference is to Multiply Churches, Orchestrate Ministries, Vitalize Congregations, 
 and Empower Leaders” ECConf Staff • • Howard Burgoyne, Superintendent • Jason Condon, Director of Church Planting (Assoc. Sup.) • Barbara Ettinger, Director of Discipling & Leadership Development (Assoc. Sup.) • Kreig Gammelgard, Director of Congregational Vitality (A.Sup.) • Sandi Lee, Office Manager • Robin Jones, Finance Manager
 Our Regional Mission Field • Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island • Eastern New York, New Jersey, Eastern Pennsylvania • Delaware, Maryland, Washington D.C., and most of Virginia
 Quick ECConf Stats & Stories • 98 Total Congregations (140 projected by 2025) • Oldest: 254 years old, St Paul's Wolf's Covenant Church, York, PA • Newest: This One! (tied with Brockton Covenant Church & Hope Jersey City :) • 34 Current “Church Plants” (defined as congregations under 10 years old):
 4-Stage Launch + Your First 12 Months | Hope West Side Covenant Church Launch Team Training 2017-10-01 | pg. of2 12 1. Dave Capozzi, Brockton CC, MA, (June 2017) 2. Mike Park, HopeWestside, Manhattan, NY (June 2017) [NCN] 3. Craig Okpala, Hope Jersey City, Jersey City NJ, (June 2017) [NCN] 4. Drew Hyun, Hope Midtown, Manhattan, NY, (April 2017) [NCN] 5. Andrew Mook & Sarah Cowan Johnson (exec. team), Sanctuary Eastside CC, Providence RI, (Jan ’17) [SCN] 6. Kevin Kokx, Nashua CC, NH, (Dec 2016) 7. Kevin Brown, StillWaters CC, Newport News VA, (May 2016) 8. Rick Jakubowski, Sanctuary North CC, Providence RI, 
 (March 2016) [SCN] 9. Stephen Poore, Center Church ECC, RichmondVA, (Jan ’16) 10. Michael Han,Table Covenant Church, FairfaxVA, (Oct 2015) 11. FinneyVarughese, Hope Long Island CC, NY, (Sept 2015) [NCN] 12. Phillip Beatty, Hartford City Cov. Church, CT, (July 2015) 13. Ezra Sohn, Disciples NYC CC, Queens NY, (March 2015) 14. Steven Martino, Movement CC, Staten Island NY, (Jan 2015) 15. Will & Becky Barnett (co-pastors/planters), Highrock Acton CC, MA, (Dec 2014)[HCN] 16. Dan Sadlier, Hope Roosevelt Island CC, NY, (Dec 2014) [NCN] 17. Drew Hyun, Hope Midtown CC, Manhattan NY, (Fall 2014) [NCN] 18. Chris Bannon, The Commons ECC, (April‘14) Rochester NH, 19. Grant & Miho Buchholtz, Tokyo Life CC, Japan (special partnership, Fall 2014) [HCN] 20. Don Schiewer, Dust Covenant Church, BlacksburgVA, (Sept 2013) 21. Eli Hernandez, Charm City Cov. Church, Baltimore MD, (Aug 2013) 22. KimberlyWright, Church of the Resurrection ECC, NewYork NY, (July 2013) 23. Stephen Sharkey, Highrock Quincy CC, MA, (May 2012) [HCN] 24. Aaron Engler, Highrock North Shore CC, Salem, (Feb‘12) [HCN] 25. Kristian Hernandez (DrewHyun,planter), Hope Church NYC CC, Astoria NY, (Feb 2012) [NCN] 26. Andrew Mook, Sanctuary Providence CC, RI, (Jan 2012) [SCN] 27. Efrain Alicea, Elements Covenant Church, Bronx NY, (Aug 2011) 28. MonyroorTeng, Sudanese ECC, Manchester NH, Dinka&Arabiclanguage, (July 2010) 29. Michael Carrion, Promised Land CC, Bronx NY, (July 2010) 30. Derrick Jackson, Life Covenant Church, Morganville NJ, (March 2009) 31. Kiho Lee, Worship Frontier Covenant Church, Brookline MA, Koreanlanguage, (July 2008) 32. Frank Catalano, Evergreen Covenant Church, Sanford ME, (April 2008) 33. JoshThroneburg, Highrock Brookline CC, MA, (Jan 2008) [HCN] 34. Jose Humphreys, Metro Hope CC, Harlem, (June 2007) Three “Church Networks” 1. [HCN] = Highrock Church Network, Greater Boston, 2. [NCN] = New City Network of Hope Church NYC, 3. [SCN] = Sanctuary Church Network, Providence RI,
  3. 3. Evangelical Covenant Church Our Values: The “Four ALs” Two historic questions early Covenanters asked: • Biblical: “Where is it written?” • Devotional: “How goes your walk?” As they formed in the US, they chose 
 the name “Mission Friends”: • Missional: “Are we pursuing Christ’s purposes?” • Connectional: “Are we together in Christian community?” Our Beliefs: Covenant Affirmations 1. We affirm the centrality of the word of God 2. We affirm the necessity of the new birth 3. We affirm a commitment to the whole mission of the church 4. We affirm the church as a fellowship of believers 5. We affirm a conscious dependence on the Holy Spirit 6. We affirm the reality of freedom in Christ Our Mission: What We Do as the Covenant | Five Strategic Priorities • video: Three Strand Strong / Mission & Ministry 2017 [] 1. Start and Strengthen Churches 2. Make and Deepen Disciples 3. Develop Leaders 4. Love Mercy, Do Justice 5. Serve Globally Table Discussion • Which of these “family characteristics” resonates most with you? • Why is it important to be connected with a larger family of faith? • What are the challenges of being connected to something bigger and not just being “independent”? Staying Connected Take advantage of the many opportunities for connection, encouragement, & development | Examples: • Online:,, • Newsletter & Enews: Quarterly East Coast Covenanter sent to your church, monthly Enews • Congregations: Connect with area Covenant Churches ( • Camp & Retreats: Pilgrim Pines for Family & Youth Camps, Retreats. • Cohorts & Events for Pastors, Church Planters, Youth Workers, Worship Leaders, etc. 
 See for even more opportunities for pastors, leaders, & congregations
 4-Stage Launch + Your First 12 Months | Hope West Side Covenant Church Launch Team Training 2017-10-01 | pg. of3 12 11 Regional Conferences Form Our Larger Mission
  4. 4. Overview & Review Four-Stage
 Launch Process Your first twelve months planting! Purpose of Four-Stage Launch: • Build missional momentum and effectiveness • While having “permission” to focus and pace yourselves accordingly Overview of Four-Stage Launch: Timing & Benchmarks: Each stage 3-4 months* with clear healthy, missional benchmarks 1. Stage 1 | Launch Team Development: gathering like-minded, diversely gifted, 
 missionally motivated people into a cohesive team 2. Stage 2 | Preview Worship/Ministry Development: reaching and gathering more people 
 to the new church, developing effective ministry systems, practicing what you’ll become 3. Stage 3 | Soft Launch/“Full” Weekly Worship: continuing to reach and gather, 
 refining the ministries, getting the systems right, acting “as if ” 4. Stage 4 | Hard Launch/“Grand Opening”: launching for accelerated growth and impact, 
 unfettered outreach & evangelism, robust ministry systems * time-frames may compress or expand as needed and for different situations and applications, 
 but there should still be meaningful “stages” with appropriate time, efforts, and build up Scenarios for Adaptation 1. New Church Plant: from scratch, not pre-existing 2. “2.0” Church Plant: pre-existing ministry, new to Covenant, ranges from soft relaunch to hard reset 3. New Campus: extending church’s pre-existing ministry to a brand-new location or venue 4. New Worship Service: multiplying worship services (new times, different rooms, new styles, etc) 5. Discipleship-Centric/Missional Multiplication: heavily adapted, leveraging the principles, applying for the “launching” of various components and initiatives 4-Stage Launch + Your First 12 Months | Hope West Side Covenant Church Launch Team Training 2017-10-01 | pg. of4 12
  5. 5. Cautions & Common Mistakes
 • New Church Plants (sometimes others): • go too fast, skimp on key components • downplay or ignore benchmarks • do too many things at the same time • New Worship Service (or Venue/Site): • don’t revisit and apply best practices from church planting (eg. developing a Launch Team, staging the ramp-up & roll-out, etc.) • double the work with out doubling workers • “It’s just another worship service, how hard could it be?” - famous last words :)
 • “2.0” Church Plants (sometimes others): • assume “regular attenders” = Launch Team • don’t make the “hard asks” • don’t revisit foundational principles • Discipleship-Centric (sometimes others): • downplay or disregard role of “gatherings” and medium- to larger-group dynamics • subdued or absent pursuit of faithful & fruitful “sustainability” within the model • confusing “organic” with lack of structure, goals, and godly effort 
 Discussion • what scenario (or blend) best represents your project? what are its advantages? disadvantages? • what caution or mistake resonates most? (you made it, avoided it, don’t believe it, etc!) • what do you dislike or doubt about the Four-Stage Launch concept and approach? • what’s just one way it might be extremely helpful? Key Metrics: each is a blend of qualitative & quantitative measures 1. Discipling Relationships: Those who are intentionally receiving discipleship, with the commitment to disciple others when ready, for the ongoing reproduction of disciple-making disciples 2. Launch Team Members: Specifically asked to commit to the church plant launch, the reliable leaders and workers, count on each other (balance of quality and quantity) 3. Worship Attendance: Through prayer, evangelism, invitation, events, marketing, follow-through, and more, reach or surpass goals for each stage (emphasis on quantity, care for quality) 4. Key Ministries: Deploy Worship, Children, Hospitality, Follow-up & Connection, Small Groups, Evangelism & Outreach (or others). Improve “letter grades” throughout each stage 
 (emphasis on quality, care for quantity/capacity) Examples of Suggested Timeline & Benchmarks: Sunday-Centric/Launch Large Model (Traditional/Majority Approach in ECC) KEY: DR=DisciplingRelationships,LT=LaunchTeamMembers,WA=WorshipAttendance,KM=KeyMinistriesGrade Discussion & Questions • • • • STAGE: 1.LaunchTeam Development 2. PreviewWorship/
 Ministry Development 3.SoftLaunch/“Full”Worship
 (2x/mo→weekly) 4. Hard Launch/
 “Grand Opening” Post-Launch1:
 Depth&Stability Post-Launch 2:
 Outreach & Growth May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov DR: 6 8 10 12 14 20 ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? LT: 30 35 40 45 50 55 60 65 70 70 70 70 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A WA: N/A N/A N/A 80 100 120 90 110 125 130 135 150 130 130 130 135 140 160 150 KM: N/A N/A C+ B- B B B B+ B+ B+ A- A- A- A- A- A- A A A 4-Stage Launch + Your First 12 Months | Hope West Side Covenant Church Launch Team Training 2017-10-01 | pg. of5 12
  6. 6. Stage 1: Launch Team Development What is a Launch Team? Simplest Definition: 
 The ones who show up and get it done. • Highly committed hard workers and leaders who will pray, sweat, laugh, cry, grow, and bleed together for the church planting mission to which God has called them • As the Pastor, you can rely on this growing team • As the Launch Team, you can rely on each other Purpose: build, assist, provide, become, create, protect • Invite Others • Evangelism • Develop Key Ministries Gathering Where will these people come from? • Pray, Pray & Pray some more! (Ask the Lord of the harvest…) • Work, Work, & Work some more! (Faithful with the little things…) • Support Churches (Parent, Partner, & Mission Friends) • Strategic Networks (para-church, non-profits, professional organizations, and more) • Find Opportunities: tap into, partner, and network with existing churches & organizations • Create Opportunities: organize and execute well targeted gathering events (vision desserts, open house, picnics/bbqs, service projects, etc.) Team Mix: Roughly “1/3rd” Each:* 1. Committed Christians 2. Unchurched Christians 3. New Christians & Seekers • Reflective of Your Target (e.g. multi-ethnic, 18-30 yr-olds, etc.) • Balanced Gifting (e.g. musical, kids, hospitality, tech, admin, etc.) * particularly applicable to new church plant, but every application 
 needs healthy variety and representation - adjust accordingly) Training Best Practices • Teach the Vision - “T-Shirt Test” (succinctly communicate its essence) • Key Ministries Teams – break the group into your 5 or 6 teams • Pray and Practice - reduces fear, builds skills, increases success
 4-Stage Launch + Your First 12 Months | Hope West Side Covenant Church Launch Team Training 2017-10-01 | pg. of6 12 “People are God’s method. The church is looking for better methods; God is looking for better people.” ~ E.M. Bounds,
 Power through Prayer, p. 13
  7. 7. Cautions Launch Team Landmines • “tasks not titles” - proven faithfulness and effectiveness • “process not promises” - clear leadership development path (not promises of jobs/staffing/positions) • faithfulness and fruitfulness need to be demonstrated • Three “Highly” people to watch for and respond accordingly: • Highly Controlling • Highly Needy • Highly Missional • Extra Cautions for 2.0 Church Plants and New Initiatives: “regular attenders” ≠ “Launch Team” 
 you must make the “hard asks”; you must recruit, enlist, and infuse new Launch Team members into mix Agenda Harmony: How do we keep this group together? • critical to have clearly defined DNA, mission and vision that are Biblically based (cf. earlier session) • planting pastor must be the champion, custodian, and defender of the mission, vision, and values • out-counseling poor fits is a necessary leadership task • self-selecting out is a mature response if the church plant is not a fit Benchmarks • initial minimum of 40 committed, gifted adults before signing Covenant Agreement • 50% of Launch Team from new contacts • continually adding, growing, and maturing to 50-75+ through entire 4-Stage Launch • planter is seen as the legitimate leader of the group • increasing number of people contacted, coming, and connecting with the group with growing enthusiasm and commitment Launch Team Audit: Hope West Side Initial Launch Team Use poster paper if helpful... • Evaluate: • What is the current make-up of your Launch Team? • What would God have you do to build a stronger Launch Team? • Strategize: Create initial strategy for reaching 50-75 people total • often a 3:1 ratio or more, so probably need to connect with 150 people at least • Put real names and real networks on the list (as much as possible) • Pray for your list
 4-Stage Launch + Your First 12 Months | Hope West Side Covenant Church Launch Team Training 2017-10-01 | pg. of7 12
  8. 8. Stage 2: Preview Worship/Ministry Dev. Question: What’s one big mistake Planters & Launch Teams often make early on? Goals • accelerating growth while continuing to build momentum • more fully express what your church is becoming through public worship and expanded 
 attractional & incarnational ministries (“come & see” + “go show & tell” - need balance of both) Benchmarks • 75-125 at each monthly worship service (build momentum from “low” to “high”) • 50 new people attending each preview service • strong word-of-mouth: over half of guests from personal invitation and investment • roughly double the size of the initial Launch Team The ‘W’ Wisdom behind the ‘W’ Rhythm • for most, gathered worship is the high-bandwidth 
 High Point of their experience of God and his 
 community at a new church • but there’s a tension, especially early on, they also need 
 Greater Depth with Launch Team development, training, 
 and small- to medium-sized group experiences • yet both “extremes” can overshoot many people you’re 
 called to reach, so also need some more accessible
 Middle Ground to make friendly connections Repeating Cycle: • each type of gathering is “open” (preview worship, launch team meeting, gathering event, etc) • purposefully invite people to each type of gathering (may invite different people, different ways, for each portions) • at each type of event also invite people to the other upcoming events - always be casting vision, calling to commitment, and inviting each time, adjusting appropriately to setting & audience • Note: See Benchmarks from Suggested Launch Timeline Temptations, Cautions, and Common Mistakes • Rushing/Demanding Weekly Worship Services: succumbing to internal & external pressures and expectations (real or imagined); “When will we be a real church?!”, “Can’t we just worship?!” • Fake/Anemic ‘W’ Rhythm: do some of everything every time, nothing done with purposeful focus, resulting in ineffective “mushy middle”; doing everything poorly at same time vs. one thing done well • Short-Sighted/Short-Term Thinking vs. the long view over generations and eternity; are you planting a centuries-long church or a worship service now? (especially when the “wait” is only weeks)
 4-Stage Launch + Your First 12 Months | Hope West Side Covenant Church Launch Team Training 2017-10-01 | pg. of8 12 Wk 1: 
 Preview Worship Wk 2: Launch Team Mtg Wk 3: Connection Event Wk 5:
 Worship Wk 4: Launch Team Mtg MONTH 1 MONTH 2 …
  9. 9. Example ‘W’ Rhythm 1. Worship #1: music, message, related key ministries, vision casting, a vital invite opportunity to the following weeks (invite at each) 2. Launch Team Mtg #1: orientation, bible study, vision-casting 3. Gathering Event #1: picnic, bbq, service project, bowling, etc. 4. Launch Team Mtg #2: prep key ministries teams for next Preview 5. Worship #2: restart cycle (like Week 1), only improved upon, more new people, etc. (rinse, repeat!) Note: these principles can be applied to either condensed or stretched-out time-frames Applications • Brand-new Plants & Campuses: fairly straightforward, though variations are possible (e.g. Preview Worship every other week, stretch out over summer lows, etc.) • “2.0” Church Plants: had already been meeting weekly, usually bi-vocational pastor now full-time • Approach might range from “soft reset” to “hard reset” • Turn weekly meeting time into a feature, leveraging the existing structure and strengths… 
 but still honor the principles! • Build the rhythm and emphases into your weekly gathering, treat each gathering purposefully • strategically “shut down” weekly public worship for a season (4-8 weeks) • clear opt-in process for Launch Team members (with other open activities for everyone) • Discipleship-Centric: very adaptable to “launching” and rolling out various phases, key components, and ministry initiatives • Launch of Any New Ministry Area: principles really works across a wide variety of applications (examples: launching youth ministry program, building up to annual outreach season, adding 2nd service) Q&A and Discussion • What struggles might you face with the ‘W’ rhythm, monthly worship concept, 
 and execution with your group or in your context? • Done well, what benefit will it bring? • • • 4-Stage Launch + Your First 12 Months | Hope West Side Covenant Church Launch Team Training 2017-10-01 | pg. of9 12
  10. 10. Stage 3: Soft Launch/FullWeeklyWorship Natural continuation of Stage 2, with freedom still to tweak, improve, & over-haul as needed (plus, people are far more forgiving when it’s labeled “Pre-Launch” :) Goals: • move from monthly to weekly rhythm of public worship services • develop more strength and structure through vital ministry teams and effective systems • strengthen and improve your Key Ministries • strengthen gathering and growing prior to Hard Launch/“Grand Opening” • develop leadership and volunteers • finalize Grand Opening Launch Strategy Benchmarks • minimum of 80 in the now weekly worship services (“75 is the enemy!”),
 then reach or surpass 120 in weekly worship services before Hard Launch/“Grand Opening”
 (Note: easier to get people “once a month” vs. “every week”, need to work harder with larger pool of people) • improve quality of Key Ministries from B to B+/A- • increasing number and percentages of people serving in ministry teams • 50% of adults in “small groups” Stage 4: Hard Launch/‘Grand Opening’ Culmination of the first three stages, with 
 Hope West Side ready to go “fully public” Goals: • Launching Strong (Qualitative) • Launching Large (Quantitative) • Letting the Entire Community know we’re here! • Help ensure Vitality, Sustainability, and 
 growing Missional Impact for future generations Benchmarks • Launch past 125 in Worship, stay above 125 throughout • Key Ministries with letter grades in B+/A- range • Great facility that can accommodate growth to 200+ • Seeing increasing #s coming to Christ and connecting • Healthy Mix: 1/3 mission-minded, 1/3 formerly de-churched, 1/3 formerly un-churched
 (these are rough generalities, not hard-and-fast percentages. YMMV :) 4-Stage Launch + Your First 12 Months | Hope West Side Covenant Church Launch Team Training 2017-10-01 | pg. of10 12 Launching Large, Launching Healthy • Contextualize: What might launching large look like for Hope West Side CC? • Brainstorm: What might you do to launch large enough and healthy enough to have greater missional impact in your community • Strategize: What specific action steps are still needed to launch large in your context? Who will do what?
  11. 11. Helpful Congregational Growth Equation Net Growth = [Visitor Flow × Retention Rate] – Backdoor Loss Visitor Flow = how many first-timers experience the church Retention Rate = percentage who become regulars at least for awhile Backdoor Loss = how many eventually leave for any reason • pay attention to each of those variables so you know what’s working & what needs improvement; this applies to worship services, small groups, etc. - any “ministry” that should grow through people • easy to focus on the wrong thing, so get beneath the “numbers” • BIG Caveat: these are people, not soulless numbers; the “numbers” are merely a tool for fruitful accountability and ministry insight. They are essential, but not sufficient to tell the whole story. Scenario 1: • [10 visitors/mo × 20% Retention] - [2 leave/mo]
 = [2 stay/month - 2 leave/month] = 0 Net Growth • Possible Interpretation: 20% is actually a fairly good retention rate and 2/month departing isn’t bad either, therefore increasing the number of visitors (through prayer, invitation, evangelism training, hospitality, etc.) 
 will likely increase Net Growth Scenario 2: • [20 visitors/mo × 10% Retention] - [2 leave/mo]
 = [2 stay/month - 2 leave/month] = 0 Net Growth • Possible Interpretation: 10% isn’t great for retention, though 2/month departing isn’t bad. For some reason people aren’t coming back and getting connected. Evaluating hospitality, facility, spiritual vitality, quality of programming, etc. might reveal ways to improve that retention rate to increase Net Growth Scenario 3: • [10 visitors/mo × 50% Retention] - [5 leave/mo]
 = [5 stay/month - 5 leave/month] = 0 Net Growth • Possible Interpretation: Might be an urban area or college town with very transitory population and lots of “churn” AND/ OR church is great at “first impressions” but lacks depth and growth opportunities. Depending on issues, may need to really increase visitor rate while also working on back door loss 4-Stage Launch + Your First 12 Months | Hope West Side Covenant Church Launch Team Training 2017-10-01 | pg. of11 12 Looking Ahead Key Missional Milestones in Your First Five Years Stewardship & Sustainability 1. Year 1: 130 in worship attendance, 33% progress to financial self-sufficiency 2. Year 2: 160, 66% towards financial self-sufficiency 3. Year 3: 190, 100% financially self-sufficient by time Appropriations end 4. Year 4: 220, 105%, preserving or using surplus for parenting or partnering in church planting 5. Year 5: 250, 110%, using surplus for parenting or partnering in church planting Multiplication & Membership • Years 4-5 Church Planting: Parent or Partner with other churches in the planting of your first church plant • Full Member Church: 
 With demonstrated missional vitality, complete process to become a full member congregation in the ECC
  12. 12. Additional Church Planting & Outreach Resources: Church PlanterTraining Intensive: Workbook, Materials &, and Resources • Blog Post: • Online Folder: • Digital resources from our Church Planter Training Intensive held in Minneapolis MN, Sept 14-19, 2016, plus gathered resources from several previous (and future) Trainings Variety of Church PlantingTrainings with other East Coast Conference Church Plants • Blog Posts: • Variety of handouts and digital resources from several trainings with other East Coast Conference Church Plants, including“Launch Team Training Day”and“Creating an Invite Culture” Outreach Support Materials: • Blog Posts:, including… • “Open Source Outreach: Enlisting Your People for Fresh Outreach Ideas” (now adapted for “Creating an Invite Culture”training) • “Outreach Print Materials: Tips & Tricks, Files & Resources” (nothing beats word-of- mouth, but good branding and marketing materials can help reinforce and turbo-charge those efforts) Additional Notes: 4-Stage Launch + Your First 12 Months | Hope West Side Covenant Church Launch Team Training 2017-10-01 | pg. of12 12