On Launch Teams

We moved to Cartersville in May of 2005 and didn’t know one single person.  We weren’t even sure the church would end up in Cartersville at that time. Over the next few months, we started going to church and I started meeting people.  I would go to restaurants and talk to people sitting near me.  I would go to community events and try to say hi.  The only thing we had was a website.

I met a few people from Cartersville that were driving pretty far to church and they jumped in.  Throughout the next year, our launch team grew to about 10 or 12 families.  It was tough meeting people, but these people were great.

We had an information meeting that October (6 families), and started meeting in a home in January of 2006.  We went through our core values, and the few people we had brought a few others.  A few months later, we turned the core group into a launch team (an important distinction).  We visited other churches and got ready for our preview services.  We did two preview services and then held our grand opening.

We didn’t have a goal of people that we were working towards, and we didn’t have that large of a group.  We just plugged away and did what God called us to do.  Here’s some things I learned about the core group/launch team phase.

  • You need other people on your team.
  • People that are leaving other churches to come to yours will probably leave yours later.
  • Let people give/tithe right away.
  • Visiting other churches together and talking about your experience is great team building.
  • Don’t bend your vision to get people on that team.
  • Not everybody is a fit, and that’s okay.  We had some great people who found they were more at home somewhere else…this is a good thing for everybody!
  • Don’t be too quick to hire people or give them titles.
  • You can start a church with a small launch team.  Even in a town where you don’t know anybody.
  • A core group is internally focused; a launch team is externally focused.
  • Talk about your core values as a church, but also lead Bible Studies and make sure people are seeking Jesus.
  • Some of these people will take a bullet for you…never take that for granted.

Chime in.  For those of who you have planted a church, what have you learned about the launch team process?


3 comments so far

  1. paulpeterson on


    thanks for this valuable post. We’re getting ready to move to Cincinnati and start our launch team and need this kind of insight!

  2. James on

    Thanks. Great post. I’m launching 15 min north of the church I youth pastor at now in 10 months. I have lots of relationships and connections in the area (have lived there 6 years). I new, however, to the church planting scene and and sponge-ing up all the info I can. My pastor and I head to Oklahoma City for ARC’s round table meeting in Aug.

  3. Lance Ratze on

    Thanks for the past. Very encouraging for a fellow church planter in the pre-launch process. Do you have any information you could e-mail me in re: to the marketing you did for your initial informational meeting? Also, what was the venue and what did you talk about? Thanks.

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