Launching Large 3: Who do you copy?

Part one here.  Part two here.

This is going to sound very simplistic, but one of the keys to launching large is to stop copying churches that aren’t growing.  I’m often amazed at where people get their advice.  Your uncle who has been divorced three times is not a good person to ask for marital advice.  And a church that has had 200 people attending for the last five years is probably not a good church to look to as a mentor.

Run what they say through your filter and your context.  Just because someone writes it in a book doesn’t mean it’s good advice.  Just because someone says it at a conference doesn’t mean it’s true.  There are a lot of opinions on church planting that come from people who have spent five years planting churches that have 25 people in them.  When you want to see what works, find a healthy church that teaches the Bible and who is growing, and go ask questions.

I know this is going to make people mad, and I’ll get accused of only caring about numbers, but I think it’s a bad idea to copy churches that aren’t growing.


2 comments so far

  1. Scott Cheatham on

    Mike…I understand your content here and it makes sense in one respect but what really constitutes growth? I am planting here and fall in your “under 200” category so I will not profess to be an expert in rapid growth. What I have seen is many of my church planting friends who launched large and had 100, 200, or more within a few months but have since closed their doors and left town. Some left within a year or two of starting their churches. I often wonder that in the pursuit of getting to this point quickly, we forget the tension that is there for us to disciple and train people so that they are steadfast when attacks come. My church has been growing much slower than most and it seems once we reach a growth barrier, something comes along and plucks a few families away. When you don’t have an awesome light show for the kids or a boatload of cash to start with, people are fickle. I’ve tried to focus on spending quality time with each of our families and spending large amounts of time with others who I want to do the same so we can truly minister to those who come through our doors. It has cost us families but the slow, steady plodding approach has helped us to develop some solid leaders. I think both can work depending on your context.

  2. Michael on


    i don’t think growth has everything to do with size. if you are a church of 40 people, then i think you should look to the church of 100 people as a model. it’s all relative.

    i’ve also seen churches launch large and then go away after a few years. churches fail for a variety of reasons, but i think a called leader launching with a group of 200 people would have the opportunity to make a greater impact than someone plodding away with 20. but again, it’s all relative. gifting, the area, and the favor of God all come into play.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: