Church Planting Focus – Launch Team versus Core Group

With my One Day Launch Conference in Orlando coming up in less than a month (on Friday, April 13) my mind is on church planting. So last week I kicked off this new series of posts, addressing some of the most common issues that church planters face.

One of the proven “contrarian” principles for starting a new church is assembling a launch team rather than a core group.  The difference is much more than just what you choose to call this essential group of early adopters. Let’s take a moment to look at the Launch team versus Core Group.

Let’s start with some basics. Launch Team: A team of committed individuals who will assist you in preparing for and executing an effective launch. This is a team of people currently living in the area where your new church will meet – a team that you will build from scratch. The launch team is in existence only through the first weekly service.

Your launch team has one singular purpose: to assist you in launching the church. When the launch service is over, the team dissipates. (Of course, hopefully the people won’t go away, but their service in the church will shift to weekly volunteers.)

You may have heard the term “core group” applied to this initial team, but there is a big difference between a launch team and a core group. It’s interesting to see how many churches have sabotaged their launch by treating their launch team like a core group.

The basic idea behind a core group is you find 12 to 15 spiritually committed individuals in your area and convince them to help you start the church. Your team then comes together in private or semiprivate meetings for three to six months to pray over and prepare for the new church.

Undeniably, the team professes to be working together to start the church. However, core groups are built in such a way that their attention and intentions are often misguided.

Churches that only use the core-group process tend to start small and stay small. The reason has nothing to do with spiritual depth but rather with psychological laws: Individuals who meet together and work closely with each other for more than a couple of months will develop deep relationships and work to protect those relationships.

Here’s what happens: the group turns inward. This is not necessarily bad, unless you are trying to launch a church -ha!

In my experience with core groups, I’ve seen many solidify to the ultimate detriment of the church.

Now you can see why so many church plants fail in the first two years ! 

I will be covering many helpful “insider info” into the world of Launching at my upcoming One Day Church Planting Launch Conference in Orlando.

You’ll learn from my personal experience and the experience of having coached hundreds of other successful church planters. I will teach you the key principles for “Launching Large” PLUS the latest lessons learned in launching and growing an effective church plant.

This one-of-a-kind event is perfect for church planters and key team members of existing church plants or pastors and teams looking to effectively start new churches.

As a bonus, there will be a special lunch time “Round Table Discussion” with effective church planters from my Advanced Coaching Network.

Here are the details:

The One Day Launch Conference For Pastors, Church Planters and Teams
Location: Royal Plaza Hotel Walt Disney World, Orlando, FL
Date: Friday, April 13, 2012
Time: 9:30am – 4:30pm

Hurry – space is limitedto the first 99 registrants!

$49 for one person; $79 for three people from the same church/new church team (Call for further group options – 1-800-264-5129)

Note: Special hotel rates are available for conference attendees (information will be emailed upon registration).

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About Nelson Searcy

Nelson Searcy is an experienced church growth strategist, pastor, church planter and coach, consulting with churches around the world. As founder of Church Leader Insights and the Renegade Pastors Network, he has personally trained more than 3,500 church leaders in over 45 denominations through live events, seminars and monthly coaching. Nelson is also the Founding and Lead Pastor of The Journey Church, with locations across New York City and in Boca Raton, FL. Nelson and his church routinely appear on lists such as “The 50 Most Influential Churches” and “The 25 Most Innovative Leaders.” He is the author of over 100 church growth resources and 18+ books, including The Renegade Pastor: Abandoning Average in Your Life, Ministry and The Difference Maker: Using Your Everyday Life for Eternal Impact, and At the Cross with the People Who Were There. He and his wife, Kelley, have one son, Alexander.

Nelson SearcyChurch Planting