Ok, its a bold title but I believe it it! Just like birth weight of a new baby is critical to his early health, ‘launching large’ is critical for a new church plant.
Here’s my goal with all that I offer on Church Planting:
I want to help you start a church from scratch that will reach as many people as possible, as quickly as possible, and in the power of the Holy Spirit. In other words, my goal is to provide you with everything you need to launch large. This underlying premise of launching large will guide all of our ensuing discussions.
Launching large is the ability of a new church to reach as many people as possible within the first six to eight months of existence. It’s all about discovering and fulfilling potential.
Of course, “large” is a relative term. Some might argue from my story in starting The Journey that we didn’t launch large. However, given the church culture in New York City (or lack thereof), we actually did quite well. Launching large will look different for different church planters in different environments.
Church is local, and launching large is as unique as the area to which God has called you. Areas that are warm to the gospel may lend themselves to a larger launch than completely unchurched areas. I have also seen the reverse hold true. Don’t get too caught up in the numbers. Instead, focus on the potential of your area as you allow the concept to sink in.
At the same time, don’t completely dismiss the numbers either. Numbers are important in that they represent the people you have won to Christ as well as your impact on the community as a whole. Others have fought the battle of why numbers matter, so we won’t argue that here. However, we do believe that every person in a community is a person who matters to God and who needs a spiritual home.
God wants his family to be as large as possible. So, numbers do serve a purpose—not as a means to secure bragging rights, but as a tool for measuring the expansion of God’s kingdom.
Ask yourself, What would launching large look like in my area with my new church?
One way to determine a broad answer is to examine what God is already doing in and around your area. When we set out to start The Journey, we had a difficult time finding comparative churches because there had been virtually no successful church plants in Manhattan in the years just before our start.
In the New York City culture of 2002, having 110 people at the launch of a new church was significant. Since then, other churches in the city have had a larger launch than we did. And, by the way, we are their biggest fans. Understand the truth that God wants to use many churches to reach our city—and yours. This is not a competition.
God’s dream for your church is bigger than your dream.
Our goal was to grow to 50 people within a year of launching. Again, God had other plans. Launching large is about cooperating with God to see His vision accomplished in an area.
Don’t underestimate that vision or your ability to tap into it.
If God is calling you to this task, He’s not trying to play Hide-and-Seek with His vision and goals. Take a moment and use your sanctified imagination to envision what launching large would look like for your new church.
P.S. If you’re planting a church and you’re ready to learn all you can about how to Launch Large, check out my 10-CD resource called The Launch Conference. Secure your copy this week for “Church Planting Week” special pricing:
CLICK HERE and enter the special code CPWEEK at checkout to Save $200.00 this week only!
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