Some people see a difference between a launch team and a core team. They see a launch team as an additional group of people who come to help you for a set period of time, such as 4 weeks to 6 months. After that period, they head back to the sending church. You can have people temporarily join your core team for the launch, and I appreciate the parallels to 1st century methods used by Paul in utilizing people like interchangeable moving parts. This may seem like the way to go, but frankly, I’ve only seen it as an attempt to build a fake crowd to manipulate crowd dynamics. It’s your choice, but I think that seeing who you’re actually reaching from the community is helpful. If you couldn’t tell already, I’m a fan of the organic, small launch.
Along these lines, you’ll read church planting books that will tell you to focus on the the chairs. I’m not joking. They will tell you that you must work out percentages to give a perception of not too full (so invite your friends) to just full enough (so people don’t get depressed). Remember it’s about the numbers and the crowd right?
Any bit of leadership for impossible endeavors involves morale, but you have to teach against the American “bigger is better” approach to ministry. Paul didn’t have it, Jesus didn’t have it, and apparently, the Father doesn’t either. All heaven breaks out when just one sinner repents, and frankly, that’s the kind of mindset you want your church to have. You want their mentality to be like God’s so that they’re focused on the right things. If you haven’t noticed, Jesus wasn’t big on religious crowds. He broke a pretty big one up in the temple…with violence and whips. He also sent home 5000 men, not counting their families. Feeding them the day before, he opened a can of “eat my flesh and drink my blood” talk on them that sent them packing. These are things that flesh and blood don’t reveal to the planter. Rather, most books on the subject tell him the opposite. It’s the cold hard realities of church planting, and a knowledge of the ministry of Jesus and the apostles that tells a different story. Pentecost was never repeated on the same scale. Peter never preached again to a crowd of thousands. It was power of God stuff, not the power of leaflets and advertising.
This is part of the training that your core teams needs the day before the big launch. Remember, as a planter you live with failure every day. Every day.
You were called to this, but they aren’t ready for it. You’ve got to equip and train them. You’ve got to train them to expect God to turn up and do amazing things.
Buy Peyton’s newest book “Reaching The Unreached: Becoming Raiders of the Lost Art” over on Amazon.com. You can also download a free chapter and watch a cool trailer for the book HERE or click the image below.