A number of years ago I had the opportunity to spend some time with Lyle Schaller. At one time Dr. Schaller was one of the pioneer voices into the church planting movement. During a conversation with him he turned my understanding of church planting upside down or maybe right-side up. At the time we had a lot of success at launching large, but with little success with retention. It was during this conversation that he challenged me to quick launching churches based on calendar and to start launching them based on milestones. Prior to that much of our church planting launches took place on Easter or some other key day regardless if we were ready or not. Often this resulted in a premature launch that was pledged with all kinds of systemic problems. We would often see the churches we launched with several hundred people loose 50 to 70% of the people before we found bedrock.
However, in today’s church planting environment things are changing. Churches are planting and sustaining their growth from day one. Just two weeks ago Jeff Murphy our recent church planting resident launched with 635 people on the first day and with a second week of attendance at 578. When you remove the well wishers of the previous week he actually grew. He’s not the only one. Those who are choosing to build a launch model around milestones are finding that this approach can make a huge difference.
With this in mind I will be doing a pre-session at our churchplanters.com conference on February 23-24 on Launching Large: Milestones to Planting a Missional Church. If you are getting ready to launch in the near future you don’t want to miss this one. Visit www.churchplanters.com today and register while there is still time. Also take a moment and check out the eight milestones we will be talking about below.
Milestone #1: Preparation…Am I ready?
Milestone #2: Context…Do I have the place?
Milestone #3: Resources…Do I have enough money?
Milestone #4: Team…Do I have the people?
Milestone #5: Vision…Do I have the plan?
Milestone #6: Cultivate…Have I networked my community?
Milestone #7: Launch…Am I ready to go public?
Milestone #8: Connect…Am I ready make disciples?