We're just over two weeks from the launch of the new church. Tips??

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by annsni, Aug 25, 2010.

  1. annsni

    annsni
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    Our new church/campus plant will be having our first service on September 12th and I'd like to ask any of you who have planted churches if you have any last minute tips for us. We've done a lot of advertising and will be going out next week with door hangars to let people know about the new church. We're meeting in a hotel and we have most of our equipment purchased and ready to go (sound system, projection system, nursery/Sunday school supplies, etc.) but is there anything that you can think of that we might forget or need to know before we begin?

    Oh - and I covet your prayers a LOT. :) It's so exciting to see this happening one year now after hubby was called by God to do this work.
     
  2. abcgrad94

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    Sounds exciting! Do you have cards for the visitors to fill out their contact info?
     
  3. annsni

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    I'm sure we do but I'll check with hubby anyway. :)
     
  4. exscentric

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    Information brochure to stick in bulletin with brief overview of the church might help new folks.

    If there are multiple rooms involved a map might be good.

    If there are other churches in the area plan on getting all the discontents for awhile till they get discontented ;-)
     
  5. annsni

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    Got that. We're also putting together a package for new believers with a Bible, a beginning Bible study and a brochure on "Welcome to the Family" kind of thing.

    The only other room is the children's ministry room and we'll have the information for the parents along with the security measures we have in place.

    LOL!! We actually met with some of the other pastors in the area assuring them we're not looking to sheep-steal. Honestly, the closest churches to us really have nothing to worry about since one is VERY Pentacostal and the other is VERY IFB. So no big overlap there other than the Gospel and we all agree that we can use more workers to spread that! :)
     
  6. Salty

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    Tips, yes, invite a big name preacher for the first service, someone like Joel Osteen :smilewinkgrin: or even better, Salty! :tongue3:
     
  7. glfredrick

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    Biggest item on the checklist for a new launch -- "Don't be weird." People don't typically reject Jesus, they never get to Him... They reject weird "church people" who insist on doing things from another era, of from the experience of some alternate worldview that no one in a new launch can possibly identify with. Running up and hugging strangers around the neck and calling each other "Brother" and "Sister" just doesn't happen in the world outside the church... :praying:

    Have you considered the concept of "row captains?"

    One person in every row or so that gets what you are doing to help guide newbies. They should not appear as if they are church experts, but rather be very relational, know the ins and outs of the core group and church mission, and be able to be a friendly face in a crowd of strangers.

    Tied to this concept are also those from the core group who will work at the end of the service to break up the "holy huddle" -- core members who know each other, and who gather to pat each other on the back instead of spending that CRITICAL 10-20 minutes chatting with visitors.

    What about adequate signage -- from the street to the parking area to the entrance to child care and the worship venue (and bathrooms!), signs are a critical first-day necessity.

    Do you have a web site in place? Is it tested? Will you have sermon recordings or transcripts? Huge big deal these days. It says that you exist, and everyone assumes a web site to check you out, send links to friends, etc. With that also goes a Facebook page for the new church that points people back to the web site. The more value-added stuff you can pack into the web site the more utilized it will be.

    On the neighborhood contacts deal... Realize the numbers of marketing that seem to play out in church planting as well (and we often dislike talking about this aspect of the work -- marketing and "church" don't seem to go together well, but we ARE mostly talking about non-saved persons in a new church plant). Over decades of study, the number of "touches" that one does in the community directly corresponds with the number of potential new visitors on day 1. The numbers typically run along these lines: 10,000 mailers = 1,000 potential visitors (request info) = 100 in the pew on opening day. Many a new start sends out a couple hundred invites then wonders why they see a couple people present.

    Additionally, the more often you can actually touch one of those persons who are potential new members, the better the chance that you'll see some of them. This is called "top of mind awareness" and what it means is that when people think "church" they think your church because you are the one who has been in their thoughts at least 4-6 times recently. This can be through face time, mailers, phone calls, advertising, service ministry opportunities, etc., as long as you actually reach to the desired crowd well and often.

    And, finally, realize that getting people into the door is just the first step. After that, you need a plan to share the gospel, make converts, baptize them, disciple them, and empower them to go out and do likewise. "Marketing" a new church launch seems so anti-faith and anti-God, but we do need to reach out to a wide-ranging audience who God may call to hear the message and become His own. Reaching them is the first step and where most new launches fail.


    Praying that you have an AMAZING -- GOD BLESSED first day! Post some pics!
     
  8. annsni

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    Awesome stuff!! Thanks! I'll respond to the different items:

    I hope we're not weird. :) I do know that those outside the church who know us say that we're totally not weird so I think that's a good thing. We have a great bunch on our launch team and I do think that they will be warm and welcoming without being in your face, so that will be good. Good word though!

    GREAT idea! I'm going to pass this one on to hubby.

    Another great admonition. We'll definitely mention this at our next pre-launch meeting (I think we have one more with the whole team before we start).

    I know we'll have a sign at the front door with directions to the meeting room and children's ministry room. I THINK the hotel is actually putting our church on their digital sign which will be really cool. :)

    www.ichristianc.org Fortunately hubby is the webmaster AND host. :) The only thing that is not up to date there is the blog because it kind of fell off the radar. I just realized that and need to get on him to get a new post up there.

    Yep - we'll have it recorded. Not sure about transcripts as that would most likely fall to me and I'm not sure I'm up to another job at this time. Maybe we can find someone else to do that job....

    Hmm - nothing yet on Facebook but I'm sure hubby is thinking of that. I'll double check on that.

    Fortunately, one of our pastors of our home church who is assisting in the start of this new plant was formerly in marketing so he's doing a LOT of stuff to prepare for the opening. My husband has also been in the community a lot just even sitting in Starbucks or a diner and has had lots of opportunities to get to know people and personally invite them to the church. They've also used the local community resources to advertise as well - fairs, local papers, etc.

    One thing we did this summer was to have a number of backyard Bible clubs in the area because most of our launch team lives in the very near vicinity of the church. We also had a parenting seminar and small groups to follow up with that so we already have about 20 new people to the church even before the church has opened. I do know that we've been working hard to make a physical presence in the area especially since we don't have a physical "church" that would make our presence known.

    Yep - we need to sow broadly and see what sprouts. We do have a plan for the gospel (the first few weeks are going to be spent going over the "essentials" of the Christian faith to get that basis in there and since we're most likely looking at either the unsaved or brand new believers as being the core of the church in the beginning, we definitely are working on what to do to let them know the Gospel, get them saved and disciple them from there. It's exciting because there really aren't a lot of churches in the area and certainly very few evangelical churches. Just down the road is a Kingdom Hall, a Mormon tabernacle and a mosque!! We're definitely going into a battleground and I pray that we're ready.

    Will do! Thanks for the prayers!!
     
  9. Tom Bryant

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    Be who God has called you to be. Don't try to be everything to everybody. I am not talking about changing the message because I know you all won't do that. But you can't have every program and ministry that an older more established church does.

    We're praying down here in FL for you all.
     
  10. webdog

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    Have you consulted with the Purpose Driven Church book? LOL

    I have a pastor friend who left our church and planted a church a couple years ago. He now runs a non profit organization here locally (after resigning as pastor) http://www.plantohio.net/

    If you have any questions, he would be the person to ask as this is his third time around in doing this. If you want his email, facebook me or send me a pm.
     
  11. annsni

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    There are two things that will help us to not try to have every program an older church has: #1 being that we're meeting in a hotel and only have it for a few hours on Sunday mornings. Any other times we meet has to either be paid for or done outside the hotel. So we're approaching church right now as "simple church" where we have the Sunday celebration and then small groups in the home. #2 is that we still have our "parent" church that has a lot of programs and is just 30 minutes away from the plant. So if one wants a good youth group or adult classes or recovery ministries, they can go right over to NBC. :)

    I greatly appreciate the prayers!! They're always needed.



    Oh I didn't tell you? We're all about PDC!! ;)

    Thanks for the website! I'll pass the link onto my hubby.
     
  12. SaggyWoman

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    Have greeters out in the parking areas/sidewalks and at the entry. Have them do more than just "pass out bulletins."

    Have your care group plan to engage people in conversation prior to and after the service.
     
  13. webdog

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  14. annsni

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