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View Chapter 8 - Branches

Church Planting Resource Manual

Download MS Word Document (2009):
File:Chapter 8 - Branches 5-09.doc

Download Shorter PowerPoint (2011):
File:Keynote 8 Branches 3-11.ppt

Chapter 8: BRANCHES - Developing Ministry Teams

This article contains text only. For the full version with graphics and charts, please download the MS Word version above.

Moving from a Launch Team toward a Healthy, Missional Church
Stage Three of the 4-Stage Launch – Preparatory Worship

Theme: How to grow strong ministry teams and get ready for a strong launch.

Objective: To help your new church develop more strength and structure through vital ministry teams. 
This allows for more lives to be impacted and for the tree’s branches to prepare to bear fruit without breaking.

Chapter Goals:
1.  You will learn how to strengthen your 5 Key Ministries:
a.  Groups and Structures
b.  Worship
c.  Children’s Ministry
d.  Outreach
e.  Connection/Assimilation
    2.  You will learn how to strengthen gathering and growing prior to Launch.
    3.  You will learn how to develop leadership and volunteers.

NOTE: the Growth-Marks document following the Note pages will be something your coach will use to help you move through this important stage.  The shaded area will be the section for you to concentrate on for this stage. 

I am the vine and you are the branches.  If you abide in Me and I in you, then you will bear much fruit.  Apart from Me you can do nothing. 
John 15:5

Checking for Growth/Health in the 1st Year of a New Church
First the seed, then the stalk, then the head, then the full-kernel of grain.  Mark 4:28

Just as the wise farmer evaluates the growth of the crop, so too the wise church planter evaluates progress of their new church at each stage.

Just as the farmer makes adjustments at each stage, evaluating the need for hydration, fertilization, pesticide, pruning…

Or, to change the metaphor, just as the parent pays careful attention to how their child moves through the 1st 12 months of life to see not only growth in weight and height, and pays attention to how they’re developing mentally, emotionally, relationally, etc… and gets concerned if they don’t achieve certain growth-stages, so also…

The wise church planter looks at the growth & health of the church at each stage of development to determine what adjustments need to be made and to determine if they are ready to move to the next stage.

Check off the growth-marks as they are achieved.  When you have marked them all off, you are ready to move to the next stage.  If you have not achieved them, this indicates that you are missing a key growth element.  You should only move to the next stage with approval of your coach.  Consistently not meeting these marks is a real cause for concern and a time for deep discussion with your coach and possible adjustments…

Meet with your coach before moving to each new stage.

Root Development: Finding & Developing the Launch Team      Start date_________
Check when achieved:        (usually takes 3-4 months)
___ minimum of 20-30 committed adults in the core
___ 50% of core from new contacts
___ clear, compelling Passion, Values, and Mission – with the timeline and strategic plan
___ begin incorporation, financial system, enrollment in ECC pension, insurance, beginning ECC credentialing, enrolled in CEOP (if needed)
___ planter is seen as the ‘legitimate leader’ of the group
___ increasing number of people contacted, coming and connecting with the group
___ growing enthusiasm by the people
___ visits to church plants in area by Launch Team
___ vision deserts and/or gathering events
___ incarnational mission beginning in the community
___ begin taking an offering & sending 10 & 5 to ECC and conference mission
                        Achieved by________
  Each goal is important to accomplish before moving to the next stage!

Leaf Development: Preview (accelerated launch team development)    Start date_______
Check when achieved:          (usually takes 3-4 months)
___ minimum attendance of 70-100 in monthly preview services
___ 50 new people at each preview service (generally once-a-month)
___ plan for marketing for 3rd and 4th preview if you can’t get 50 new people by personal invitation
___ strong word-of-mouth with over ½ of new people coming from personal invitation
___ 50 new people assimilated into Launch Team over the 3-4 month time-frame
___ good facility, good financial record keeping, people beginning to tithe to new church
___ increasing attendance at each preview service
___ planning and recruiting people to serve in 5-key ministries of worship, kids, connection, small groups, outreach.
___ PAT (Pastors Advisory Team) functioning
___ people who are far from God coming to worship and/or being touched by the outreach of the church
                        Achieved by________
Each goal is important to accomplish before moving to the next stage!

Branch Development - Preparatory Worship    3-4 months       Start date_________
Check when achieved:
___ minimum attendance of 80 in the weekly services
___ quality of 5 key ministries (see previous stage for these 5) raised by one grade level (eg. C to B+) and increasing number of people serving in one of the ministry teams
___ 50% of adults in small groups
___ continuing outreach at this stage and planning for greater fruitfulness in next stage
___ continuing gathering and increasing attendance at worship
___ pray/plan for Grand Opening of Phase 4 with the G.O. (Grand Opening) Team
                        Achieved by________

The Metaphor:
The trunk gives height to the leaf-bearing branches, aiding in competition with other plant species for sunlight. In most trees, the arrangement of the branches optimizes exposure of the leaves to sunlight. Strong and strategically placed branches enable the growth and development of leaves, the fuel system for the whole tree. Branches need regular pruning to maximize fruitfulness, often through pruning inside the crown to allow those remaining branches to flourish.

For a tree to prosper, pruning is necessary. Jesus himself talked about this important function of the arborist: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” (John 15:1 & 2) 

Why Prune? There are four primary reasons.

1) To improve the appearance or health of a plant. For trees, pruning a dense canopy permits better air circulation and sunlight penetration. To avoid future problems, remove crossing branches that rub or interfere with each other, and those that form narrow crossings.

2) To train young plants. Training main scaffold branches (those that form the structure of the canopy) produces stronger and more vigorous trees. You’ll find it easier to shape branches with hand pruners when a plant is young than to prune larger branches later.

3) To influence fruiting and flowering. Proper pruning of flower buds encourages early vegetative growth. You can also use selective pruning to stimulate flowering in some species, and to help produce larger (though fewer) fruits in others.

4) To rejuvenate old trees and shrubs. As trees and shrubs mature, their forms may become unattractive. Pruning can restore vigor, and enhance the appearance of these plants.

In a church plant, a healthy church will cause new ministries structures to be created.  Wise leaders learn how to shape, guide and prune ministry structure to provide more opportunity for leaf growth, and greater ability to bear fruit. Occasionally, certain ministry structures will need to be ended, or more often will need to be reshaped to produce more ministry fruit.

Talking about Developing Stronger Branches in a New Church
Moving Your Quality Level From a C To a B+ or Better.

Branch Development is a chance to develop quality in your core ministries. Usually most new churches choose to focus on five core ministry areas, and attempt to do them well - Sunday morning worship, small groups, follow-up and connection of contacts and visitors, children’s ministries and Outreach (both Attractional and Incarnational).


1.  In a new church, what do the branches represent?

2.  In what sense do the branches enable the growth development of the whole church?

3.  What is the significance of pruning in the ministries of a church?

1. You will learn how to Strengthen your 5 Key Ministries:

1a. Group Structure:  There are 3 Types of Groups

1.  Small Groups
These are groups of 7 – 15 people.

Small groups have certain dynamics that are unique to them, one of which is for the members to know each other more intimately, as well as to be known by them.

2.  Mid-Sized Groups
These are groups of 20 – 50 people.

Mid-sized groups have certain dynamics that are unique to them, one of which is to create a social environment of connection with a larger circle of friends, often in an environment of fun and casual social relationship.

3.  Large Groups
These are groups of more than 70 people.

Large groups have certain dynamics that are unique to them, one of which is to create a sense of being a member of a larger group of people that hold similar values, which are reinforced by the power of the whole group.

SMALL GROUPS: this is an important stage for developing small groups.  How will you develop small groups at this stage?  How can you move to multiple groups?

One good way to launch small groups is to link them to the Sunday morning teaching.  That way if someone comes to a group first, they will “sample” what the pastor was speaking about.  Or, for those who want to go deeper or who have questions, they can go to the small group to learn more.
The simple way to do this is provide a list of follow-up questions in the Sunday bulletin.  (Individuals may want to use this as well)  You may also want to provide the text for the upcoming message and have the group anticipate how the pastor is going to deal with it.

Another way is to develop “Alpha” or “Christianity Explored” groups.  At the start, have everyone go through them, then use them twice a year for outreach/discipleship.  See or for more information.

Another way is to start small groups and ask for a 4-6 week commitment.  This allows people to sample the group before making a longer commitment.

In addition, look at the on-line resources at or talk with your coach about curriculum and options for small groups.
1b. You will learn how to Strengthen Core Ministries:  Worship
In most cases, the first Sunday of weekly worship is filled with errors, omissions, snafus, accidents and general all-around mistakes. In most cases, reaching a ‘B’ level of quality during the first few weeks shows excellent ministry development. However, an important task in this phase is improving the quality level to an ‘A’.

Here are some ideas on how to make this happen:

1.  Videotape each service. Review the tape, making special note of energy, transitions and visitor friendly explanations.
2.  Have a feedback session after each service, asking 4 - 6 people to evaluate each part of the service.
3.  Develop more efficient ways to do set-up, looking at improved systems, storage and procedures.
4.  Call selected visitors to get feedback on ‘how can we do better?’
5.  Find ways for people to share their ‘life-change’ stories in worship.  Don’t give them the microphone.  Either interview them or show a 2-3 minute video (videos can then be put on your website).
Share various life-change stories:  someone who has come to Christ, someone who is making progress but hasn’t yet arrived, someone who has begun serving and loves it, etc.


___ Use curtains or plants to reduce and close off the excess size of the room.

___ Use vivid colors to add brightness and light to the room.

___ Build a small portable platform for increase viewer sight lines.

___ Make sure you have adequate lighting up front. If not, get some spotlights or a lighting system.

___ Find art and other worship aids that communicate your mission and core values.

___ Use good graphics on the screen (if using a video projector)

___ If possible, set up fewer chairs than you anticipate and add back rows as needed.

___ Find ways to make your group look as big as possible in the facility - e.g. wider spacing of chairs.  Putting up room dividers such as Ficus trees, string of Christmas lights, etc.

___ Have up front people model dress codes and ethnic/gender/age mix that are consistent with the people you wish to reach.
1c. Strengthening Core Ministries: Children

In many new churches, the easiest way to accelerate the growth of a new church is to focus on developing ‘kid-friendly’ and ‘family-friendly’ ministries. Here are suggestions:

1. Back-Ground Checks: This is important for everyone you have working with kids.  Check out the ECC material on “Making Churches Safer” - a 23 page pdf file is available at and includes check-in forms etc. 

Also, consider joining Group’s “Volunteer Central.”  Your annual registration (around $100) will allow you to do national background checks on volunteers for $9 each.  They also have lots of helpful information, access to sign-in forms, access to Group Curriculum and much more.  Go to

2. Curriculum: Another easy way is to use curriculum that is fun, hands-on and kid-understandable.  One of the best at this is material from Group.  Or, you can use video-based curriculum that is very easy for volunteers to use.  These have pre-school and elementary levels.  A good way to do this, is use one of these for your elementary kids, and use something like Group or VeggieTales Curriculm for Pre-Schoolers.

For elementary especially (although they also have pre-school curriculum), consider
  - Elevate:
  - Empowering Kids:
- Kidmo:
- Free LifeKids curriculum from
  - 252 Basics:
  - Or use great VBS curriculum and adapt it for your Kids Ministry.   

3. Three Age Divisions and Schedule: 
Nursery: 0-1
IDEA: Hire a paid nursery worker(s)! The last thing you want at the beginning is new people stuck in the nursery, instead of building friendships.
Pre-School: 2 - pre-K or K
Early Elementary: K - 2nd or 1st - 3rd

IDEA: Have these kids come into worship with their parents, and then have them come forward before they are dismissed (people love seeing kids), have the kids worker tell the parents how much we value kids, tell them briefly about what they’ll be learning today, and then pray for the kids before they go to their program.

4. Extra WOW Focus: 
- Purchase a bounce house and have it available before and after the kids program.  It’s a kid-magnet and helps get parents and kids there BEFORE worship and helps them hang around longer AFTER worship.  Get it up and going 20 minutes before worship and then deflate it a few minutes before worship so kids can go to their program.  Then ‘fire it up’ again at the end of the program.  Make sure you have good volunteers to monitor the kids while they’re in there – and if you have lots of kids then offer ‘shifts’ 4 minutes for kids 5-7; 4 minutes for kids 8-10; or…
- On Special Sundays, move the bounce house outside (weather permitting), have a bar-b-que, kids games, and possibly even a climbing wall.
- On all brochures, make sure they communicate the interest your church has in children. Use pictures, fonts and verbage that reinforce.

5. Teachers, Helpers and More:
- Pamper, prepare and praise your teachers and workers, so they will give all they have and feel rewarded in their work as a vital ministry.  THANK them!
- Consider moving to two services with the early service for your elementary teachers and only nursery and pre-school care provided.  Then, you can promise that teachers will never have to miss a Sunday to work in your program.  (This may also provide another option for guests to come – and be another way to grow the church.)
- Provide great looking T-Shirts for each teacher with the name of your Kids Ministry on it.  It adds to the excitement + easily identifies who is supposed to be working with kids.

6. The Big 2 Questions
When parents pick their kids up, they ask 2 Questions, and if the kids answer the wrong way, the family may not return.  The 2 Questions are:
-  Did you have fun?
-  What did you learn?
So, before the parents pick up their kids, have the teachers say “Didn’t we have fun today!” and have the kids repeat the key lesson “We learned …” The parents will be impressed!

7. Ministries at Other Times:
- Consider starting TGIF. It’s a Friday night club event for 5 - 10 year olds that is like VBS in one night. It’s also a great way to meet parents and provide them a value-added night out!
- Consider doing a summer Day Camp. It is a great way to have a high impact kids event, and also can do wonders at teambuilding for your volunteer workers.  Mega Sports camps are a good way to do this
- Consider a “Date Your Mate” night, where your church provides free child-care to couples on a Friday night from 6:30 to 9:30 pm.  You register the kids and give them a fun-time.  You’ll have a lot of opportunity to build relationships with families when the drop-off and pick-up.
- Club “56” (for 5th and 6th graders) or Club “45” (for 4th and 5th graders).  Consider Club 56 if your school system starts Junior High in 7th grade and consider Club 45 if you school system has Middle School starting in 6th.  This becomes a pre-teen youth group.

Insights for your Children’s Ministry:





1d. Strengthening Core Ministries: Outreach

Word of Mouth Strategies:
Virtually every church that grows quickly does so through word of mouth chatter from motivated members of your launch team and new visitors. Many new churches spend a lot of time and money thinking about impersonal growth methods. We suggest you spend as much time and energy in developing a quality word of mouth campaign. Here are some ideas of a good plan:

1.  Commit yourself to quality ministry in every area - otherwise word of mouth will not work well.

2.  Create attractional events and ministry opportunities that make it easy for people to invite others - these are special events, mission projects, monthly outreach Sundays, serving opportunities, cycles of the church year, etc.

3.  Give people tools for inviting others - these are:
•  business cards that tell your service times;
•  preprinted invitations and envelopes for special events and mission opportunities;
•  send five copies of a brochure or flyer with a cover letter to each family inviting them to use these for a certain event.

Mass Media Strategies:
As well as direct mail, other methods of advertising include the yellow pages; newspaper; telemarketing; and the radio. Here are some thoughts on each medium:

A Web Site:
The first place most people will look when wishing to find out more about your church is your website. If you need help creating one, talk to your coach. In today’s world, this is a critically important task to accomplish right away.

Advertising on a contemporary Christian radio station can be effective. 50% of its listeners do not attend church! Some new churches run ads, which they will help you write and produce. Other stations will let you sponsor a program. Especially in smaller markets, radio can be very effective.

The best deal is always a free story about you or your church, complete with a color picture on the front page of a section. Some smaller newspapers will publish whatever copy you submit as long as it has any public interest. Many Covenant church planters have been exceptional at receiving free coverage. Another angle is to offer to advertise if they will do a story on your church.

Connecting with People through Multiple Front Doors:
Churches that grow well usually learn how to have multiple doors into your church. What this means is strategically thinking a out events and activities that can be easy entrance points for new people to hear about your church and come within the sphere of your influence. Here are some ideas:

1. Use ‘value added’ components to your service - ideas include special singers, dramatists, speakers, puppets, choirs, etc.

2. Sponsor a Conference - for example, one on parenting, marriage,

3. Provide a service to the community - painting senior’s houses, free car wash, etc

4. Sponsor a seminar - divorce recovery, drug proofing your kids, investments/wills, etc.

5. Start a sports ministry - softball teams, mixed volleyball, golf tournament, etc.

6. Start a women’s Bible Study.

7. Start a men’s ministry group.

8. Sponsor a booth at the county fair.

9. Develop evangelistic affinity groups for professionals in your community.

10. Launch a Summer Day Camp for kids.

NOTE:  there are additional ideas for Outreach in Chapter 4 and Mass Media Strategies in the next chapter.  For additional help, go to

Insights for your church plant:




1e. Strengthening Core Ministries: Connection/Assimilation

The Glue that Builds Relationships

When new people come and visit, often they are very receptive the involvement. Here are some ideas in helping visitors become regular attenders.

1. Take small steps, one at a time.

2. Find ways to get people talking - before, during and after the service.

3. Non-threatening events often involved asking people to do simple tasks together - set-up, take down, labeling brochures, bringing a plate of cookies for treats, etc.

4. Ask new people to help with welcoming and serving ministries as early as the second week - greeting table, usher, set-up
5. Try to begin with small groups for short periods of time - 4 to 8 weeks.

6. After your small group ministry is active, use one small group as the small group entry point for new people - when it is full, spin it off as its own group and start again.
7. Create special children’s events that will make parents return with them - children’s choir, ticket for next week’s special kids event, etc.

8. People support what they help create - never start a new ministry without lay people having a crucial part of the planning and discussion.

9. Encourage your regulars to always meet someone new after the service before they begin talking to their friends.  The “5 Minute” Rule – you can’t take anything down, or talk with your friends for 5 minutes after the service – you must talk with someone new!

10. Party with the Pastor! 
- 7 minutes after the service ends, have balloons in a particular area and announce that the pastor would like to meet first-time guests there.  Give them a small gift, talk about the vision of the new church and let them ask questions.  Only takes minutes!
- Or, every month, invite new attenders to Party at the Pastor’s House.  It can be simple with pizza, or a potluck.  Most of our churches see 100% of those attending these becoming members!


Greeting and Hospitality

Greeting Ministries:

This is an important area. Assign a person or a group to head up this ministry. Here are some ideas on how to do this well:

1. If possible, set up your greeting table outside. Decorate it with flowers and bright colored balloons.

2. Use stick - on name tags for everyone. The best is when everyone writes their own name.

3. Use greeters as far out in the walkway and parking lot as possible.

4. Ask new people to help with welcoming ministries as early as the third week - greeting table, usher, etc.

5. Teach your greeters to be friendly but not overbearing.

Refreshment Ministries:

1. Jesus understood the value of good food. Take your refreshment ministry as seriously as Jesus did his!

2. Provide a selection of specialty coffees and lemonade.

3. Excellent treats leave a good impression with virtually everyone. Get great snacks and cut them into smaller pieces.

4. Provide this both before and after the service - it greatly aids conversation.

5. Entropy causes you to lower standards with time - don’t let it happen to you!

Insights for your church plant:


2. You will learn how to strengthen “Gathering and Growing” prior to Launch.

In branch development, you can worship at 50-70 people initially and get by with breaking the “Critical Mass at 75” rule, but you need to work hard to get up to 80 – 100 soon in worship attendance. Once in your Fruit Development stage, consistently staying under 100 in attendance will usually make growth more challenging.

•  Four out of five key ministries need to begin on the first Sunday of preparatory worship at least at a “B” level, with a commitment to increase the quality to an “A.”  In most new churches the five key ministries are the Sunday worship service, children’s ministries, the follow-up and assimilation of new visitors, small groups and CMJ (compassion, mercy and justice).
•  An important principle in branch development is to keep “re-forming” the launch team. The recommending strategy is to “re-form” the Launch Team into the GO (Grand Opening) Team.  In other words, allow the new people to have ownership as well as the original ‘early adopters, and engage them in active ministry.  This is brought about by vision casting and having group events that emphasize the expanding launch team. 
•  In branch development, train people in friendship building. A few will be gatherers – pray for more of these. Some will be bringers – who bring friends naturally. Some need to be trained to bring friends and neighbors and trained to make friends of the new people that come.
•  Every Sunday, have some people assigned to have “visitor eyes” to see and evaluate everything they experience through the eyes of a first-time visitor.
•  Tell and re-tell the story of why God called you to start this church at every public event. This is critical so people understand why your church lives out its values and mission as you do. This will encourage the development of an evangelistically-effective church.

Insights for your new church:





1.  How will you work on Visitor Flow – why people come?



2.  How will you strengthen the factors that will result in a strong Retention Rate – why people come back?



3.  How can you reduce the possibilities of Back-Door Loss – why people stay?  (Of course some loss is good if it’s a result of agenda dis-harmony or out-counseling).





I. The “Sardines in a Can” Seating Rule.

“You have heard it said, “A congregation can never grow beyond 80% of its seating potential; but I say to you…
…unless you have dynamic worship, you won’t grow” 
It’s more important to have dynamic large group dynamics – and often you achieve this by jamming as many people in as you can!

How can you change the room dynamics for higher energy in worship?

II. The Unleashed Power of Lay Ownership.

“You have heard it said, “A pastor is the key ingredient to church growth; but I add to it that…
…unless the people catch the vision and spread the word, you’re just a lone voice crying in the wilderness.”

What can you do to help people catch the vision and spread the word?

III. The Catalytic Point of Excitement and Invitation.

“You have heard it said, “The best way to grow a church is through word of mouth invitation; but I say to you…
…they will never come back unless you have a great worship experience and connection experience.  Plus, you need to invite the majority of your community that live beyond your relational networks through some kind of appropriate marketing.”

What can you do to have dynamic worship + begin to plan to invite the community?

3. You will learn how to Develop Leadership and Volunteers

Transition to the G.O. Team

During this stage find a way to close the launch team in a formal way and honor them, and then start another team, the GO team.
The GO team meets every other week to plant and pray for the Grand Opening Stage (Fruit Development). 
This accomplishes multiple goals - it does not over-empower the early adopters; it lets middle adopters join in; it helps new people get ownership quickly, and makes the Grand Opening a bigger deal. 

How will you transition from the Launch Team to the G.O. Team?

G.O. Team Testimony
Volunteer Staff Development
The obvious advantage is the low cost of labor!  It can also be a good way to test out a person before you hire them part-time.  This may also work well with:

•  Office secretary
•  Worship leader
•  Children’s Director
•  Youth sponsor
•  Day camp director
•  Keyboardist


Part-time Staff Development
This is when you hire a person to do a specified task for between 10 and 30 hours a week, often paying between $7 and $14 per hour, depending on the circumstances.  The advantage for you is that often these people put in many extra hours as a ministry and it relieves you of the stress of certain areas of ministry.  The disadvantage is that supervising them can be time consuming.  It can also be a good way to test out a person before you hire them full-time.  This may work well with:

•  Office coordinator
•  Worship leader
•  Keyboardist
•  Children’s Director
•  Youth Director/Youth Pastor
•  Summer intern
•  Year-long intern


Full-time Staff Development
This needs to be done in close cooperation with your coach or supervisor.  Usually this develops out of part-time positions.  A new church typically needs to be over 200 in attendance before they consider adding a full-time staff position.  Also don’t forget declining appropriations!  Be careful!  The particular choice of position will depend on the needs of your church plant and the growth rate of the church.

What staff (volunteers, etc) do you need now?

Staffing can have a major impact on the growth and development of a church.

Above the line staff contribute to the __________.

Below the line staff contribute to the __________.


Above the line staff have ____________________.

Below the line staff have ____________________.


Ideally, your staff sequence will both grow and stabilize the ministry.

pastor==>administration==>worship==>young children==>children’s ministry==>
small groups==>singles==>youth

When growth levels off…

An above the line person may be doing too much below the line activity.
A below the line person functioning in an above the line position.


Branch Development
Preparatory Worship

Developmental Goals -

1.  Solid Weekly Worship
2.  Strong Visitor Flow
3.  Strong Assimilation Rate
4.  Steadily Increasing Ownership Among People
5.  Steadily Developing Five Key Ministries

Most Productive Activities

1.  Devote Energy to Getting Key Ministries Going, Improving Weekly and Becoming Sustainable
2.  Continue to Help People Invite Their Contacts
3.  Continuing the Developing Sense of Team Among the Attenders
4.  Making Sure Your Energy Output is Sustainable for Your and Your Family Over the Long Haul


1.  A Minimum Attendance of 80 or more in your worship service.
2.  Quality Level in the Five Key Area Increased to a B+.
3.  50% of Adults in Small Groups or Ministry Groups
4.  Transition from Launch Team to GO (Grand Opening) Team
5.  Appropriate Planning for Expanded Outreach during Fruit Development Stage

Warning Signs

1.  Major Problems in One or More Ministry Areas
2.  Most of the Group Energy Has Been Expended and Momentum is Flagging
3.  Low Visitor Flow or Assimilation Rate
4.  Possible Burnout By Church Planter and/or Spouse






DRAFT Strategic Ministry Plan
For Our New Church

1. Theological Basis >>
  2. Spiritual Foundation in Prayer >>
      3. Mission Field - Need of our Area >>
        4. Evangelistic Strategies >>
          5. Our Specific Vision >>
              6. The Strategy of the 4-Stage Launch >>
                Stage 1 - Roots: Launch Team Gathering
                Stage 2 - Leaves: Preview Services
                Stage 3 - Branches: Preparatory Worship
                Stage 4 - Fruit: Launch
                  7. Leadership >>
                      8. Covenant >>
                        9. Finances>>

6. The Four Stage Launch Strategy: Stage 3 – Branches: Preparatory Worship

Ideas on how to strengthen our 5 Key Ministries:
Groups and Structures


Children’s Ministry


Connection/Assimilation (hospitality)


  How we can strengthen gathering and growing prior to Launch.


  How we can develop leadership and volunteers.


Category:Phase 3 - Preparatory Worship & Developing Systems
Church Planting Resource Manual