Posts Tagged Nelson Searcy

Major Objectives

This plan covers the first four years of the program. Years 1 through 3 cover the “infancy” phase of the congregation up to the end of outside financial support. The first year (“Year 0”), which is laid out in more detail and is broken into three phases (Prelaunch, Launch, and Postlaunch), centers on the activities during the “birth” phase necessary to ensure a healthy start to the congregation.?

Prelaunch > LAUNCH > Postlaunch > Year 1 > Year 2 > Year 3

[This is from the Launch Plan for New Way Church in Austin, TX. Yesterday: Launch Team / Core Group. Next time: the Calendar.]

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Crowd to Core

The growth model will focus not on the core (the dedicated leaders within the congregation), but on the crowd (newcomers and potential newcomers). Traditional church planting focuses on core development, followed by slowly sending the core out to invite new people from the crowd to the congregation. But the problem with this approach is that the core tends to develop a powerful sense of identity that inevitably feels at least unconsciously threatened by the growth of the congregation.

This newer approach views the preexisting dedicated members not as a core to be nurtured, but as a potential leadership team to be immediately empowered and turned outward toward the crowd. Focus then becomes quickly identifying new potential leaders from the crowd of newcomers and carefully progressing them into positions of responsibility at a higher rate than in traditional church settings.

So rather than first meeting for worship in living rooms and doing pastor-led doctrinal studies, we will go immediately to worship in rental facilities, with small groups led by volunteers.

For six months leading up to the public launch date, we will have monthly “preview” services. A preview service is a regular worship service at which everyone is “practicing” for when we invite the general public on launch day. However, after the first one to three preview services (once the roughest edges are knocked off) we will begin inviting personal friends and doing some early advertising. With each service we will build momentum by increasing our connected outreach efforts.

Everyone who attends a preview service is then invited to a “comeback event” two weeks later. These six comeback events are social events at the pastor’s house, at a park, and in other locations. Here the vision for the church is cast, community ties are built, and all attendees are invited to help put on the next preview service.

All this leads to a large marketing push combined with a big invitation program for the launch day, which kicks off regular full operation of the church with weekly public worship gatherings and small group meetings.

[This is from the Launch Plan for New Way Church in Austin, TX. Yesterday: Church Systems. Next time: Street to Kitchen.]

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Church Systems

We will be using a heavily adapted version of Nelson Searcy’s church systems model. This model organizes a church according to interlocking systems, much like the different systems of the human body. As part of this model, we will be running a semester-based Small Group system, a “big day” driven Evangelism system, and a top shelf Assimilation system using trained greeters, contact cards, and short and medium term personal followup communications.

[This is from the Launch Plan for New Way Church in Austin, TX. Yesterday: why Mac Frazier. Tomorrow: Crowd to Core.]

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Church Planting Statistics

I just read some interesting stats comparing differences between fast growing and struggling church plants in their first three years:

  • Only 9 percent of fast-growing church planters are given salary support past 4 years; 44 percent of struggling church planters are supported past 3 years.
  • 63 percent of fast-growing church planters raise additional funding for the church plant. Only 23 percent of struggling church planters raise additional funding.
  • Planters leading fast-growing church plants are given more freedom to cast their own vision, choose their own target audience, and they have more freedom in the spending of finances.
  • Fast-growing church plants have multiple paid staff. Two paid staff members was a majority among the church plants.
  • A majority of fast-growing church plants utilize two or more volunteer staff as part of the church planting team prior to public launch.
  • Fast-growing church plants utilize more seed families than struggling church plants.
  • Fast-growing church plants use both preview services and small groups to build the initial core group.
  • Fast-growing church plants that use preview services used three or more of these services prior to public launch. A large contingent of these churches use over five.
  • Fast-growing church plants have children and teen ministries in place at time of launch and offer at least three ministry opportunities to first-time attendees.
  • 57 percent of fast-growing church plants teach financial stewardship during the first 6 months from public launch. By contrast only 40 percent of struggling church plants teach financial stewardship.

I found these at Also, see some of the other articles/sidebars linked on that page, especially .

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