10 Differences Between Starting and Launching Ministry Initiatives

I’ve been involved in a lot of “new things” in my church leadership life over the years.  In fact, I’ve seem to have a track record of being on the front end of new projects all the time. New campuses, leadership development programs, outreach initiatives, digital engagement strategies, follow up systems … the list goes on!

When I approach something new I often try to think about whether this project needs be launched or simply started. Although I prefer to launch new things … sometimes just starting them is called for. Here is a list that I’ve used to help understand the nuanced difference between these two approaches. Knowing the difference between whether this ministry initiative needs to be started or launched makes a difference in the energy and focus you and your team will put into it.

Starting Launching
  • When things seem ready you begin.
  • Seems like the right thing to do.
  • Using whatever team you can find.
  • Limited impact on entire church.
  • No formal plan for how to communicate the opening.
  • General sense of God’s purpose for the ministry.
  • Fluid.
  • Short termed problem solving.
  • Low emotional by in from senior church leaders.
  • Easy to pull out of.
  • Choosing the perfect time of year to release.
  • Faith based risk.
  • Searching for a team that will make it great.
  • Organizationally defining experience.
  • Written marketing strategy to build anticipation and excitement.
  • Prayer driven passion fueled by clear sense of God’s mission.
  • Structured.
  • Long term platform developing.
  • Senior leaders have skin in the game.
  • Difficult to turn back from.

Are you launching or starting a project right now? I’d love to hear about it!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rich Birch

Rich Birch

Thanks so much for dropping by unseminary … I hope that your able to find some resources that help you lead your church better in the coming days! I’ve been involved in church leadership for over 15 years. Early on I had the privilege of leading in one of the very first multisite churches in North Amerca. I led the charge in helping The Meeting House in Toronto to become the leading multi-site church in Canada with over 4,000 people in 6 locations. (Today they are 13 locations with somewhere over 5,000 people attending.) In addition, I served on the leadership team of Connexus Community Church in Ontario, a North Point Community Church Strategic Partner. I currently serves as Operations Pastor at Liquid Church in the Manhattan facing suburbs of New Jersey. I have a dual vocational background that uniquely positions me for serving churches to multiply impact. While in the marketplace, I founded a dot-com with two partners in the late 90’s that worked to increase value for media firms and internet service providers. I’m married to Christine and we live in Scotch Plains, NJ with their two children and one dog.

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COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Brian Williamson — 07/16/13 11:04 am

Rich, Love this bro. I've found myself on the pioneering end of the continuum quite consistently as well. Launched a church in Wisconsin, and now find myself "staunching" or "larting" a college/young adult initiative called brand:New. I can relate to items in both columns currently and find this to be helpful in clarifying these elements. Shout out to my North Jersey roots bro, thanks for the input here. B UU

Recent Comments
In this era, we have the opportunity of professional church staff today who utilize their gifting to shape the image and atmosphere of the church organization. But the 100% real impact on the church visitors is genuine evidence of changed lives by the gospel and the active growing discipleship (just as it was in the first century church). One demonstration is financially rich believers ministering equally together with poor believers (how odd, and incredibly miraculous; all humble and bow at the foot of the cross.). It is the awesome contrast of church members vocations, race, gender, age, maturity, gifting, humility that demonstrates to visitors "there is a Spirit in the place". That first-time guest list of 10 are "physical excuses", not spiritual excuses. Those don't tell the story. The condition of facilities and publicly greeting people have zero to do with it. The power of God in and through believers lives dedicated to impact other people with their relationship bridge-building of acceptance of the lost around them. Empowered believers are infectious, loving, helpful, giving, self-less, dynamic, compelling, bold, Christ-filled. As I have been in many church settings domestically and internationally, the facilities can be poor, and yet the fellowship can still be rich. We need to operate with first church humility. People come to Christ on His terms, not on our human abilities of hospitality. A huge catastrophe in a community, disaster relief brings lots of people into churches – many come to the church in those terrible conditions no matter the physical condition of the local church. Off the condition of facility, and onto the condition of God's people (living stones).... and everything else will grow.... and the other physical issues will be corrected by the staff.
 
— Russ Wright
 
"While I understand the intent behind this phrase" Expound please. What do you understand to be the intent behind that phrase?
 
— Ken
 
Thank you for this article! I'm the pastor of a small church. My gifting is in teaching and we are known for aiding Christians in becoming Biblically literate. Visitor's often comment on God's presence being very real in our services. But we just don't seem to be growing. I have some soul-searching, etc. to do and this article provides some solid ground from which to proceed. Thank you again.
 
— Jonathan Schultheis
 

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