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
What happens when u dont have a meeting place any more. And u was forced out because the buliding wasnt available any more.
 
— Debra
 
If someone wants entertainment they're going to the wrong place. Church is not a place for entertainment...or in my opinion a barrage of coffee and donuts. Why are churches today bringing the world INTO them? Then there's the thing with children...age appropriate??? These little guys can pick stuff up in service. Besides Jesus said Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. Mt. 19:14.
 
— Laurie
 
I love the intentionality here as well as the challenge to look at the data. That's missing so many times. I would like to offer a contrarian's take. Church members and regular attenders have so many ways to get information: Announcements, bulletins, social channels, relationships, and email being among the options. But brand new people are likely going to check out the website and that's it. It might be wiser for churches with limited time and resources to focus their website almost exclusively to guests. This group of people isn't looking for a calendar of events but wants to know about regular programs. They probably aren't interested in watching all of the messages but instead may want to preview one of the services. For the times we need church members to go to websites (sign up for camp, join a group, etc), we're probably better off designing and promoting a specific page rather than cluttering up the homepage.
 
— Michael Lukaszewski (@mlukaszewski)
 

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