In this blog Galen Thompson introduces Launch—a premiere training event for church planters. Launch will be March 24–26, 2021, in Orlando, Florida. To learn more, go to www.launchachurch.faith.
Launch, North American Missions’ church-planting training event, trains church planters and assists with the challenges they face. Using the Acts of the Apostles model, we guide church planters to establish a church-planting team (preferably out of a mother church), help develop a budget and a detailed strategic plan (see below), and as funds allow, provide funding, coaching, and accountability.
My Story: Why Launch Is Needed
My wife, Ann, and I started a church in a farming community in south-central Minnesota with a population of about eight thousand in the early ’80s. I do not say “my wife and I” egotistically, rather to specify we were alone and just married at that. I was twenty-one and she twenty-four. We entered a city where we knew no one and came without leads or contacts. We were not an anomaly or brave young heroes; this is just how it was done. Presbyter Jack Tanner saw a need: a community without a Pentecostal church of any flavor. He sent a young couple.
It took us five difficult years to break into a community where no one knew what Apostolic or Pentecostal meant, or how to pronounce them. We had no coach, limited training, no plan of action, and no team. We were the only two witnesses in a community where families attended the same church for generations. Quite frankly, the isolation and vulnerability were dangerous. Launch is personal for me, then, because I recognize the necessity of training to prepare and sustain church planters for the journey.Launch, North American Missions’ church-planting training event, trains church planters and assists with the challenges they face. Click To Tweet
What Is Included in Launch Training?
The training and up-front time investment have huge payoffs. This training combines online Launch curriculum with in-person training. Seasoned church planters prepare attendees to successfully launch a sustainable, vibrant Apostolic church.
Launch guides church planters through establishing a strategic plan that encompasses the four phases of a successful church plant. Each phase has its unique action plan and budget:
- Preparation Phase: preliminary work prior to the nine-month countdown to your Launch Date, including conception of a divine vision, calling, confirmation of calling, appropriate approvals, establish a timeline, build a viable plan, begin legal paperwork, and attend Launch.
- Pre-Launch Phase: establish key connections and accountability and prayer partners; form team and train; commence spiritual warfare, outreach, contact follow-up; activate systems and budgets; teach Bible studies; conduct pre-launch/interest gathering meetings; celebrate victories; apply for Launch funding. The Pre-Launch Phase plan is divided into four segments:
- Nine–seven months prior to Launch
- Six–four months prior to Launch
- Three–two months prior to Launch
- One month prior to Launch
- Launch Phase: the application of months of prayer, training, and work. Liftoff!
- Post-Launch Phase: re-evaluate plans, systems, and budgets; reporting; celebrating conversions, discipleship, assimilation; and ongoing coaching.
Galen J. Thompson is the director of education and short-term missions for North American Missions with the UPCI.
Resources and Links
Launch’s practicum is March 24–26, 2021, in Orlando, Florida, at the Renaissance Orlando Airport Hotel. Registration is open now and ends March 1, 2021: www.launchachurch.faith.