17 Months from Start to Launch: The Story of One Church Plant

We have had an incredible journey these last five years as a new church. God continues to amaze us. I am consistently asked the story of starting Grace Community Church. Specifically other planters want to know what we did prior to launch. I’ve been asked enough that I thought it was worth sharing here.

The vision for Grace was placed on my heart 10 years before this process began, so we either had a head start or we were behind the curve; however you look at it. There were three of us sharing the vision, but the other two moved and I wasn’t in full-time ministry at the time, so the dream basically died…at least to me.

That’s when our timeline began in May of 2004:

May – I had an almost prophetic encounter with another pastor who encouraged me to revive the 10 year dream God had placed on my heart.

May-June: I took about 6 weeks to pray…

July: Approached my co-pastor to see his interest (He wasn’t interested at the time.)

July-August: I kept praying during these months for clarity…

September – My co-pastor and I started dreaming together, he wasn’t completely on board yet, but he was willing to see what God wanted to do…

Oct-Dec – I personally met with potential core members to share the vision, while my co-pastor and I kept shaping the vision…

Jan – Feb – Core pastor agrees to be a part…we invited potential core team to an organizational meeting, committed core to vision, solidified core…

March – June – Core learnings – The core team divided responsibilities, then traveled to different churches, learning all they could about what a successful church might include.

July – Core Training – We met to make clear our vision and primary strategy.

August – Practice/Preview services – With these services, although we didn’t promote them, we invited anyone who wanted to attend.

September 11, 2005 – Launch church – The rest is our history post-launch…

That’s our timeline. How does that compare to your church plant?

Any questions? Please ask.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have you Subscribed via RSS yet? Don't miss a post!

9 thoughts on “17 Months from Start to Launch: The Story of One Church Plant

  1. We are wondering about importance of location. Are there any guidelines for seeing a location? Shouldn't we know that first before we can make a launch timeline? We have 25 committed people, all ages, and are just beginning. I feel like we shouldn't go on with anything until we know the neighborhood we are going to locate to. We are temporarily meeting in another church.

  2. Wow! That looks a lot like what we are doing. I am currently in the core team meeting phase, dividing up responsibilities and seeing what everyone will do. I'll pull some wisdom from your post and have our team members visit some other churches. That would be great. Thanks for the info!

  3. Where did your core team come from? I'm 9 months into a church plant and was a parachute drop, so much of my time has been spent trying to find the core team…I'm up to six very committed people with lots of others who circle around the edges. Where did your core folks and your co-pastor come from?

  4. Thanks Ron. I'm not quite at 17 months for our church plant…but I could write up the 5 year journey to it. God had to change things in me and some of it was painful…but all of it was good.