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7 Top Issues Church Planters Face | #3: Teams


Team Development and Volunteer Mobilization

Mobilizing volunteers and building teams are major challenges, according to church planters. Mobilizing volunteers is an issue regardless of the size of the launch team. Mobilizing volunteers and building teams expands the new church impact in a community.

Five Key Considerations in Launch Team Development and Mobilizing Volunteers

1. Start with a healthy core
A healthy core group is key to a viable church plant.

2. Plant with a team
When a planter and family move into a community without team members, the risk factors increase. "Parachute Plants" where the planter arrives in a city with few existing relationships, hinder team building and volunteer mobilization. 

3. Focus on relationships
Most planters are good at relationship building. However, planters report that they spend a disproportionate amount of time in the pre-launch phase focused on administrative details that compete with the time needed to build relationships and teams. Relationally strengthened teams can help with the endless details associated with launching a church.

4. Provide visionary leadership to the team
Having a team of volunteers in place before the planter arrives has its pitfalls. Often the team expects the planter to adapt their vision to fit the team's desires rather than submitting to the planter. The planter needs to provide visionary leadership, and the partner churches' volunteers must be prepared to operate differently within the planter’s vision. 

5. Prepare for core team fallout
A painful reality of the early days of church planting is that core team members leave. Losing half of the planting launch team within the first years is common. Planting is hard work. Weary volunteers can end up searching out existing, stable churches to call home. The loss of good friends in the church plant is discouraging. The planter should be emotionally and spiritually prepared for relational losses.

Conclusion (by Acts 29)

  1. Read Leading a Missional Core Team in Acts 29 Resources.
  2. Read Ten Ways to be a Great Church Plant Core Group in Acts 29 Resources.
  3. If you are a parachute plant, build your core through the extended networks of your first recruits, and through continuous engagement with local leaders in the city.
  4. Build your core through existing relationships, vision meetings, and through current core-team members inviting others to join. Connect with as many people as you possibly can and ask them to join you. The key is to have absolute confidence in the vision and mission God has provided to the church planter.
  5. Develop your core team missiologicaly, spiritually and practically, to be an army of gospel missionaries.

Want to learn more about volunteers, teams and church-planting? Consider attending one of our upcoming boot camps.

Abbreviated from a Report Prepared by Exponential and Ed Stetzer.