In 2006, Nelson Searcy released his first book entitled “Launch“. It is one of the most practical church planting books on the market today. One of the concepts he fleshes out in the book is the idea of holding ‘Preview Services’ once a month leading up to the grand opening of a church. We have since adopted this process for our MCM church plants. In the book, aside from holding monthly ‘comeback’ events, it does not provide a lot of info regarding the follow-up of a preview service. With that said, I would like to take the next few posts to explain the process I have our planters go through following each of the preview services. Here are the four key things that are done the week or two following a preview service:
In this initial post, I’ll discuss the ‘Celebrate’ portion of this process. Church planters will often have various people supporting them in different ways: a prayer team, a team of people financially supporting them and possibly a church family that is mothering the church plant. The celebrate step is really about sharing with each of those groups, including the launch team, the wins of the preview service.
This is an opportunity to ‘shine the light on the flower not the dirt‘. The services are called ‘Preview Services’ becauase they won’t be perfect. It’s a work in progress, but it’s important for a lead planter to keep in focus the progress and wins that do occur. Tell a story, a stat or an exciting thing God did in the service.
I have this step first, because it can often be the one we push aside the quickest. Celebration can happen in a number of ways: on a blog, through an email, in a video, or maybe at a service for the mothering church. How ever it is done, following each of the preview services, it is key to celebrate the victories with both supporters and the launch team. This will set the church up for greater success as the planter establishes what a win is and the fact that their team is capable of one.