Coming in 2010: New Church Plant in South Side

In addition to the church plant being launched this fall by Pittsburgh City Outreach, the MCM Network will be planting LifeStone Church in the South Side community of Pittsburgh. Jack and Jamie Thomas moved to Pittsburgh last year to plant this church and they have seen God do some amazing things already.  Their small Neighborhood Group has now grown and transitioned into a good-sized launch team, and in fact they have their first ‘Practice Service’ this Sunday.

To give you some perspective of where LifeStone is in the scope of planting, here are the different stages we utilize for our MCM church plants:

  • Neighborhood Group: We start a small outreach group in a potential community that meets weekly and goes through a curriculum that equips group members for evangelism.  In addition to the weekly meetings, they also do an outreach/service project each month.  The goal is to simply serve the needs of the community and be a blessing to those within the community.
  • Launch/Street Team: As the Neighborhood Group grows and it becomes apparent a church plant is not only possible but purposed by God, we connect the group with a church planter and the month before we start monthly ‘Preview Services’ we transition the Neighborhood Group into a Launch Team, or Street Team.  This team now divides into different ministry teams for the purpose of the services (hospitality, kid’s, security, worship, tech, etc.).
  • Preview Services: Usually 4-5 months prior to the Grand Opening of the new church plant, we will begin holding monthly preview services.  These services serve multiple purposes:
    • To give the various ministry teams the ability to work out their processes and systems for the sake of excellence at the Grand Opening.
    • To provide opportunity to build momentum in the church & community toward the launch.
    • To give the team leaders opportunity to build their teams bigger, which in turn establishes a bigger base from which a larger launch is possible.
  • Grand Opening/Launch: This is an exciting day when the church officially goes public with weekly services.  At this point, the church may not have all the bells and whistles of an established church, but they are doing one thing well: providing a weekly worship service that not only is done with excellence but is impacting the spiritual climate of that community.

If you are, or have been, part of a church plant.  Are there other stages you utilized or you would add?

BridgePoint Launching!

bridgepointpostcard_front.jpgThis Sunday we are launching BridgePoint Church. We’ve tried something new with this 7th church plant. We started monthly services back in October leading up to this Sunday’s launch. It’s hard to believe it’s finally here! We’ve blitzed the community with promo about the church. For those that are looking at possibly church planting someday, here’s a breakdown of our promotions for this weekend’s launch:

  • We sent out a mass-mailer of 10,000 postcards.
  • We will be passing out a total of 2,100 flyers.
  • We put up 20 posters in local businesses, markets and yes, even bars.
  • We have an ad and an insert in today’s Valley News Dispatch (combined circulation of almost 10,000).
  • We sent out 300+ direct mailer invites.

Our approach is to create a marketing ‘campaign’. With this approach, people will see a similar graphic/theme promoting the launch of the church multiple times. This will increase the effectiveness of the promo, as compared to blanketing an area with just one promotional item.

With that said, we’ve put a lot into this launch. Pastor Greg & Francie have done an amazing job building a strong launch team. We’ve done a lot of work getting the boxing gym ready. We walked the streets of Tarentum passing out flyers and praying. But there’s one more component to this whole launch process. Without this one component, all our creativity, promotions and work would be in vein. That one component is the power of God. We need the power of God. Our prayer this weekend is the prayer Moses made in Exodus 33,

“”If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here.” (Exodus 33:15)

The greatest thing you can do this weekend for BridgePoint and Pastor Greg & Francie is pray. Pray for the Spirit of God to transform lives. Pray for the power of God to heal the sick, the lame and the emotionally distraught. Pray that God will build His Church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it! (That’s really more than just a prayer – that’s a promise, and you can take that one to the bank!)

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