I drove into Richmond, Virginia on Monday night to attend the Virginia Conference Church Plant Boot Camp with Jim Griffith of Griffithcoaching.com. There are people here from all over Virginia, Eastern Pa, Wisconsin, New England, Ohio, North Carolina, and Minnesota. While I came by myself (short notice), there are many teams here from church plants in the UMC.
The first day of workshops consisted of The 10 Most Common Mistakes a New Start Makes, Self-Care, Creating Mission Alignment, and some nuts and bolts stuff about creating a good first impression. The first few session were pretty good– with some good thoughts on them. The 1st impressions sessions was decent, nothing groundbreaking, but it came out of order. The coaches have talk repreatedly that a major reason a new start fails is because of a premature launch…which made it intersting when we discussed the nuts and bolts of how to do a full fledge worship gathering before discussion the when and how of developing a launch team and plan.
The second day focused a lot of how to determine your public launch timeline. There were a couple of bombs today. First, the presenters said that critical mass to reach before a public launch is 149. They believed that this was an important number because it is big enough where the pastor will need other leaders to hand off responsibility to….and that it creates more momentum. My guess for “critical mass” was 75-100. When we began the H2O Gathering at Avenue UMC, our first Sunday was 91 and we rarely dipped below that in the first few weeks.
I have one more day left of the boot camp and I will post some more thoughts in the following days.