How to Create a START-UP PLAN in 5 steps

This article first appeared on churchhealth.wiki


This week I’m teaching a DMin course at Fuller Seminary in Calif.  I am also teaching  an online course for Wesley Seminary. In both I received a similar question about how to create a “start-up plan” for a new service.

A young female Presbyterian pastor asked about reaching out to the urban poor in her church neighborhood. And the African-American Pastor asked about reaching out to Hispanics. The latter summarized stated well the question that I often receive.

Larry said, “In the past we have thought about starting an all Hispanic service once a month and bring in a Hispanic speaker to help connect us to this community.”

In my response (below) I outlined the six steps to the start-up planning for a new service. You can also find more about “worship services,” both their launch and their planning on this blog.


Hello Larry,

I think you have some good ideas about reaching out to the Hispanic community. However you may be getting the cart before the horse.

By starting with a worship service and bringing in an outside speaker, you coils be beginning an attractional model for which you don’t have any Spanish-speaking persons in the church to support.

Rather if you search on churchhealth.wiki about “person of peace” I describe a more indigenous approach.

Here Is the plan briefly:

1) You look for an emerging culture to which you can reach out. That would be the Hispanic culture.

2) You begin looking for a “person of peace” in that culture. This is someone similar to whim Jesus told the disciples to look for in Luke. This is a person of “shalom” (the Hebrew equivalent term) that is well regarded in the community and an influencer. They also are a person who builds compromise and peace among people with different viewpoints. You reach out to that person and begin to disciple them.

3) Then when they are ready, you help  The person of peace  start a small group Bible study (and which you help them launch)

4) Once you have a small group (up to about eight or 10 people) you explain to them their purpose is to take a few people from the existing group and start another small group. This creates a second small group of this emerging culture.

5) Finally once you have two small groups of about 8 to 10 people each (of this new culture), you offer to them the church building in which to launch and lead their indigenous worship service. They then come together and organize the worship service themselves (under your leadership, but with their aesthetics and speakers).

This way Larry you create an indigenous and organic new worship option that is based upon:

  1. first finding an emerging culture,
  2. second connecting and discipling a person of peace,
  3. third creating a small group the person of peace leads,
  4. fourth starting a second small group from members of the first small group,
  5. fifth then let them launch a worship service.

I go into much more detail elsewhere on churchhealth.wiki (just search for “worship services”).

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