Where are you at in your launch process?
Attend CMN Launch
You've completed registration and finished your pre-work. Now it's time to attend CMN Launch church planter training. At Launch, you'll gain access to dozens of resources, church planting books, and online content to help you prepare for the journey ahead.
Meet your CMN Launch table coach
At CMN Launch, you'll get connected to a Launch table coach who will remain your guide for as long as you're in the process of launch.
Set a launch date
Determining when you will launch is an important decision. We recommend scheduling your launch at least one year from now so that you have ample time to prepare and walk through the church planting timeline. Once you have a date set, start walking through the timeline below.
Move into your community
- Find a home, school, job
- Develop relationship with your neighbors
- Intentionally engage with your community
- Schools, city hall, etc.
- Reference your Ministry Area Profile for demographic information
Revise your Ministry Plan
- After attending CMN Launch, there will probably be a lot you'll want to update in your initial ministry plan. A ministry plan that is well thought out greatly increases the probability of building a healthy church. Take time to update it before getting too far into your launch timeline.
- Every time you cast vision to a potential partner, you’ll want them to have a copy of your finalized ministry plan.
- Get financial software
- Consider hiring an accountant to establish books and procedures
- Set up a general budget
- Set up a spreadsheet for tracking income and expenses
- Fill out payroll tax forms
Federal-level legal & corporate actions
- Contact your AG District/Network Office to complete a New Church Open/PAC form. You do NOT need to obtain a 501(c)(3) as an AG church.
- Determine a (temporary) Board of Directors
- Obtain an EIN
- Create your church bylaws
State-level legal & corporate actions
- Check for availability on the name of the church with the state.
- Incorporate in the state
- Register with the State Department of Revenue for income tax.
- Apply for Sales Tax Exemption (where applicable)
- Get licensed to perform marriages through the State department.
- Begin developing your website
- Create the website yourself using one of the tools below, or work with one of your launch team members who can help you build it
- Create social media accounts
- Keep your username and profile picture consistent between accounts so people can find you
- Make sure you set your location to the city you are planting in
- Branding/logo design
- Business cards
- Set up an online giving portal
- Create a tentative operating budget
Apply for Matching Funds
Every Assemblies of God church planting project can apply for matching funds provided by CMN and the AGTrust during their pre-launch phase. Each church planter has an opportunity for CMN to match funds they have raised, up to $50,000, which they agree to replenish back into the Matching Fund.
Establish a prayer team
It's never too early to have a group of people regularly praying for your community and for your new church plant. Establish a prayer team and keep in contact with them regularly.
Connect with your CMN coach
Develop a list of questions to discuss with your table coach from CMN Launch. Ask them if there is anything they think you missed in this initial stage of preparation.
Meet with your District/network Leaders and/or Church Planting Directors
Begin recruiting launch team members
Ask potential team members:
- Will you be part of the team?
- Will you commit financially?
- Who else do you know in this community who could join?
- Who’s not on your team that should be?
- Who’s going to ask them?
- When are you/they going to ask them?
- What did they say?
- When do they start?
Create a blueprint for your desired launch team roles.
- Youth ministry
- Kids ministry
- Worship team
- Creative arts (sound, design, tech, marketing)
- Hosts team/first impressions
- Community/small group leaders
Make sure you clarify expectations for launch team members. Let them know what you want from them, what events they should attend, and when they should be there. Also, remember to set a goal for the number of team members you want by the time your church launches.
Marketing - Build awareness in your community
- Website goes live
- Social media promotion of church page
- Google ads for website
- Apply for nonprofit status with USPS for future mailers
- Create and publicize calendar of events leading to church launch
- Establish fundraising goal based on 6-month operating budget
- Clarify giving expectations for launch team
- Host your first community event
- Host monthly interest meetings
- Join chamber of commerce, volunteer at schools, run a benevolence ministry
- Create relationships with other pastors and churches nearby
Determine your top five venue choices
Contact your CMN coach for further direction
- Communicate expectations with venue owner
Launch Team Meetings
- Host prayer nights
- Host team meetings bi-weekly
- Host interest meetings bi-weekly
Increase priority of recruitment
- Track progress of # of launch team members added
- Fill key launch team roles
- Recruit worship team
- Teach your church’s cultural values to team
Marketing - Finalize designs and gather resources
- Start design of print invites, info cards, connect cards
- Work with your team's designer, or, if you are design-savvy, consider a free resource like canva.com
- Create your church app
Make large equipment purchases
- Instruments, projection screens, computers, sound system, trailer and vehicle to pull trailer, platform decorations, nursery furniture, tables and chairs, etc.
Apply for non-profit status with USPS
- Non-profit status with the USPS is a separate process from getting one’s non-profit status with the IRS.
Ramp up community outreach
- Get involved in community projects
- Cater to the needs of your community
Establish systems for kids ministry
One of the most important factors in whether a family will attend your church is whether or not you provide programs for their kids. Stay on top of your kids ministry program with summer outreach and Sunday School curriculum.
Create a systems checklist
- Choose your church management database provider
- Figure out who counts the offering
- Connection cards - follow up
- Background checks for volunteers to work with children and youth
- New believer follow up
- Volunteer recruitment and assimilation
- Volunteer roles
- Outline weekend logistics
- Clarify expectations with venue owner
- Obtain liability insurance (e.g. corporate, event and property, on storage too).
Develop a discipleship growth track
- Write lessons for the membership class
- Begin preparing content for discipleship and leadership classes
Plan for worship ministry
- Get your CCLI license
- Begin having worship practices
- Discover songs and download sheet music
Finalize design of marketing package
- Print materials
- Directional/pathfinding signage
- Offering envelopes and buckets
- Lanyards/T-shirts for workers
- Flyers, connection cards, mailers, signage
Order promotional items for launch
- Direct mail is a proven method for getting the word out about your church plant. Radiant Printing has partnered with MailWorks in order to offer great quality, a smooth process, and low prices. Packages include printing, shipping, address lists, and postage.
Contact Radiant Printing for special CMN Church Planter bundle pricing for all of your printing, signage, and marketing needs.
Family and marriage health check
The stress of preparing to plant a church can sneak up on you. Take time to evaluate the health of your marriage and family. If you need to take a week away to recoup, now is the time to do so.
- Plan sermons 6 months out from launch
- Develop your launch day message
Follow up with strategic partners for funding/resources
- Create list of items still to be purchased. Go to potential donors with specifics on what you need and how much it will cost.
Sound and production
- Purchase ProPresenter for slides and videos
- Purchase sound system
- Purchase lighting
Prayer and fasting
Continue leadership development
Marketing - Advertise your launch
- Reformat website to reflect launch phase
- Design and order swag items
- T-shirts, frisbees, bumper stickers, magnets, water bottles, coffee mugs
- Booth displays and banners for information center
- Press releases to local news stations
- Approach athletic teams, restaurants, coffee houses, etc.
Prepare first sermon series
- Sermon notes
- ProPresenter slides
- Video bumpers
- Music and countdown clock
- Video announcements
Run through practice services every week
Debrief after each practice run to walk through what went well and what could be improved
Marketing - Build excitement for launch day
- Paid social media campaigns on Facebook, Instagram
- Hand out flyers
- Mailers sent out
- Run local Google ads linking to church website
Assemble all church equipment
Make any last-minute small purchases
- Cables, supplies, mints, cards, offering buckets, toys, etc.
- Order your outdoor and indoor signs to define spaces and direct guests.
- Order print materials (bulletins, connection cards, etc.)
- Order your invitations for your launch team to hand out to friends and neighbors.
- Order door hangers to invite your neighbors to your launch service.
- On-the-job training
- Celebrate launch team (throw them a party)