The “Relaunch Model” is the most challenging iconic model for churches starting churches. If your new church start has lost momentum, or your church is at-risk for closing, consider this model.
The Relaunch Model follows a process:
- The congregation agrees God is leading them restart as a new church.
- Leaders find a new mission field for the church.
- The congregation closes.
- The congregation relocates to the new mission field, relaunching under a new name.
The greatest risk in a relaunch is the original church’s culture will continue with the new congregation. Changing the church’s name and slapping new paint on the old facility isn’t enough to relaunch a church. The new church is called together by God to reach new people. Here are five necessary steps to relaunch a church.
The Relaunch Model requires a church to change its name.
Take a close look at churches with names such as “New Life” or “Resurrection” or New Beginnings.” It is likely many of these churches used the relaunch model. A new church must have a new name.
The Relaunch Model requires a church to relocate.
Buildings inspire memories and influence behaviors. People in the community build strong associations between churches and congregational facilities. At the same time, the new church is looking for the area where new mission work should begin. The end result is the congregation changes locations.
The Relaunch Model requires significant funding.
Some how, some way, the church must raise funds. This can seem especially daunting if a church is at the beginning or end of its life cycle. However, established churches already have resources. This is especially true if the congregation can sell a facility. It is also true that denominations and sister congregations are more likely to financially invest in a new church start than a declining congregation.
The Relaunch Model needs a pastor who fits the church planter profile.
Pastors who develop new churches share certain traits or qualities. They are intrinsically motivated for mission work. They have a proven track record of development projects or organizations. They have a passion for people disconnected from churches. Most of the churches I see relaunch do not have a pastor when they start the process. Assessment and training are available for pastors who realize they are called to lead a relaunch.
The Relaunch Model expects the new congregation to give the old church a respectful burial.
There is usually a great sense of loss in relaunching a church. Members recall countless memories about the old congregation and facility. It is rare for all church members to join the relaunched congregation. It is essential to create space for grieving the loss of the old church as the new one begins.
What lessons have you learned about relaunching a church? Share your experiences in the comments or shoot me an email.
This is the final post in a series on iconic models for churches starting churches. Here are the other posts:
- Five Iconic Models for Churches Starting Churches
- Daughter Church Planting Best Practices
- Keys for Multi-site Ministry
- Forging Church Planting Partnerships
- Unexpected Potential in Multi-housing New Churches
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