6 Reasons to Delay the Launch of That New Ministry Idea

I love people who have a bias for action. I love church leaders who wake up on a Monday morning and are ready to attack the week and climb the hill towards next weekend. But as quickly as I like to move as a leader, I do live with the tension that sometimes…

You can move too quickly.


If you’re launching something new at church, rather than running ahead and “making it happen” maybe you need to slow down. Here are examples I’ve seen in my ministry career where a delay was a wise move:

  • Everyone isn’t an early adopter. So many church leaders love being first. But we lead people who aren’t necessarily early adopters. We’ll hear a good idea and want to run towards it, whereas others may want to wait a while and see what happens. This is a real dynamic…you can’t ignore it. Sometimes you need to slow down to gather momentum.
  • You need to plan more. Seriously. Take the time to plan out your communications approach. Spend more time working the financial model so it’s clear. You only get to launch this new ministry initiative once. I’ve never run into a leader who said, “We took too long planning this thing!” I’ve run into plenty who wish they had taken longer, though! Plan first.
  • The best time to raise volunteers and finances is before you launch. I’ve been involved in the launches of campuses, new ministries, new service times…all kinds of new stuff in church life. One of the realities I’ve noticed time and time again is that it’s so much easier to marshal volunteers and dollars before you actually launch. Once the new ministry is up and running…you need to focus on keeping it running.
  • Some seasons are better than others. I remember years ago hearing about how Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago delayed a major fundraising initiative for an entire year because they wanted the project to coincide with a church anniversary. That always stuck with me. There are certain seasons in the life of your church—or in the calendar year—that are better for launching than others. Should you delay and wait for a better time to maximize your efforts?
  • Your people need more training. Your volunteers will appreciate you more and stick with you longer if you provide adequate training and support before launching your new ministry initiative. Take that time! Be lavish with how much you equip and motivate this new team! Take a road trip. Read some books together. Slow down and encourage them to share your dream for this ministry.
  • Community doesn’t happen in a pressure cooker. Friendship is a shared experience. Have the people in this new ministry initiative had enough experiences together? Does this new ministry convey a deep sense of community…or is it just a “big show”? Take some time with this new community to build up friendships.

I’d love to hear from you! Why do you think church leaders might be wise to delay the launch of a new ministry initiative?


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Rich Birch
Rich Birch is one of the early multi-site church pioneers in North America. He led the charge in helping The Meeting House in Toronto to become the leading multi-site church in Canada with over 5,000+ people in 18 locations. In addition, he served on the leadership team of Connexus Church in Ontario, a North Point Community Church Strategic Partner. He has also been a part of the lead team at Liquid Church - a 5 location multisite church serving the Manhattan facing suburbs of New Jersey. Liquid is known for it’s innovative approach to outreach and community impact. Rich is passionate about helping churches reach more people, more quickly through excellent execution.His latest book Church Growth Flywheel: 5 Practical Systems to Drive Growth at Your Church is an Amazon bestseller and is design to help your church reach more people in your community.