LAUNCH TEAM FAQ

Let’s get down to the nitty gritty. People ask, “what’s this launch team?” Others ask, “how does your launch team get together?” Here are some answers to questions we get asked a lot.


Q.What’s a launch team member?

A. A launch team member is an individual or family that’s decided to help us launch the church. They’ve committed to attending the first 90 days of our church plant when it launches. 

Q. What do launch members do before the church launches?

A. They attend regular planning meetings and will be involved in outreach and community service more and more as launch day approaches. 

Q. What’s expected of a launch team member?

A. We compel every launch team member to be involved in 1) prayer 2) serving 3) giving 4) Bible-study and 5) eventually small groups as we approach the launch.

Q. What do I get if I join the launch team?

A. 100 cool points redeemable wherever cool points are sold.

Q. Who can be a launch team member?

A. Literally anyone willing to commit to this endeavor. We don’t have a certain type of individual we’re looking for. This isn’t for everyone, but it’s for someone. That someone might just be you.

Q. What’s your timeline?

A. We plan to launch winter 2015/2016. For a more in-depth look at our timing checkout our detailed timeline.

Q. Where does the launch team meet?

A. It depends. We always meet in Portsmouth. We started meeting in our home, but that’s becoming more difficult as the team grows.

Q. How do I join the launch team?

A. Contact Marc (marcneppl@gmail.com or 757-714-2257). He’ll meet you for lunch, coffee or something informal to clue you in on the vision, plan and values of the church plant. Seriously, when’s the last time you were part of something bigger than yourself?

What type of church are you trying to plant?

Often we are asked what the church in Portsmouth will look like. People wonder what type of music or venue we’ll use. We put little emphasis on the aesthetics and much emphasis on the purpose of a church-plant. Here’s our answer broken down:

  1. We will plant a church that seeks to reach people in all walks of life with the gospel.
    • Simple, right? But it’s not. People complicate the gospel with with preferences and predetermined ideas about who they reach, what the church looks like, how the worship is expressed, etc. We could care less what type of building we meet in. We have our own musical preferences, but it won’t hurt our feelings if our musical tastes take a back seat. We love 200 year old stone church buildings, but we’re not afraid of meeting in a rented facility for years. What we are very passionate about is the gospel. Is it being proclaimed in the music, the reading, the preaching, the lives of the leaders?
    •  Jesus reached people in all walks of life. That’s our goal: to build a community of believers that is diverse culturally, economically and generationally. We desire to establish a community of radical followers of Jesus that are being conformed to His image.
  2. It’s our desire to plant a culturally diverse church, that understands when we all give a little (culturally and regarding our comfort zones), we gain a lot.
    • Our outreach will be deliberate and focused on all demographics.
    • This will also require diversity in leadership. I am not trying to be the white boy pastor that tells black folks how to improve (whiten) their lives. I need leadership that is as diverse as the community itself. 
    • This will look different than the average suburban anglo church where most young caucasians would feel comfortable. There will be tension as cultures and stereotypes clash, but it’ll be worth it.
  3. We have audacious dreams of supporting local charities and ministries in the region.
    • We want to support the Southeast Foodbank of Virginia and CHKD in a big way financially. We want to put our money where our mouth is and be known as a church that’s generous in it’s community.
    • We will partner with charities like EDMARC, Hope Charitable Services, and the local Union Mission. Volunteering and partnering with local ministries will allow us to show them we aren’t coming here to attempt to change a city by ourselves. There’s good work on the ground already and we’re here to support those efforts.
  4. We hope to influence students.
    • We plan to start college campus outreach within 2 years of launching.
    • College campuses are the most diverse sections of most cities.
    • Our goal is a Bible study on campus at the ODU tri-cities campus in Portsmouth, TCC campus in Portsmouth and ODU main campus in Norfolk.
    • We will mentor students into dynamic, gospel-centered business and culture leaders.
  5. We desire to serve.
    • We hope to equip our people to serve inside our community, as well as around the world.
    • We want to be a church that supports missions financially by making big sacrifices.
    • We want to partner with international missionaries to take the gospel around the world.

How do you do all that?

 

I know, “…great set of dreams Marc, but sounds unlikely at best.” This won’t take place over night. We have benchmarks we hope to meet (self-supporting in 5 years, college campus ministry in 2 years, launch a new church plant within 7 years, etc), but we are dedicated to these goals. Here’s what we’re doing right now:


  • We’re trusting God. He’s already lining up a young, diverse crew to help us launch. The majority of people desiring to plant with us are young, single dudes. That’s the least likely bunch to find at church.
  • We’re meeting with local leaders. I’ve been meeting with local pastors of many denominations and backgrounds. I’m seeking their advice and prayer support. We know we don’t have the answers. We just have the opportunity to serve and give. That’s what we want to do.
  • We’re raising up financial and prayer partners. We’re currently fundraising for a few specific things: church plant expenses, and launch costs. We’re about 20% of the way to our goal of $2500/month for expenses (rental facility, insurance, outreach). We’ve raised about 22% toward our launch costs goal of $50,000.

PRAY PRAY PRAY for us.

click here to partner with us financially

Thanks for a great year

ImageWell, 2013 is coming to a close. It’s been a good year for CrossPointe. It’s been a good year for Casie and me. This year our church paid off the second mortgage and took a huge step toward self-supporting status. The church gave $40,000 to missions in 2013. We are still working on year end totals for attendance, salvation decisions, etc. None of it would have been possible without your prayers and support.

THANK YOU!

Outreach Ideas for small churches

Last year we had 300 first time visitors at our church. I think that’s a lot of visitors for a church running 100. I’d love to tell you we kept them all, but we didn’t. Often we get asked what we do to attract visitors. We’ve had over 1,200 visitors in 5 years. I don’t claim to be an expert, but here are some simple things we do.

Festivals.

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If there is a community gathering, festival, event, etc, we are there. We rent a booth and give away peanuts and church information. it’s a simple way to get out into the community and meet people. Most cities have festivals with booths available. We invest about $1,000 in the two festivals we participate in every year. We have people attending our church right now that we met at these festivals.

Postcards

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When we launched we mailed 10,000 postcards. About 60+ people came from the mailing alone. We tried it again on our 1 year anniversary. The results were like 10-15. What happened? We had peaked in that 10,000 postcard market. We learned a valuable lesson 3 years later when we mailed 10,000 postcards advertising our community day. Lesson= give them a deadline or date to be there, and give them something they want (free food and carnival). About 100-150 visitors showed up to our community day. About 20-30 came to church the following Sunday. This leads to our third outreach tool…

Cookouts

time to eat!

Where there is free food and games, there’s a crowd. This past summer we had our VBS. 17- 20 kids showed up each night. On Friday we pushed a big cookout. We had food for 75 and ran out. Count on it, if there’s a cook out, people come and invite their friends.

The most important aspect of outreach events is planning. The more time we have to push an event like a cookout, VBS, or a big Sunday etc increases the likelihood of it being a success. Getting the information into community calendars around town or online or on the radio with K-Love requires you to know the dates up to 60 days in advance. Plan out your year around 3-4 big events/services. This will give you and your people time to get it ready and invite people.

Winter Update

Hey guys,

Hope you made it through Christmas and the New year in one piece. We just wanted to share a quick update from Suffolk. We just finished the year in review for 2012. We averaged about 115 for Sunday morning services in 2012, over 70 on Sunday nights, and 55 on Wednesdays. We had 311 visitors in 2012. We know of 23 that trusted Christ in 2012. So far our Winter attendance has remained strong, and God continues to bless.

I recently preached a four part series at CrossPointe called “Four conversations that changed the world.” Here are the sermon videos (side-note, the audio in the first two was acting up, we edited it the best we could)