Launch Team P.4: Should I Use a Launch Team Covenant?
Launch Team Covenants (as well as membership covenants) are about one thing: Expectations. In part 3, I talked about filters for deciding who should be on the launch team. The first two filters were beliefs and values. Early on, beliefs and values are merely words on paper. Unless the staff, leadership team and launch team live out these beliefs and values they are meaningless.
Enter expectations. Expectations are simply the ways we live out what is really important to us. They are the actions that demonstrate our beliefs and values. Clear expectations are vital to a healthy launch team and later on a healthy membership. Expectations help create a clear path to spiritual growth and let everyone know that if they are on this team here is where they need to go.
Many church planters shy away from high expectations. The thought is if my expectations are too high, then I’ll scare people away. Expectations reveal your desired picture of a disciple. If you have low expectations, then don’t be surprised when you are frustrated that your church is full of spiritual infants. Consider some of the expectations Jesus had of us:
- Matthew 5:48 “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
- Mark 8:34 “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”
- Luke 18:22 “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
Those are high expectations. Expectations are not meant to be legalistic rules, but a desired picture of a disciple. When seekers and Christians alike come to the church, I believe they are let down by watered down expectations. If they don’t have to change much they may go looking elsewhere.
To determine what expectations you will have look to your values. Will Mancini in his book, Church Unique, encourages a healthy exercise. He says to take each value of the church and flesh it out with “as demonstrated by.” For example, if you value relationships, how is that demonstrated in the life of the church? Then ask, how will we measure that because what you measure you value.
Now to answer the question. Should I Use a Launch Team Covenant? Maybe. You need to determine how signing a covenant will be received in your community. But if you don’t use a covenant, you still need to communicate expectations. In lieu of a covenant, what will you do to communicate expectations? Thoughts?