This year has shown the world proof that we don’t need to leave space missions to the paid professionals. This summer, billionaires Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos each went to space. This fall Elon Musk’s company, SpaceX, launched an all-civilian space flight. 

Church Extension has known for a long time that it’s not up to the “professionals” to have a successful mission church launch. Here is what some of our church planters had to say about launching with laypeople.

Aquila and Priscilla Teams

Jason and Joanne Englehart, center, at their commissioning service at Trinity BFC in Blandon, PA with Pastor Carl Fischer and Pastor Ron Mahurin

Diego Rodriguez, Hispanic Ministry Liaison, moved from Mexico to Reading, PA when he was a child. His family came to plant a Spanish-speaking church in the city. He remembers the crucial contribution that the laypeople made at La Roca de Reading. He gives “a big shout out to the Aquila and Priscilla teams!  God blessed La Roca so greatly with Jason and Joanne Englehart and their daughters Jocelyn and Joy. So thankful for faithful people like them!” Aquila and Priscilla Teams are individuals, couples, or families who formally commit to serving at a church plant on a volunteer basis for a predetermined time.

Worship Leaders and Children’s Workers

Through the past few mission church launches, Church Extension noticed how crucial it is to have a committed worship team and children’s workers. Steve Myers is the Worship Team Leader at Redeemer BFC in Topton and his wife, Allie, is the Children’s Ministry Team Leader.

Some of the many laypeople involved at Redeemer BFC in Topton, PA

Before Redeemer BFC in Topton launched, the Lord moved in the hearts of the Myers family. On Redeemer BFC Facebook, the Myers shared: “We had heard about the idea of church planting a few years back and at that time, the desire to be involved was just an ember that God placed in us. Over time, He fanned that ember into flame. Since we first ran into church planting, God has been constantly preparing us and shaping us into the tools He would use to help a baby church grow! Now, by His grace, we find ourselves as ready as we can be to step out in faith and join Him in Topton where He is building His church. At this point, we are most excited about seeing how God will reach people with the Gospel.”

Behind the Scenes of a Church Plant Launch

Not every layperson is a front and center layperson like the Myers family. Garry Koch is the Finance Team Leader at Redeemer BFC in Topton. At Forks Community Church, on some weeks, teenagers operate the sound board and the slides from the back of the room. In our church plants with rented space, many volunteers set up and tear down chairs, pipe and drape, and other equipment every Sunday.

Church Planters are Not Walking Alone

It’s not just the launch where laypeople play a crucial role. Throughout the life of a mission church, laypeople listen to the Lord’s leading of how to reach the community for Christ.

Cape Community Church in Cape May Courthouse, NJ

Brad Boyer, church planter at Cape Community Church, Cape May Courthouse, NJ, said God has used the Prayer Walking Ministry to have great impact in Cape May Courthouse. People have been saved and visitors have come to church. And it was started by the laypeople. “When the idea of community outreach started to take hold,” Brad Boyer said, “one layperson came into my study to suggest we go to the courthouse to pray for the nation and the community. Then another layperson came in and suggested the exact same thing! Apart from laypeople, pastors can do little!”

Many of our church plants are in need of faithful laypeople to use their strengths and spiritual gifts for building His kingdom. Pick a church plant that is on your heart and pray for the Lord to provide people. Visit a church plant or call a church planter to find out for yourself their specific needs. Trust the Lord to provide for His church. Who knows? He may even provide through you.