4 Things Learned from Launching a New Campus

Okay, so we just launched our third campus this past weekend. The first one we launched is in northwest Arkansas and they are an awesome group, so if you’re in that area stop by. You can get their information by going to their website at thechurchnwa.com. Back to the campus we just launched. Here are four things that jumped out at me with this launch:

1. There was tons of excitement and anticipation. You could feel a buzz in the atmosphere. Something new is happening and people loved it. There is a lot of awesome stuff that happens at our Seven Hills campus, however you could sense something different at our new Foothill campus. It was almost like a couple who had their first baby. People were beaming with pride (the good kind) for their church and God and excitement for reaching new people.

2. It made people feel good to see leaders they knew. As exciting as a new campus is, I think there is some unknowns that make people feel a little nervous. Is this going to be the same as our Seven Hills campus? Is it going to be strange? How different will it be? Will I know anyone? When I arrived there must have been a dozen families who said something like, “Oh, good, Pastor Justyn’s here!” or “Cool! It’s Pastor Justyn!” It’s not that I’m all the cool. What they were really saying was that they are glad there is some familiarity and the could see the same leadership. It helped tie the two campuses together. Since they saw a couple of the same pastors there, our regular attendees felt more at home.

3. For some reason you could tell that this may be the hotspot for young adults and younger families. Whether it’s the location or the fact that they are part of a smaller community (which is part of a much larger organism) doing something new—there were lots of younger people there. That’s something I’m going to keep my eyes on.

4. In the big scope of things, it really doesn’t take much to excite kids and connect them to Jesus. Right when I arrived a bunch of elementary grade kids came running up to me and said, “Pastor Justyn, this is the coolest place ever—better than our other Kid Nation!” All they had in this massive high school cafeteria was a couple Wii’s, a small stage with two 50” TV’s facing them and a cool Kid Nation banner in between those TV’s. That’s it! And, they thought it was the coolest thing ever. What they loved was the massive space to play around. They were already using their imaginations on what they could do. So, sure enough this weekend coming up, guess what we’re playing? Yep, dodge ball!

What are some things you’ve learned from launching campuses?

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  1. SIMPLE is the key! Kids don’t have to have all the bells and whistles and being mobile prevents many of those! I am constantly amazed at how simple games and object lessons thrill kids. Give em a pack of plastic cups and they will stack them forever! Let em flick rubber bands at a cup pyramid and make it a competition and they are set! Pool noodles are amazing!
    Kids’ minds and spirits are so easy to please. It’s we adults who think we have to make it more…give them more…there will be a place for ‘more’ for us when we get a building someday. But now, our kids are content …something I try to instill them. And they are learning about Jesus, after all, He kept things very simple!
    oh and Minute to Win It is a God-send to kids’ pastors!

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