the gathering

Breaking the Sunday Mold to Build Momentum

Mar 2, 2022

“I thought I could just start a worship service and preach and people would come.”  These were the words from new church leader I was coaching years ago.  And as cringe worthy as that sounds today, the sentiment exists.  I have been planting churches for 20+ years and I can honestly say this is most creative and exciting time in my life to be involved in church planting.  We aren’t just starting worship services anymore!  New expressions are emerging all the time.

But one thing remains true.  Most new church leaders were exposed to church in a Sunday driven model.  That’s where they learned to do ministry.  The problem is that doesn’t prepare them well for new church work.  While there may have been a day when you could just start a worship service and start preaching, that day is long since passed. And a common question remains: What I do without the Sunday service?  How do I build a team? 

At Stadia we teach a simple framework that helps you with a place to start.  This framework is helpful whether you are planting a micro church in your neighborhood, a digital church in the metaverse, or phygital™ church in your city.  This framework will help you build momentum.  The goal is to move people into a discipling relationship with Jesus through the new body of the church. 

We call this the M rhythm.  The M is a way to visualize a pattern of activity that create space for discipling relationships to happen.

Aware spaces are outward focused.  The goal is to build awareness.  As a new church you’re an unknown.  The goal is for people to know who you are and for you to know them.  Building relationships starts with exchanging names.  These are typically larger gatherings.  A win here is exchanging contact information so that you can continue building relationship.  My wife is great at these.  She throws big neighborhood parties in the Summer.  It’s a change to meet people.

Social spaces are a next step typically in a group smaller than an awareness space.  It is an opportunity to get know each other and the church better.  This is a place where we can get to know one another’s stories. 

Team Spaces.  This is for those people that are co-missionaries with you in starting a new church.  This is where as a new church leader, you are creating a discipleship culture that multiplies.  Don’t simply gather the willing.  You know that concentrated laundry soap that in one small bottle can wash like a 1000 loads of laundry?  That’s this group.  The most important thing you will do is train them to be disciples who multiply. 

As you move from Aware to Social to Team Spaces, you see a natural progression of depth in relationship.  A person is growing closer in their relationship to Jesus and the new church.

It’s typical for a new church leader to spend more time with their team.  So as you are building out your rhythm, for each 2 team meetings, plan an aware space and a social space.  As you gain momentum, you’ll be able to do these more frequently. 

Over the next several months, the project management team will tell the stories of new church leaders that Stadia has helped to give you some great examples of what each of those spaces looked like in their context.  So be sure to follow along to learn from other new church leaders. 

Do you have a great story share?  Let us know in the comments below.  We’d love to learn what your team did.


Doug Foltz

Doug Foltz


Doug is a self proclaimed church planting junkie and has been involved with church planting most of his adult life. He helped plant LifePointe Christian Church in Charlotte, NC in 2004 and has served as a project manager since 2008. His passion is to help church planters accelerate their vision to reach the lost. In his spare time, Doug enjoys gardening, traveling, Illinois basketball and coaching his kids’ sports teams. His greatest supporter is his wife, Amanda. Together they live in Illinois, where they have two kids, Will and Kate.