Launch Step One: Co-Captain
Although it is not mandatory that you do this to launch a team, we highly recommend that you have another man to lock shields with through this process. There will be times you can’t make it to the group and it’s good to know that someone has your back. Besides recruiting team members, leaders often confess that finding their co-captain was the most challenging step in launching a new team. If you already have your co-captain, great job!
If you’re struggling to find a co-captain don’t be discouraged. It’s normal! When you approach a potential co-captain and he has questions about the Men in the Arena and what you’re asking him to do, send him to our website (www.meninthearena.org). There, he can join our online forum, subscribe to our Equipping Blast, and receive all the information about Men in the Arena he needs to feel confident. Now you’re ready to take on Launch Step Two.
Launch Step Two: Hit List
Hopefully, you were able to recruit a co-captain. If so, congratulations! Now it’s time to put together your team. That’s what building the Hit List is all about. Did you know that Jesus recruited a larger group of disciples before he chose the Twelve? Check it out:
“One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles: Simon (whom he named Peter), his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called the Zealot, Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.”
With your co-captain create two Hit Lists of at least 10-15 potential recruits—yours and his. Commit your Hit List to prayer, asking God to direct you through the process.
Once both lists have been compiled, prayed over them, and decide who will receive a formal “call” (Launch Step Three) to be on your team. Some Team Captains invite all the men on their Hit Lists while others are more selective. This is a personal preference. Some Captains struggle to recruit enough men for their team. Others have to cut their Hit List down. Team size should range from a minimum of six to fourteen members maximum.
If possible, create an intergenerational team of men ranging throughout multiple decades of life. Once the Hit List is created move on to Launch Step Three.
Launch Step Three: Call
Before you call each man make sure you have the set time, date, and place of your first meeting—the Team Launch. This is important: you and your co-captain set the meeting day, time, and place, then tell the men. Don’t ask the men what they prefer. Make a decision prior to inviting men to join your team. Captains that try to please everyone on this issue lose. Some men won’t be able to join your team simply because of your meeting times. That’s normal and you must be okay with it.
Once verbal commitments are made move on to Launch Step Four.
Launch Step Four: Team List
How Captains communicate with their teams is partly what separates the good teams from the great ones. The Team List will be used on the Buy-In (Launch Step Six) and must include: Name (and wife’s name), e-mail (and wife’s e-mail), and cell phone number. The sooner an e-mail and text group is created the more effective your team will be.
Use the Team List to remind the men about your weekly meetings. This not only acts as a reminder but also gives men a simple way to reply if they can’t make it that week.
We recommend putting together a calendar of key events for your team. Include your launch day, time, and place of weekly meetings, Team Potluck (Launch Step Five), and other important dates such as birthdays, important anniversaries, and regular social gatherings.
Launch Step Five: Team Potluck
You’re almost there! You only have a few more steps until your Team Launch! Great job! We can’t overemphasize the importance of the Team Potluck, especially for the married men. Use your Team List to communicate the time, date, and location of the Team Potluck. Give your potential team at least three weeks’ notice to save the date and communicate with their wives (Who should also be included in the email). We have found that wives are usually the ones who manage the family calendar.
You should also invite the pastor who oversees small groups at your church. Have him pray for the meal and say a few words about the value of men in God’s agenda.
Your goal is 100% attendance of those invited. One Team Captain confessed that he opted out of the potluck to hurry the process, and it was a monumental mistake.
The goal of the Team Potluck is to get total buy-in from the wives and have all questions answered. If the wife is in, the man is in. Trust us! We’ve seen it over and over. Attendance by the wives is critical for the success of Team Potluck.
Team Potluck Sample Agenda