The 8 Launch Steps are a tool to help Captains start a successful team.

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 ( 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.”
Luke 6:12-16

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

  • Dinner Responsibilities
  • Captains supply the drinks and dessert 
  • Host home supplies dinnerware
  • A-M Main Dish
  • N-Z Salad (or dessert)

Sample Agenda (make it better)
  • Fellowship
  • Food (remember to pray before eating!)
  • Captain and wife introductions 
  • Team member and wife introductions
  • Review Team Launch information (day, time, and place), commitment level (75% attendance), and other pertinent information
  • Explain the Buy-In (Launch Step Six)
  • Q and A
  • Pray for the group
  • Team Captain Commission: We believe in partnership with the local church, and highly encourage Team Captains to get commissioned by a pastor, or spiritual leader. If at all possible, get commissioned during the worship service at the church you attend. If not, the potluck is an appropriate option.
  • Fellowship

Launch Step Six: Buy-In
You can almost taste your Team Launch at his point. We’re as excited as you to see lives transformed through your team!
All that’s left is to order the books. Attrition will most likely claim some of the men, but we have found that the more the men buy-in the more committed they will be.
You can either buy the resources yourself and the men reimburse you, or send them directly to and purchase the curriculum themselves.

Launch Step Seven: Commission and Launch
We hinted at this in launch Step Five: Team Potluck. Did you know that in the New Testament the Twelve Apostles, the Apostle Paul—and Jesus—was commissioned in ministry? Have you been commissioned? If not, we highly recommend it as a model for spiritual leadership. We believe so much in the local church that we highly strongly urge all team captains to be commissioned by their pastor or spiritual leader. Make it a public display. Here are some elements of a commission.

  • Ceremony or public worship service
  • Anointing and/or laying on of hands
  • Public words of affirmation 
  • Giving of gifts (optional)
  • Witnesses
  • Spiritual leader
  • Predecessor
  • The Holy Spirit

Launch Step Eight: Team Launch Meeting One
Today’s the day you’ve been working so hard for—Congratulations! This is an informational meeting only. Do not plan of going through the curriculum. Rather, make sure all of the men have it. If you don’t meet where food and drinks are served, make sure they are available. Your first meeting should be one hour long from your designated start time (start on time, end on time). Below is a sample agenda.

  • Fellowship over food and drinks (10 minutes)
  • Opening Prayer
  • Restate the purpose, expectations, meeting agenda. Make sure they have purchased their books. (5 minutes)
  • Men share about their life, what they expect to get from the group, and where they are in their spiritual journey (40 minutes)
  • Encourage and inspire them with your personal vision for the team. Be sensitive to where each man is. Be careful not to push too hard to fast. (5 minutes)
  • Closing Prayer

Thank you so much for getting out of the anonymous bleachers and into the Arena! We are pumped to partner with you on your new adventure!
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