Men's Ministry Resources - 7 Steps to Launch a Men's Small Group

7 Team Launch Steps

Launch Step One: Get a 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 when 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!

We will match you up with a co-captain unless you already have one in mind. 

If you want to recruit your co-caption, go for it. First, send your potential co-captain to our website to check out the ministry. Second, encourage him to our get support from our online Men in the Arena Facebook forum, subscribe to the Men in the Arena Podcast, and sign up to receive our weekly Equipping Blast.

Once you have your co-captain, move to Launch Step Two.


Launch Step Two: Build Your Hit Lists

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


You and your co-captain each create a Hit List (two lists total) of no less than 15 potential recruits on each list. 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 from their Hit Lists while others are more selective. This is a personal preference. Some captains struggle to recruit enough men for their team. Others must cut their Hit List down. Team size should range from a minimum of eight to twenty members max. With attrition and weekly absenteeism, you will probably end up with about a dozen men.

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: The Call

Besides your Hit Lists, all men who signed up on our website will be categorized by time zones, and their contact info sent to you. The Call includes the men on your Hit List AND the men who have signed up for your team from the website (virtual teams only).

Before you call each man make sure you have the day, time, and date of your team launch. 

This is important! You and your co-captain set the meeting day, time, and date then tell the men. Don’t ask the men what they prefer.  Decide on inviting men to join your team.  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.  Here is a potential pitch or elevator speech:

“Hey Joe, this is Mike! I want to talk to you about something that has helped me become the best version of a man. It is an internationally known Christian organization for men called Men in the Arena.  I am so excited about this that I’m starting a team of my own with my friend,  (co-captain). I want to invite you to join us. We meet every (day of the week) from (time) to (time) at (location). Will you come to our first meeting and check it out (wait for his answer)?”

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, Telegram, and/or text group is created the more effective your team will be.

Use the Team List to remind the men about your weekly meetings. This acts as a reminder and 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 and time of the weekly meeting, Couples Zoom it is a virtual team (Launch Step Five), and other important dates such as birthdays, and important anniversaries. Once you finish this step, move to Launch Step Five.


Launch Step Five:  Team and Spouses Gathering ( or Zoom Call if virtual)

You’re almost there! You only have a few more steps until your Team Launch! Great job! We can’t over-emphasize the importance of the Couple's gathering (live or virtual), especially for married men. Use your Team List to communicate the time and date of the Team and Spouses' Gathering. Your best bet is the same time as your team meeting, but at least three weeks in advance. Give your potential team members at least three weeks advance notice and communicate with their wives. We have found that the wives are usually the ones who manage the family calendar.

Your goal is 100% attendance of those invited. Team Captains who opt out of Team Spouses Zoom Call to hurry the process, prove to be a mistake.

The goal 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 the team (local or virtual).

Team Spouses Zoom Call Sample Agenda

  • Potluck if it is a local gathering
  • Captain and wife introductions
  • Team member and wife introductions
  • Review Team Launch information (day and time), commitment level (75% attendance), and other pertinent information
  • Explain the Buy-In (Launch Step Six)
  • Q and A
  • Pray for the group
  • Call Ends Once you finish this step, move to Launch Step Six.


Launch Step Six: Buy-In (at least two weeks before Launch Day)

You can almost taste your Team Launch at this 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 (20%) of the men, but we have found that the more the men buy in the more committed they will be. Do not pay for their books. Men need to take this step of commitment.

Send them directly to our Strong Men Series men's small group curriculum or to Amazon to purchase the curriculum themselves.

Once you finish this step, move to Launch Step Seven.


Launch Step Seven: Captain Commission

Did you know that in the New Testament the Twelve Apostles, the Apostle Paul—and Jesus himself—were commissioned into ministry? We highly recommend it as a model for spiritual leadership.

The sooner this is set up with Jim the better. It should ASAP. Commission Day should happen 1-2 weeks after your team launch. Below is a sample agenda.

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!

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!