My friend Christian, a church planter in Berlin, who spent a year here in NYC before going to plant a similar kind of church in Berlin's hip, artistic urban center came up with the term "start team" instead of core team or launch team, and I liked it.
We just had a wonderful young married couple join our team - Mauricio and Cindy. They are real go-getters and gatherers and overall inspiring folks. They both just recently graduated from Juilliard, Mauricio in acting, and Cindy in dancing, and he still runs a campus fellowship group there. They also have a wonderful ministry taking Juilliard students for a three week camp in the summer to do art projects with underpriveleged youth in Florida and South Africa. They've done it for three years now and it has amazing support, with growing requests to do it in different countries.
The other members of the team are Christy, a three time church planter and musician and overall confidence inspirer, Emily a dancer and encourager and team sweetheart, Lauren a former violinist and arts administrator, who recently left Juilliard to work in the corporate world, and the first member of the start team whose presence so encouraged me in that early time, and who is a gatherer and organizer, Pablo a musician and former youth pastor and is a textbook emergent - someone whose heart was broken by the institutional church and who desperately wants to find Jesus in community.
We are really coming together as a team, and I must say that the love I feel for them and from them is the joy of my life. I also feel an incredible love for the Lord because I struggled so much in the last year as I knew the time of "recruiting a team" was coming, and I was so worried that no one would want to come along. Then to see who he sent me, who he knew he was going to send all along makes me smile to myself.
Church planting is hard, but it puts you right in the stream of Gods energy and that is a good place to be - well worth the hard parts.