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the role of a church planter is multifaceted and unique. church planters and their teams venture out as faith entrepreneurs in obedience to christ’s commission to share the gospel in every community. they have to experiment with creative ministry approaches in a particular context. then, as they find methods which meet the needs of people in that community context, experimenting gives way to more predictable ministry structures. church growth requires constant fine-tuning of leadership roles to deal with new challenges and growth pains, calling often for new skill sets that the original church planter may not possess. thus, as church planters have to steer a path between creative vitality and routinized programming, they are faced with multiple demands to adapt their leadership to new circumstances. this study tracks the transformation of a successful chicago church plant in its first five years from an experimental ministry laboratory to a mature and effective ministry community. it also describes the related leadership role changes of the original church planting pastor and his team at EPic church in chicago. As EPic church celebrated its fifth anniversary, it launched its second campus at the end of October 2017.