Church planting isn’t always easy, but it’s well worth it to give the unchurched a new place to worship.
Often times, a new church is necessary to embrace different ideas for growth. Or, just to appeal to various ages and communities.
Before you jump right in, consider all that’s involved. Starting before you’ve had a chance to prepare could result in years worth of delays.
1. Finding The Perfect Location
The location is vital. Obviously, you don’t want to plant on top of another church unless there’s enough local interest to support both. You need a location that’s easily accessible and in the center of a community that’s in need of a church. Portable Church recommends choosing a location that matches the vision of your church. They also recommend talking to area ministers to see which areas are most in need.
2. Finding The Right Leaders
Church planting plans often go awry when there isn’t any clear leadership. Even before you have an actual church, you need leaders. Build a small board of church leaders, including one or two pastors. They’ll help guide you so that all the work isn’t on your shoulders alone. However, make certain you pick leaders that have experience, even if they’re young, they still need some background. Keep in mind that this step is harder because leaders may have to volunteer at first until the church is financially stable.
3. Building Launch Teams
Here is where leaders really come into play. Church planting involves building teams of volunteers to help out. These are usually your initial church members. Your leaders are able to reach out to other churches where some members might not be completely satisfied and are looking for a new place to worship.
Don’t underestimate the power of volunteers during this time. They’ll help with everything from spreading the word to engaging new members when the church opens its doors the first time.
4. Gathering Finances
This is one of the biggest considerations with church planting. No matter how passionate you are, you still need the money to make your passion a reality. It may take quite a bit of praying and listening to God’s word, but with hard work and dedication, you will find the finances.
The financial strain causes 33% of church planters to want to quit the ministry. This shows how important financial preparation truly is. While costs vary greatly based on location and size, author and church planter Stephen Gray estimated the costs to be between $200,000 and $300,000 and that was in 2008.
5. Building Community
With the financial costs in mind, you can see why having volunteers and leaders is so important. They help with the next consideration – building community. This is where volunteers hold local events and help you brainstorm early fundraisers.
Trying to get people on board a year or two before a church is even a reality isn’t the easiest thing in the world, but building a sense of community, even without a physical church, goes a long way towards gathering the finances you need. Plus, you already build a loyal community eager to become part of your church family.
6. Marketing And Engaging
You have to consider ways to market to and engage potential members. Local community events, blogging on your church’s site (yes, you can have a church site before your church is even built) engaging people on social media are all ways to market and engage. Just think, if you already have a pastor that’s helping, they could upload short sermons each week to the website to give potential members an idea of what to expect every week.
Your website could even be used to help raise funds. You’d be surprised at how many people worldwide would donate if they found your site’s content inspiring.
7. Establishing A Purpose
Finally, church planting shouldn’t just happen because you had a simple disagreement with your previous church. It should happen because you felt God calling you to plant a new church. With that calling is a purpose and it’s important to clearly establish that purpose.
Think of it as your mission statement. What do you hope to accomplish with a new church? Is it about ministering worldwide or locally? How does the community fit in? What changes do you hope to make from other churches? All of this helps define your church’s purpose. Once again, experienced leadership helps with this.
Is church planting part of your plan this year? If so, consider the importance of a church website as part of your marketing to help your church grow faster.