How to Finance Your Church Plant
Four ways to raise the seed money you need
One of the questions I’m often asked is, “How can I raise the money to start a new church?”
Many aspiring church planters find themselves underfunded because they are trying to do it all alone. They haven’t yet taken time to build relationships or maintain strategic partnerships.
It’s possible to start a self-sustaining church successfully, but usually this requires additional support for one’s venue, launch activities, outreach projects, sound and video equipment, and other unforeseen expenses.
The reality is, many church planters don’t have access to a ministry partner who can provide everything needed to launch well. Knowing this, here are four helpful tips for raising funds to start your new church.
Apply for Matching Funds
The Church Multiplication Network offers up to $45,000 in matching funds for new church plants that qualify. If you’re an Assemblies of God pastor preparing to start a new church or new multi-site campus, this is a great tool for doubling your resources before launch day.
Matching funds are an ongoing initiative from CMN and the AG Trust, perpetually funded by previous church planters. Each dollar replenished into the Matching Fund is immediately turned around and used to fund another church plant.
Many aspiring church planters find themselves underfunded because they are trying to do it all alone.
Matching Fund recipients are not simply receiving a one-time gift. They are becoming part of something that God is doing across the country to reach people for the Kingdom.
Find Willing Contributors
Other people and churches may become involved in your new church planting project as contributors. Many church planters find sponsors in the marketplace willing to support the launch of a new church.
If you’re approaching a potential sponsor for funding, be sure your strategic fundraising vision is clear and professional. Financially successful people like to see specifics in at least three categories: (1) achievable goals; (2) how you’re stretching to meet those goals; and (3) how their money will be spent. They also expect to be kept up-to-date on progress and results.
People give to a vision, not to a need. Begging for cash from donors is not likely to generate a great response, but communicating one’s story in a convincing, spiritual way can influence donors deeply. When people can see that your work is worthy of their support, they’ll become involved.
Supplement Your Income with a Second Job
Many church planters live bi-vocationally — splitting their time between the church and the marketplace. Not only does a second job provide a steady source of income for fledgling church planters, it also provides an opportunity to reach people in your community.
Be Faithful with Your Finances
You and your new congregation should be faithful and ethical in handling financial matters, including the way you approach donors and partners for funding.
May you be wise, and may God resource your church plant miraculously so that both you and your church can proclaim, “We couldn’t have done it on our own, but God brought in the resources; now we want to give back so that others might have a miraculous new church experience of their own!”