Planting a church can be incredibly expensive. Even if you have denominational backing, one can easily run out of money before a self-sustaining congregation can be established. It really makes sense. According to C. Peter Wagner, “Church planting is the single most effective form of evangelism under heaven.” Therefore, if we are reaching new people for Christ, they may not be accustomed to giving and the idea of tithing may be totally foreign. So during these early seasons of growth, how does a church survive financially?
Make wise money decisions
Be prudent with the way you spend money. Include your leadership in large financial decisions and only spend what is needed for ministry. Invest in ministry to and with the mission field. When adding staff begin with those in front line ministry, there will be time for administrative staff later. Wise decisions instill confidence and can increase future giving.
Don’t wait to begin “family discussions” about money. Everyone knows that it costs money to do what you are doing. However, they may assume all the money is coming from somewhere else. Talk about it biblically, openly, honestly and without fear.
Include Kingdom Investors
Kingdom Investors are individuals, groups, and or organizations who are looking for ministries to support. People are giving to all kinds of non-profits, why not your church plant? They need to be asked. Missionaries have a long history of raising support for their ministry. We are now planting churches in the mission fields of urban centers and suburbia. Raising support for a church plant is no different. Make a list of family, friends and acquaintances and begin to share your vision and then ask for their support. Even if they tell you no, you are building transferable skills of meeting new people, communicating vision and asking for partners. Including Kingdom Investors was vital to the sustainability of my congregation in the early years.
Be generous from day one. We are blessed to be a blessing – so bless others. Our congregation decided to establish a “not for us fund” and deposit 10% of all our income to be given away. It has paid for eye surgery for a young child, rescued a home from foreclosure, and sponsored dozens of local teams and schools. However, there is a deeper purpose; it helps people overcome fear and builds trust in God.