If you feel a calling to plant a church, then you truly are in for an incredibly rewarding spiritual adventure.
Too many times, people get caught up in the excitement of their church planting experience, get overwhelmed with all the moving parts, or don’t conduct all of the necessary research to ensure success. No matter how honorable their intentions, the plans for the church falls through. Don’t let that happen to you!
Just by reading this, you’re on a great track to start the church planting process because you’re conducting crucial research. The next step is to allow key principles to guide your work. We have compiled 8 effective principles to keep in mind while planting your church:
Proverbs 16:9 says, “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” Plan your church planting process and allow the Lord to guide you to grow this small seed to a flowering congregation. Let’s dive into the first principle!
Being called to plant a church is truly a gift, but it can seem overwhelming at times. Relying on prayer to guide you through the toughest of times is an important founding principle you should never lose sight of. There is no reason to be anxious when you can rely on prayer to guide you through.
We recommend keeping a constant prayer list to write down your anxieties and worries during the planting process. This list may consist of prayer concerns such as:
Keeping a list helps you to organize your thoughts to bring them to God. Not only this, but it can help with your planning process to allow the Lord to guide your feet in the direction He intends.
Communication is key to building trust with your church’s members and prospective attendees. It can make you feel vulnerable to be entirely transparent with your supporters, but it is a necessary step to establish trust for your new church.
This trust is so important for your church planting process. When people trust your leadership, they will be more likely to give to the project, pray for your success, and become a member.
Make sure you have a communication strategy in place to help you effectively correspond with your supporters. Here are some of our top strategies to start with:
Establishing trust is a huge building block for assembling your foundation of an initial support group because it is part of what keeps them coming back week after week.
When planting a church, we tend to want to give and give and give to the community. After all, giving back is part of the reason we are establishing a church in the first place!
That’s part of what makes asking for financial help one of the most difficult tasks for leaders planting a church. However, it is also one of the most absolutely necessary tasks to complete.
There is no shame in asking for money to help establish your church. In fact, it can be a humbling experience to admit that you need help.
In addition to passing around an offering plate each Sunday, some strategies to raise money in your community include:
Fundraisers not only help raise money, but can also help to spread the word about your church. When you host an event, sell merchandise, or ask your supporters to share online fundraisers, people are bound to ask where the gift money will go. When they do, you have the perfect opportunity to tell them all about your plans for this new church plant.
Your mission statement encompasses your vision for your new church. It acts as a guiding force for the church itself and will help your church plant to blossom down the line.
Use your mission statement as a positive force to drive your church forward. This is the underlying statement for all of your actions. It will, therefore, be ever present in your mind. Take the time to make your statement a good one!
When writing a church’s mission statement, follow the steps featured in our guide for nonprofit mission statements:
While typical nonprofit organizations and churches differ in many ways, they both use mission statements to support their actions and define their purpose. Looking through the statements of nonprofit organizations and other churches will help you to best formulate your own statement to best suit your needs as a church.
This church planting principle is all about finding balance between recruitment and relationships. Planting a church means finding members to fill that church, but be careful not to abandon the members who have already joined.
In a post by Christianity Today, Aaron Damiani says, “Jesus builds his church, so stop watching the door and start feeding your people.” Turning your focus from recruitment to focus on those you have already recruited can be a challenge for many, but nurturing relationships is just as important as building new ones in the church planting process.
Instead of focusing on who didn’t attend church one Sunday or why certain groups of people don’t seem to show up, focus your energy on those who do attend.
Some ways you can nurture these relationships include:
Building your church from the inside will only strengthen your foundation. Not only that, but this is also probably where you will find the source of the majority of financial contributions to your church. Therefore, your organization will improve both structurally and financially by focusing on your current supporters.
Developing your church network is the flip side to focusing on your current supporters. The balance between the two principles is so important to strike because you need to grow your congregation in order to help the church survive without sacrificing the quality of your services.
Planting your church and helping it grow requires an active church network developing from both you and your supporters. In addition to traditional word-of-mouth networking, some of the top contemporary methods to spread the word include:
Focusing on your supporters and developing your network go hand-in-hand because of the role your current members can play in developing your network. If they feel strongly about your church’s mission, they will be more likely to encourage the participation of others through online networking and personal invitation efforts.
There are a lot of moving pieces involved with church planting. It can be easy to get discouraged, especially by large projects.
One of the biggest projects you will undergo is building a worship space. This may mean building a sanctuary from the ground up, or renovating an existing building. Either way, it’s a challenge (and an expensive one!)
The best way to overcome this discouragement is through:
It’s likely that you’ll begin to feel a bit discouraged at one point or another in the process of planting your church. Just don’t let it get you down! If you keep on pushing through with faith and trust and adjust your plans as necessary, you’ll find a way through.
One of the key steps in how to plant a church is planning. You need to make plans for collecting contributions, plans for building a sanctuary, membership engagement plans, plans to expand your network, etc. However, along with creating all of these plans, you need to be prepared for each of them to fail.
Everyone hopes for as few hiccups in your plans as possible when planting a church; we want everything to run as smooth as butter. But chances are you’ll run into at least one problem. This is when it is important to remain flexible. When things go wrong, you need to have the ability to readjust and keep on moving forward.
A couple strategies to keep in mind in order to remain flexible include:
Only God knows what the future holds. When you’re planting His church, trust that He will guide you.
“And he said to them, ‘Go into the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.'” Mark 16:15.
Church planting is an exciting and moving experience. With these 8 key principles, you’ll be ready to proclaim the word of God far and wide through your new church. For more helpful information about churches, check out these resources below:
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