How to Fund Your Church Plant

I get the distinct pleasure of investing in a lot of church planters through our ministry here at Church Leader Insights.  In fact, we give away thousands of dollars worth of resources to church planters every week (click here for more info).

That means I get to hear all sorts of stories – some good and some bad – and answer A LOT of questions.

One question that we’re asked pretty regularly involves funding a new church plant – especially in a “less than ideal” economic environment.

Here are a few tips that will help you raise the funds that your new church will need to launch and become healthy as soon as possible:

  • Pray over, plan and polish your vision and strategy before you start trying to raise funds. Nothing says “I won’t be a good steward of your financial support” like not having a plan.  The more serious you are about the process, the more likely others will be to take you seriously.
  • Put together a list of everyone you think might possibly have a heart for what you’re doing, complete with their contact information. You never know who might be willing to support the new work until you begin asking. Intentionally carve out time on your calendar to call, call, visit and call some more.
  • Ask clearly and boldly! Remember that you’re giving people an opportunity to invest in God’s Kingdom work – don’t back into the question about financial support or say no on their behalf. Paint the picture of what God is doing, ask boldly, and await their answer.
  • Don’t let ‘no’ defeat you. If God has called you to start a new church, He has also made available just the right resources to fulfill that calling.  When you’ve clearly and boldly asked and someone says no, move on to the next person on your list.
  • Be creative to expand your list of potential supporters. When someone says ‘yes’ and agrees to support your new church, ask them if they know of two or three others who may be willing to partner with you.  When someone believes in you and your work, they may very well know others who will too.
  • Don’t burn your bridges. That church that wasn’t willing to partner with you two months ago (before you had anyone else on board), may be willing to help now that they see others doing so.  A ‘no’ today doesn’t necessarily mean a ‘no’ forever.
  • Over-communicate your gratitude. When someone agrees to partner with your new church send them a handwritten thank you note immediately.  That shows that you truly are thankful and serves to reinforce the commitment they just made to the new church. And send another note (with an update on the work) each time you receive a check from them.

A mentor of mine told me many years ago that, “If you’re the lead pastor (or church planter), you ARE the chief fund raiser for your church… Get over it!”

If you truly believe in the new church that God has called you to start, then you’ll be asking people to come to your church, give their lives to Christ, give financially, serve in the church, join the church and so on and so forth.

You might as well use this time to learn to be a “Master Asker.”

P.S. My friend and Coaching Alum Jimmy Britt mentioned this and a lot of other good tips for church planters in a recent post on his blog — Click Here to Read.

P.P.S. If you’re planting a church right now (or in the near future), I want to give you more than $85.00 in Church Planting Resources – including “Funding Your Church Plant.”  Click Here to Get Your Resources Now.

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About Nelson Searcy

Nelson Searcy is an experienced church growth strategist, pastor, church planter and coach, consulting with churches around the world. As founder of Church Leader Insights and the Renegade Pastors Network, he has personally trained more than 3,500 church leaders in over 45 denominations through live events, seminars and monthly coaching. Nelson is also the Founding and Lead Pastor of The Journey Church, with locations across New York City and in Boca Raton, FL. Nelson and his church routinely appear on lists such as “The 50 Most Influential Churches” and “The 25 Most Innovative Leaders.” He is the author of over 100 church growth resources and 18+ books, including The Renegade Pastor: Abandoning Average in Your Life, Ministry and The Difference Maker: Using Your Everyday Life for Eternal Impact, and At the Cross with the People Who Were There. He and his wife, Kelley, have one son, Alexander.

Nelson SearcyChurch Planting

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