If you’re a church leader, you know that forming a church can be a daunting task. There are so many moving parts and aspects to consider. As you process through all of the key decisions, remember to also prayerfully seek God’s guidance – He is ultimately the head of your new church!
In this blog post, we’ll also share four administrative steps that will help make the process of forming your church go much smoother.
Consult An Attorney
For church leaders looking to get started on the path to founding a church, church attorneys should be consulted as the first step toward success. Church attorneys are experts in church law and can provide counsel and advice on the necessary steps and paperwork that must be completed in order to begin forming a church. Taking this initial advice from a qualified lawyer is beneficial in avoiding major roadblocks and financial burdens down the line. Therefore, church leaders can feel confident and secure knowing that their church is sure to have a smooth beginning when they have consulted lawyers early on in their journey.
Choose a Location for Your Church: Rent or Buy
Once you’ve settled on the idea of forming a new church, the next big decision is where to begin making it happen. You can choose to rent a space or if you want to keep things simple, it is possible to even use someone’s home as your base of operations. Renting a space provides plenty of benefits – like having access to common essential church resources, and not having the worry of disruptions that may be more unique to a residential setting. However, if budgeting is an issue or privacy/space is limited, then meeting in someone’s home may be a practical alternative – just be sure that both parties understand the arrangement and expectations involved. So these are two options available when selecting a location for your new church; though yours may bring up other interesting possibilities as well.
Decide on the Structure and Governance of Your Church.
Deciding the structure and governance of your church is a critical step in getting it off the ground. It’s best to involve people from all aspects of your church community when making these decisions so that everyone feels heard, respected, and a part of the process. Key questions to consider are who will make the decisions, how will they be made – consensus, majority rule, voting, etc., what committees or groups would be beneficial for the growth and health of your church, how often should key decisions be reviewed and updated, and who are the decision makers responsible for overseeing operations. Coming up with a plan for structure and governance is not only important for clearly outlining roles and responsibilities but also sets in motion an effective communication system that everyone can follow.
Create a Budget
Establishing a budget for your new church is an important step in getting started. It is vital to first plan and have a clear understanding of the needs and wants of your church before you begin raising funds. Start with building up your knowledge of what it’ll take to successfully manage the finances of a growing congregation. Having a thorough understanding of the financial costs of running a church such as salaries, programs, supplies and more will help determine how you should go about starting to raise funds. After creating your budget and allotting the necessary resources along with corresponding funding goals, it’s time to start raising money. Members of your church should form the foundation of your church’s financial support. However, online fundraisers and traditional donation drives may a way to raise additional funds – now that you know what you need, transforming those plans into reality begins!
As you can see, there are many important considerations to make when starting a new church. However, with careful planning and forethought, your new church can be up and running quickly and smoothly. Be sure to consult with experienced attorneys specializing in religious organizations to ensure that all of your bases are covered before moving forward. And, as we started the article, don’t forget to pray.