Planting a church can be a very intimidating task when we do not have an idea of where to start. Here are a few things to think about and do during the creation of your ministry:
1. Know Your Calling
All churches are not created the exact same. Knowing what kind of church God has called you to plant is important. You want to ensure that you are doing what is being asked of you from the Lord. The same way that the Book of Romans is different from the Book of Ephesians, your church will have a DNA specific to the people groups in your area. The make-up of your church may not create your vision statement tomorrow, but praying about it and discovering it will lead you to the place where God wants you to be.
2. Know Your Community
What will you do to learn about the community that your church will impact? We no longer live in a society where going to church is a part of our culture. Too often new (and sometimes even current) churches will put a ton of effort into what is inside the four walls of the church without thinking about how it will connect with the community. It is not a mistake that your ministry is located where it is. Part of our calling is designed for the community surrounding your church, so it is important to learn the needs of it.
3. Conduct a Demographic Study
This is critical in understanding the community God has called you to empower. Knowing the demographics can give you a better understanding of common jobs, ages, household sizes, and more. Such information gives you a statistical understanding of the people that you are serving. If knowing your community is the art of church planting, go out and interact with the people, conduct a demographic study, and get the cold hard facts so that the church can be of service to the community.
4. Identify the Vision
What will the church plant look like? What is your vision statement? Without a vision, the people will perish, therefore, it is important to identify what it is. The way you evangelize, disciple, and serve should be a reflection of the vision that is created.
5. Identify the Purpose
We often use the words “vision” and “purpose” interchangeably, but to understand the separation, think of it this way: The vision is what your church does, but the purpose is why the church does it. Why does your church exist? What will make you different from any other church in the community? Purpose becomes the heartbeat of your church plant and it will connect others to the cause.
6. Know Your Core Values
Your values are the foundations of your church plant. They are the non-negotiables in your church that guide your decisions in ministry. Your values keep you on the right path and assure not only the success of your ministry, but also the assurance that you are doing what God has called you to do.
7. Have an Outreach Plan
How will you reach your community? Church planting cannot just be about filling a room, space, or church. God has called us to do many more things than that, especially outside of the church. Discovering your niche in the community is a great first step to discovering your outreach plan, so people can be impacted by your church.
8. Connect with Community Partners, Supporters, Community Leaders, and Local Schools
Interacting with other community leaders is a great way to do more as a church plant. Set meetings with leaders and ask how your church can partner with them to support the community. No matter how big or small, your support in bettering the community makes a great difference and creates a big connection with your community.
9. Recruit a Launch Team
Jesus had a team when he launched the church and we should be doing the same when planting one. Sync your core beliefs, seek individuals in your circles, and share a meal with them to chat. While meeting, set focused requirements that are stationed in the individual’s giftings, and always stay moved by the Holy Spirit so more can be done with your efforts.
10. Develop a Timeline
Identify the events that will take place before the official launch. Having a plan is very important and is actually biblical. God is One of order, and we should develop a structure on how we are going to start our church. As the saying goes, “failing to plan is how you plan to fail.”
11. Create a Budget
I know we all wish to have a never ending well of resources to do what we desire for God’s kingdom, and although God has plenty, how we manage it is what God wants to know most. Establishing how finances are being mitigated to assist in fulfilling the vision will inevitably bring the provisions that are needed for it. You will be surprised how many people are willing to give when there is a plan.
There are a number of things that come with planting a church, and they can spring up on you if not prepared and well-planned; take time to go through these things so you can be ahead of the curve.