One answer to the question that some people have asked about “How do you start a church?” is fundraise.
It takes a lot of money to start a church, depending on your model. Some real life examples I’ve seen are churches that raise half a mill (that’s $500,000) before starting and others that start with nothing.
What I’ve noticed typically is that churches that raise a lot of money before launching tend to do better than churches that don’t. You have to buy equipment (sound, lights, video, stuff to outfit a lounge/lobby area, trailers, carts, Children’s Ministry environments, etc.), advertise (mailers, ads, etc.), pay salary (so staff can devote their full time to the church vs. dividing their time between the church and another job), rent or renovate a facility (you have to meet somewhere) and more. Did I mention that it takes a lot of money to start a church?
Typically, without fundraising and having the start up funds a church would meet in someone’s house and slowly grow over time, relying solely on the tithes of the people who are part of the church. Usually, from what I’ve seen, this model generally helps ensure that the church stays around 30 people or so; not always, but for the most part. What we want to do as a church is launch large which means building a launch team of 60 people or so, fundraising, advertising and starting public weekend experiences with 200-300 people (Usually after the first few weeks attendance will drop 50% from what you started with). By launching with 200-300 people the first couple weeks we may go down to 100-150 afterwards, but statistics of new church plants show that if you start with less than 100 people most churches never grow past that number.
Here’s why all this is important: As a church we want to have the greatest impact we can in the lives of individuals, families and our city. We want to be a church that, because of our existence, our neighborhood and our city actually get better. We want to be a church that if we ever had to close our doors, people would notice because we made such a difference in the life of our city. We want to be a church that if there was ever a need (and there is), we could meet it. The more people you have as a part of your church the more resources you have in people and talent and money to make a difference. So we want to launch large, but to do that we have to raise money.
One of the things I’ll be doing is organizing fundraising desserts and meeting with people and other churches to talk about what we are doing and ask people to support us. You will probably be asked to come to something like this and I will probably ask you for money to support what we are doing in seeing Jesus made more famous and people being raised to true life. I won’t apologize for it because I believe so much in what we are doing and so badly want to see the vision for this church come to fruition and so desperately want you to be a part of it and have a hand in it that I won’t feel bad asking you for money to see this happen.
So do you just want my money? Yes! Because I want to see people come to know Jesus and for their lives to be changed. Yes! Because I want to see marriages healed and restored and thrive. Yes! Because I want to see kids come to understand that a life with God is better than a life without him. Yes! Because I want to see our city transformed and revolutionized because the people of our city are coming to know God more and more through our efforts and it takes money to do all that. So yes, we want your money because it takes money to make a difference in that way we are seeking to.
It takes a lot of money to start a church and I can’t wait for you to have the opportunity to give to what we are doing so you can see the results of what we do as a church and say, I had a part in that. I helped make that happen. I’ll be posting how you can give to what we are doing soon as we set that system up and until then you can write the $50,000 check and keep it safe in your sock drawer.