It takes money to do ministry! That means if you are going to be a church planter, you will have to get good at fundraising.
Many church planters are bold in vision casting what they believe God wants to do in and through their church plant. However, when the subject of funding that vision comes up, they suddenly get tongue-tied.
When we read through the New Testament, we find church planters raising funds for church plants. Not only does it take money to do ministry—it's biblical!
God's called you to lead a church plant, and fundraising is an important part of your role—so it's best to start now to and increase this skill.
In this article, I will empower you with seven ways to win at fundraising for your church plant:
1. Decide this is a God thing, not a good thing. Most church planters are insecure when it comes to talking about money because they are not fully convinced in their hearts that their vision is a God thing. They know it's a good idea, but they are not sure yet if this church plant is a God idea.
Here's why that matters: If this is just a good idea, then there is a lot more risk involved, and the ownership for the return falls directly upon you. However, if this is a God idea, then you are simply calling people to invest in what God is ordaining.
Church planter, have you solidified in your heart that your calling is a God thing?
If you have not, don't plant just yet. Go into a time of prayer and fasting and seek God's direction for your life.
First Corinthians 14:8 says, "If the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who will prepare himself for the battle?" What that means in this context is, if you are unsure about whose idea this is, you will always have some guilt or lack of confidence when you are raising funds. On the other hand, when you are confident that your vision is from God, you will be bold in your fundraising because you are asking people to invest in something God is doing—not you!
2. Decide you want something for people, not from people. We often avoid asking people to invest in our vision because we are afraid we sound self-serving. That's why you must change your thoughts and language from wanting something from people to wanting something for people!
What you want for them is:
—The blessing of sowing into God's kingdom that will bring a sure reward.
—The blessing of engaging in something significant.
—The blessing of generosity.
—The blessing of learning to live beyond themselves and by faith.
The list goes on and on of great things for those investing financially in a new church plant.
Ask God to help you have a heart shift from wanting something from your donors to wanting something for them.
3. Legally prepare to receive funding. There are legal requirements for giving and receiving tax-deductible tithes and offerings for a church plant. Our StartRIGHT service will provide you with everything you need to start your church on a solid legal foundation. Here are a few areas to consider you will need for your church plant:
—Incorporate and open a church bank account.
There is a whole different level of validity when you start receiving checks in your church plant's name, rather than in your name. People are more ready to give to a church than to a person.
Incorporating, adopting bylaws and obtaining a FEIN are usually the first steps needed to open a church bank account.
—Apply for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status.
Many church planters do not realize that they can apply for 501(c)3 tax-exempt status before their first service. This critical step gives you the ability to guarantee tax deductions for the funds donated, even in your initial fundraising meetings with potential investors.
With our StartRIGHT service, we will take care of all of the items listed above and more! Give us a call today to learn more 855-208-1759 about making sure your church plant is legally compliant!
4. Start asking for funding. Once you've settled that this church plant is not just a good idea, but a God idea, the next step is to ask others to come alongside you and give generously into the good ground that is your upcoming church plant. Where do you begin? Let's talk about asking God, our ultimate provider, first.
Step One: Ask God.
"You do not have, because you do not ask" (James 4:2b).
As church planters, we need God to show up supernaturally beyond our own giving. The good news is—He wants to! God will provide for what He has called us to do, but we must ask.
I suggest every church planter begin to pray that God would turn the heart of kings toward them (see Prov. 21:1). The Lord can put your church plant on the heart of givers with the ability to help fund the vision.
I read a story recently about a pastor that needed $1 million for a church building. He got a call from an out-of-state businessman who loved his church and who just happened to have closed a large deal. The pastor mentioned the financial needs, and the businessman wired him all the money! Who knows whom God has raised up to help fund what God has called you to do?
If you have not, perhaps you have asked not. Ask God to pour out blessings and release finances—and get specific! Next, let's talk about asking our greatest supporters to fund our church plant: friends and family.
Step Two: Ask family and friends.
Here are three keys to asking family and friends for finances:
—Ask with confidence. Your confidence in your God-given calling is contagious. Without that confidence, you will appear unsure and will have a hard time raising funds. If you lack in this area, go back to God in prayer until you get the confidence from Him that this is what He wants you to do.
—Ask with clarity. Tell them your clear plan, how much it will cost and that you are asking them to give financially. Be prepared with some suggested amounts for them to donate. I also suggest you have a written budget for people to see the exact plan and numbers that it will take to fund your church plant.
—Ask with conviction. Conviction comes from really believing that this is a God thing, and their giving is not something you want from them, but something you want for them. As they invest in what God is doing through your plant, they will be blessed in their own lives.
5. Make it easy to give. As a church planter, you want to be prepared to receive donations in all forms: cash, checks and online donations!
In today's world of fundraising, it's likely that around 80-90% of those donating to your ministry will use online giving. That means having a church website with online giving capabilities is an essential part of starting a church plant today.
6. Go "all-in" with your personal giving. The first person who has to be all in on the vision is—you! Church planter, let me say that if you are going to see this vision fully funded, you will be the initial investor.
I have been amazed at how many times pastors have called me surprised that there wasn't grant funding available for their church plant. Some have even experienced a twinge of offense when it's suggested they self-fund the start of their ministry. "God will provide!" they say. Of course, that is true! However, you are often the first one He uses.
In Luke 10:2, Jesus asks the disciples to pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers. Once they prayed, notice the next verse says in Luke 10:3a (NIV), "Go! I am sending you." They were the answer to their own prayers!
I have found that successful church planters have one thing in common: they all had a moment of going all-in! They went all-in with their calling, passions, energies and yes, with finances. Many a church planter has cleared out their 401(k) or their savings or sold something of value to be the initial investor into the vision. They believed that God would repay them with a fruitful harvest.
The truth is, the first investments are often made by those leading the vision.
7. Learn to talk to businesspeople about money.
—Don't apologize for asking for finances.
—Don't rush over the numbers.
—Don't waste their time.
—Don't be shy.
To gain total confidence with fundraising for your church plant, I encourage you to check out our Launch to Lead online course.
At StartCHURCH, we believe every pastor should have the equipping, knowledge and tools they need to see their vision come to pass. With Launch to Lead, you will learn everything you need to know from launch day to church growth, including how to prepare for your first serve, build a launch team, establish a legal foundation and so much more. This course was created for church planters by church planters. That means we understand the challenges you are facing—and we are here to help!
To learn more about how Launch to Lead can prepare you to be the ultimate church planter, click the link below or give us a call at 855-208-1759 today!
Having been a church planter and staff pastor, Nathan Camp brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to the StartCHURCH team through his role as the chief executive officer. He desires to see churches and ministries equipped and inspired to pursue the dreams that God has put in their hearts.
For the original article, visit startchurch.com.
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