What Does It Take to Plant a Church?


  Any church who is objectively and subjectively ready to plant a church still needs to gather resources. Unfortunately, in this short space we cannot possibly discuss all the various possible levels of resources. Much depends on the model of church planting being used. Still, some general comments are in order.

Undoubtedly this will occupy the thoughts of many people contemplating a church plant. “Where will we get the money?” Let’s deal with this immediately. There are many possible sources.

  • Finance it like a building project. We often have pledge-drives, fundraisers and budget in long-term capital accumulation as we prepare to build a building. Why not for planting a church?
  • Denominational grants are often available
  • Form a Church Planting Network. By drawing together a group of churches who will share the planting and supervising of the church, even small churches with only small bits of extra finances may be able to find the money together.
  • Create a Donor Network. There are always people looking for good places to put extra money to work. By putting out the word through social networking websites, mailings, advertisements in various publications you can often find enough people for any good cause.
  • “Ok, how much money are we talking?” Again, that depends on the kind of church plant.

    • A New-Church Start can be funded for between 2 and 3 years’ worth of a pastor’s salary%benefits, facility rental and program materials disbursed in a descending manner over a 3 to 5 year timeline.
    • A House Church Plant may only necessitate the pastor’s salary and benefits.
    • A Satellite Church may only cost the facilities, since you may start off with the staff you already have.
    There are many more models. The point is that each has its own peculiar financing needs and structure.

    Personnel for the Church Plant
    Obviously we will need people to reach out and draw others to the church and to Jesus. How do we find them?

    The church planter:

    • Church Planter Bootcamps are run by many denominations and mission organizations where they evaluate possible church planters to see that they have the right experience, abilities, personality and spirituality.
    • Successful Church Planters often will want to hand their young congregation off to another pastor in order to plant another church.
    • Within your Congregation there may be people with the gift of evangelism who with training, coaching and encouragement could successfully plant a church. Indeed, for years the traditional path to Seminary in South Korea was successfully plant a church and then attend seminary.
    • Recruit a Church Planter for a particular need. Many ethnic churches necessitate a church planter of that ethnicity to be successful. However, be careful since there are many pitfalls. Seemingly homogeneous groups can be quite diverse and divided. Latinos, Taiwanese, immigrant from India all have their particular subdivisions and choosing a church planter from the wrong group can spell disaster. Always get hep.
    Recognize that you may also need a church planting team of two or more planters. This has been shown to be advantageous in many church plants.

    A Core Group or Launch Team?
    Commissioning a group of members from your congregation to join the Church Planting effort can always be helpful. And don’t be stingy. Include some of your best ministry leaders so that the Church will have the best start possible. And you will be surprised. Inevitably there are “leaders-in-waiting” who had not previously stepped forward because there “was no need”.

    A Core Group joins the church plant as permanent members. They may live close-by and therefore are natural additions to the effort.

    A Launch Team commits to stay with the church only through its initial planting. Like the booster stage on a rocket, they can then fall away, back to the Mother Church, guilt-free.

    More to learn. There is much more to learn about planting a church and resources abound.. Good places to start are your denomination, independent mission boards, ChurchSmart Resources, Church Planting Village (for rural church plants) and simply googling “church planting”.

    I will be glad to give you assistance as well.