Raising Finances as a Church Planter
Funding is incredibly important for churches. While money is far from the reason anyone plants a church, having a solid, reliable cash flow is an absolute necessity for the sake of growing and investing in your ministry.
Startup churches don’t need much to begin, but soon, finding a space, getting sound equipment, video equipment, holding launch activities, paying staff, and other demands require finances to be available. So, if you’re a church planter looking to raise finances for your church startup, here are a few methods to do so:
Church Planters: Methods of Raising Finances
There are a number of ways you can raise finances as a church plant. The right method is going to depend on a lot of factors – who all is in your network, what churches you’re connected with, what denomination(s) you’re associated with, where you’re located, etc.
That being said, raising finances always depends on one thing – the generosity and willing hearts of others; whether it be groups and associations, partnered churches, or friends and family. Here are a few methods to start raising finances for your church plant:
Focus on Your Network
People are the real backbone of any church. No money, location, building, or anything else can replace the value brought by having committed people as a part of your church. Funny enough, having a solid network is often one of the keyways that church startups begin raising money.
Build strategic partnerships with your denomination, other churches, and people you know who invest in ministries. Growing your network, focusing on building genuine relationships, and talking with them about the realistic goals and current standing of your ministry is a great way to get the support your church plant needs.
Crowdfunding is a huge way to raise money as a church plant. Crowdfunding involves getting small donations from a large group of people. Often the best way to do this is through a social media platform like Facebook or Instagram.
Talk with someone about setting up a donation page on a popular donation/funding website that describes your journey, reason for planting the church, and ultimate goals with the church.
This is the classic “we need money so we’re selling stuff to the community”. Outdoor church events where people can buy cookies, car washes, or a copy of your favorite sermon you’ve given. It’s a simple concept, but often helps to raise the extra money a church planter may need to get started with buying equipment and covering basic expenses.
The only downside to this is that 1) you need plenty of volunteers to help run an event like this, and 2) you have to factor in the cost of the materials/work you’re selling. Having volunteers obviously eliminates labor expenses, but if you’re selling materials or food, you’ll really only net the margin after the cost of purchasing the goods. Make sure you are selling things that are valuable for others to come buy, but are also cheap to acquire!
If you need to raise money for your church plant, but you don’t want to take any fundraising approaches to get money from other people, churches, or organizations, taking a bi-vocational approach may be the right answer for you.
The bi-vocational approach involves starting a side business or working a second job to personally raise money that can be put into your church. An obvious benefit to this approach is that your business can become your ministry as well as an outlet for growing your church. Wherever you work, you are a witness, and working outside of your church gives you the opportunity to directly engage with and evangelize to others who need to hear the good news.
Wrapping It Up
Church plants always need money, as any church planter will quickly discover that growing and operating a church requires a lot more resources than expected. From upgrading sound equipment to printing banners, employing staff members (if necessary), and a slew of other things, running a ministry gets expensive quick.
There are many ways you can raise finances as a church planter, but it’s smart to focus on your network through building strategic partnerships with your denomination, other churches, and people you know who invest in ministries. If you need to, use a social media platform to start a crowdfunding approach to raising funds. Hold a fund drive at your church by selling copies of your favorite sermons, car washes, and snacks to the community. And if you want to raise money without asking other people or organizations, taking a bi-vocational approach of starting a side business or working a second job to fund your ministry. It gives you the money needed to fund the church while giving you another outlet to evangelize and grow your church!
About the Author
Chris Fleming is a professional musician from Minneapolis, MN who has played with artists such as TAYA, Big Daddy Weave, and Jason Gray. He is actively involved with the worship music scene and has contributed as a drummer, music director, song writer, and producer for various worship artists and churches locally and nationally. Chris is the Motion Designer at Motion Worship, helping to create motion background collections and countdowns for our subscribers.