Note: This blog entry is part of a series on church planting. If you would like to see all entries that have been posted so far in this series, you can bring them up by doing a search for “church planting series” on this blog. You can also purchase the full 27 page Church Planter Coaching Guide, with multiple coaching questions for each subpoint, in the Logan Leadership store.
- What are the areas your church must address before startup?
- Outline your ministry proposal, describing your vision and strategy for starting and multiplying churches.
Establish goals consistent with vision
Remember that determining action plans for startup includes all of the sections that come later in this coaching guide: groups, leadership development, worship, multiplication, etc. You’ll need to pre-think the rest of your church plant in order to plan well for startup. While doing this type of long-range planning, be sure to stay on the path of your vision by looking ahead toward clearly established goals. It’s easy to get sidetracked from the vision when you’re growing, which is why having a clear plan is important. Translate vision into action by creating milestones for progress.
Address organizational issues
With all of the beautiful growth, there’s bound to be something not quite as pleasant: organizational issues. It is safe to say that not too many church planters enjoy forms, committees, and other institutional factors that are sometimes necessary to help the church grow. Some of these include bylaws, incorporation, affiliation, and statistical record-keeping. For most governance issues contact your local authorities, both legal and denominational.
Develop financial systems and resources
Set clear financial policies well in advance and put them in writing. Think through what could go wrong, then establish reasonable safeguards. Some examples: have two signatures on checks; two people collect and count money; bookkeeper doesn’t sign the checks; donor receipting personnel different from bookkeeper. Good financial systems protect honest people from suspicion and guard against wrongdoing. Anyone is capable of misusing church finances.
Design your launch strategy
Not all churches plan for a celebrative, ribbon-cutting launch. Some churches grow organically, and never set a date to formalize the planting of a church. If you’re planning a more centralized congregation, then a public launch is often an effective way to go. Just make sure that you’ve done all of the infrastructure and pre-natal work so that your birth is a healthy one. A target launch date of some kind allows the church planter and supporters to understand the timeline of the church plant. Appropriate promotion and publicity are important in the stage of your church when it goes public and celebration events are focused. Word of mouth is appropriate in any context, no matter where your ministry is located in the world.