The Hartford Institute has claimed that there are approximately 350,000 churches in America alone! Religion has a substantial impact around the world and more churches are opening every day.
There are multiple key factors to consider if you want to know how to start a church. Below you can read more about what starting a church entails and how to open it effectively.
When considering opening a church, there are a few instrumental decisions that need to be made. Firstly, founders will need to determine what denomination or religion will be the focus of the church.
This may seem obvious, but some pastors may have adapted to a different denomination after experiencing another.
After this core step, the founders will have to determine a budget for the church’s establishment. This budget will include real estate costs, construction costs, remodeling costs (if owners buy an existing building), staff salaries, and advertising.
With a budget in place, founders can now select a location to build the church. There is a significant strategy involved in this. They will have to research areas that have a large population of individuals who practice the said denomination.
Additionally, the founders will have to find attractive real estate that is in a convenient location, but not overly expensive. Some experienced churches, that may be building a sister church, may have more flexibility in their budget.
For a completely new church, saving money is of the essence. Most founders do not have a large budget.
How to Start a Church? Getting the Word Out is Key
A key aspect of developing a new church is sharing the church’s establishment with people in the community. Founders need to start fellowship events and engage with potential congregants.
When founders begin to form relationships with people, such individuals become very valuable in the establishment process. These early constituents will be a part of the process of forming the church.
Every church needs a foundation and backbone to rely on. This is exactly what these individuals provide. Some may stay with the church long-term and encourage others to follow suit because they felt critical of the church’s success from the beginning.
Another critical element of initial marketing is creating social media accounts and developing a website. It is important to build a presence before the church opens its doors.
When a new church becomes anticipated in the community, this is an excellent thing for founders.
Developing the Heart and Culture of the Church
Same deamination churches technically teach the same core messages, but every church has its own voice, heart, and culture. The church’s identity should be clearly defined in the initiation process.
The church founders, with the counsel of early followers, if desired, can begin to create an articulate description of what the church values are. These values will be a key dictator on what kind of culture the church adopts.
Churches are very much communities. In many instances, the church staff and constituents become like a family. This is why culture is imperative.
As the pioneers of the church carefully deliberate and build the church’s culture, the heart of the church will come to effect. Church leaders can select key values that will drive the church, such as compassion and empathy.
Additionally, they can choose different programs the church will offer, such as youth groups and children’s Bible study. Churches of all different denominations and religions offer a selection of services they offer to congregates.
In developing the church’s culture and values, leaders will have to create the church’s laws. Church bodies are governed by certain principles. When a new church is established, these principles need to be determined right from the beginning.
Alongside the church’s laws, leaders will need to select the doctrine basis that drives their teachings. Most same denomination churches use similar doctrine, but there is an opportunity for churches to present doctrine through their own lens.
One of the final steps in building the church community culture is determining a fitting name for the church. Among other considerations, the name can be based on the area it is located in or a particular saint or religious figure that defines the church’s values.
Tax exemptions are a great benefit given to religious organizations in the United States. To receive tax exemptions, a church will need to be legally registered as a non-profit. It is important to research the rules to be tax-exempt and make sure your church is structured properly.
To file a church as a non-profit organization, its founders will need to fill out the respective documentation as provided by the state in which the church is located. Once approved, the church’s leaders can ensure 501(c)(3) tax exemption with the IRS.
The IRIS will also provide an SS4 form, which gives churches an employee identification number. Once everything is confirmed with the IRIS, the founders can open a bank account on behalf of the church. This bank account will serve as the financial hub for the church organization.
Building the Church and Determining Service Options
After all core decisions are made and legalities are completed, the physical church can go under construction or be renovated. This could take months to a couple of years.
As the church is being prepared, founders can discuss details such as service options. They can determine on which days services will be held and the times that services will be offered.
Furthermore, they can explore streaming services for churches and decide if they want to live stream services. Most churches have a streaming option for constituents who cannot attend physically. This has only increased in popularity since the COVID-19 pandemic.
You Can Open a Church Today and Impact Many Lives
Numerous factors are important to consider if you want to know how to start a church. Starting a church is not an easy endeavor. The implications can be lasting and life-changing, though. There are many benefits of religion.
Your church may inspire an individual to believe in a higher power again and give them hope. Your church may help parents teach their children all about God and in turn, help them raise compassionate and responsible adults.
Today is the day to make the investment and create a church community that congregants will love!