In the world of business and startups, there are tons of different strategies to get a business off the ground. However, it is not as easy to start a church from scratch. This guide takes you through all the steps that must be taken in order to successfully start your church from nothing.
Not sure how to start a church from scratch? Well, you’ve come to the right place. I’ve been helping churches open their doors for years and can help you with everything from deciding on your mission and vision, choosing your name, and doing your thorough research.
We need more churches! But where is the time, money and energy to start a church from scratch? The first thing we need to understand is that starting a church from scratch is not rocket science. You simply read the Word of God, and apply what you find there. With that in mind, you can start a church with 5 or 6 people.
If you’re thinking about starting a church, there are a lot of things to consider.
First and foremost, you need to decide what kind of church you want to start. Do you want the church to be entirely focused on spirituality? Or do you want it to include other activities for members? Do you want it to be more like a social club or something more like a religious institution?
Once you’ve decided what kind of church you want, it’s time to get down to business and start looking for land. You’ll need at least 5 acres of space for your building and parking lots, but if possible try to find more than 10 acres so that if the area develops or becomes more populated, your new building won’t be too close to neighboring homes or businesses.
Next up is hiring an architect who can help design your building plans. They should be able to help you decide whether or not your church needs any special accommodations—such as wheelchair ramps or parking spaces for people with disabilities—and how much space will be needed for each part of the building: classrooms, offices, etc. Get everything in writing! Then hire contractors who can build your dream into reality (ideally this will be someone who has worked with other churches before).
The first step in starting a church is to get a clear vision of what you want your church to be. You need to know what kind of church you want—whether it’s traditional or progressive, whether it’s going to be a place that serves the community or one that is focused on outreach efforts, and so on.
Once you have a vision for what kind of church you’d like to start, then you can start thinking about how much time and effort you’re willing to put into planning it. This will depend on how much time you have available and how much money you can invest in the project. It also depends on whether or not there are any other churches in your area with similar focuses or missions. If there aren’t, then this will make things easier for you because there won’t be much competition for members’ attention or donations from local businesses and residents who may otherwise give more freely if they felt there were other options available locally for their needs.
How to start a church from scratch
If you feel God has called you to start a church, I applaud your courage and commitment! Not only that, but I’m happy to report that you’re in good company. Every year hundreds of churches are planted in the United States alone. However, there’s no sugar-coating it: starting a church is hard work! In this guide, we’ll cover the basic steps for getting started. But remember, there’s no set formula for starting a church: every community is different, and how your ministry takes shape will depend greatly on both your gifts and the needs around you. Keep discerning what God wants from you as you go!
Prayer is the most important thing you can do.
Prayer is the most important thing you can do.
The first step to starting a church is prayer. If you are not praying, then you are wasting your time and energy by trying to start a church. The power of prayer cannot be overstated: it’s what got Jesus started on his ministry!
If you really want to start a new church, then all that matters is how much time, energy and money you put into prayer. There’s no other secret sauce here; if there were one skill that could take someone from zero to running their own successful congregation within the year (or less), everyone would know about it already because they’d already be doing it themselves!
Do your homework and research.
If you’re going to start a church, the first thing you need to do is research. Your local associations and government agencies will have a lot of information that will help you get started on your church-building journey. Here are some things that they may be able to tell you:
- What kind of demographics do people in this area have?
- What kind of laws are in place that might affect how much money I can raise or give? For example, if I want to hold an event outdoors with fireworks and alcohol sales, am I allowed under current law? (And what about insurance?)
- What kind of culture does this area have? And how does it compare with other areas around the country or world where churches are thriving?
Become a member of your association.
Depending on the denomination, you may be required to become a member of your association before starting. You’ll want to make sure that you understand the benefits of belonging to a denomination before you take this step and make sure that being part of a denomination is right for you and your church.
Find a place to meet.
Finding a place to meet is the first step in starting a church from scratch, and it’s likely one of the most important. You want to find a space that has good acoustics, plenty of parking (if your service lasts for an hour or more), and easy access for people who may have mobility issues.
It’s also important to look at whether or not any other groups use the space on Sundays; if they do, they will be competing with you for attendance. And if they’re not using it on Sundays? They might need it more than you do. If this is true, find another location!
Move forward in faith, but be wise.
- Be wise about finances. Don’t rush into anything. Know that getting a building from the ground up is going to cost a lot more than you might think, so it’s best not to start by signing a lease on an office or church space unless you’re certain that you can afford it. Save up for at least six months’ worth of operating expenses (including staff salaries), and then make sure there’s enough left over for the cost of starting your church—and keep in mind that those costs will only increase as time goes on! If at all possible, find someone who knows something about budgeting and can help guide you toward being better-informed with regard to managing your funds—even if they don’t know much about Christianity, they’ll be able to help show what expenses are necessary vs what’s optional when it comes time for hiring new staff members or leasing property etc…
Plan worship services.
- Plan worship services.
- Decide what you want to say and do.
- Decide who will be involved in the worship service.
- Decide where you will meet for the worship service, or if you will have multiple locations for different groups of people (elderly adults versus teenagers, for example).
- Decide how much money you’ll spend on your first few months’ worth of services: what kinds of things are important? Religious items? Building materials? Furniture?
Start forming some kind of leadership structure right away.
You will need some kind of leadership structure to organize your church’s operations. There are several options:
- Form a board of directors.
- Form a church council.
- Form a church staff.
- Form a church committee.
There are different advantages and disadvantages to each of these kinds of structures, but the key is that you should have one established as soon as possible so that people know how they fit into the big picture and what their role is going forward; this will help keep everyone focused on moving forward instead of getting distracted with debates over leadership roles and responsibilities (which can happen).
Start outreach programs right away. It’s important to introduce yourself to the community!
You’ll want to start outreach programs right away. It’s a great way to introduce yourself to the community and get your name out there. Outreach programs are also an excellent way for people in your church to connect with the community, and for people outside of your church to become involved with it.
For example, if you’re starting a food bank or soup kitchen, you’ll need volunteers from both inside and outside of your congregation in order for it to succeed. So while this may seem like a “religious” activity at first glance (and most churches will not allow non-members on their premises), by reaching out into areas that are important both ethically and socially—and doing so in ways that don’t require membership—you can help transform these simple acts into something bigger than themselves: the work of God among us all!
Find ways to connect with other local churches and work together when possible.
- Find ways to connect with other local churches and work together when possible.
- Learn from other churches in the area, and ask them for help when it makes sense.
- Ask local churches what they know about the community, and see how you can work together on projects that will benefit everyone.
Decide on when you’re going to start having services and stick with it!
- Decide on when you’re going to start having services and stick with it!
- Set a date and stick to it. When we decided to start meeting, we knew that we wanted the first service to be around Easter because of the holiday season and all of the people who would be off from school/work/etc. We ended up choosing a Wednesday night at 6pm in April because it was far enough away from Christmas but close enough that our families could still make it (we have a lot of young kids), and then just went with “Weds @ 6pm.” It was immediately clear what our goal was—to get together weekly and worship together as one body—and the rest is history! We’ve since added some other events like social outings or outreach opportunities, but sticking with that consistent time has been crucial for us as we’ve grown into an established group.
Starting a church is hard work, but you can do it with God’s help!
Starting a church is hard work, but you can do it with God’s help! Follow these steps to get started:
- Be humble. Remember that God loves you, and He has a plan for your life. Don’t get too full of yourself or think that you know everything about starting churches just because He told you how. You need to be flexible, listen to others’ advice and opinions, and be willing to change your plan as necessary.
- Be realistic about what it takes to start a new church from scratch (or even if there’s already one in the area). Remember that most people aren’t going to join just because they see an advertisement online or hear someone talking about how great their new church is—they’ll need more convincing than that! People are going through life changes all the time—they might have kids now that weren’t there six months ago; they may have moved closer or farther away from where they used
There are many churches around the world that have been founded with fewer resources than you will have. The most important thing is to know that God is with you and wants your church to succeed. When a church is built on prayer and faith, God will provide all of the resources needed for its success. With these tips in mind, we encourage you to pray and ask God how He can use you as part of this amazing journey!