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Does it take alot of money to start a church?

Posted by on Sep 30, 2011 in blog links | 16 comments

Does it take alot of money to start a church?

The title of this post is the question that Felicity from “Simply Church” is asking in her post “The financial cost of starting a church.”

Her post is short (as most of her posts are) and very good (as most of her posts are).

Common wisdom (in America at least) states that you must have a full-time staff, a nice meeting location, and a marketing fund. But, are these things actually necessary for a church? I don’t think so.

Instead, I think our thoughts and actions concerning the beginning of a church tell us alot about what we think the church is.

What do you think? Does it take alot of money to start a church?


16 Comments

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  1. 9-30-2011

    Of course not… unless you are starting one using the methods recommended by some of the “church planting experts.” I took a church planter assessment a few years ago with ELI Church Planting, and I think one of the requirements was the ability to raise $100,000 per year for a minimum of 3 years.

  2. 9-30-2011

    Jeremy – I’ve been to two Church Planting assessments, and that seemed to be a minimum.

  3. 9-30-2011

    $100,000? That’s cheap in some circles. I know a group (staff) that was trying to raise $750,000 to start a church. (There were no people yet, just three staff members.)

    -Alan

  4. 9-30-2011

    Alan,

    I have three families in the Winston-Salem/Walkertown, NC area that I’m helping plant a church with. Cost = $0. Worth = priceless!

    “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves . . .” (2 Cor. 4:7 NAU)

  5. 9-30-2011

    Alan,

    Dustin has the equation right!

  6. 9-30-2011

    I thought I would share about how our Church started. Ron and I arrived in Quebec August 2004. The Lord was at work a long time before we arrived because he literally sent people our way. Starting with just one family, that we met taking a walk, we began a Bible study in our living room every Monday night starting only three weeks after we arrived. The Lord started building His church at no cost, one by one He brought us together. We finally all decided to gather at a different location whenever our living room was getting too small. The building that we rented was very cheap and the Lord provided through His people which was about 25 people at the time. We now meet in a school and the Lord keeps adding to His Church. Whenever we are too big for the school then the Lord will show His body (the Church) where to meet. So to answer your question, I really believe that to start a Church it takes a calling from the Lord and obedient people that are willing to follow that call no money required. The ABCs of Church planting does NOT EXIST folks,so if you got the call my advice is : To Go and don’t worry about the money.

  7. 9-30-2011

    Alan,

    I agree with Dustin & Aussiejohn. We have just recently begun meeting together in our home on Sundays with a few people. At present its just 5 adults & 6 children. Cost so far – £zero!

  8. 9-30-2011

    Just the cost to go to a Viola or Cole Organic Church Conference. :) I crack myself up!

  9. 9-30-2011

    We are a year in and still no debt. I know a lot of planters that start with a credit card and a lot of debt. We decided that if we don’t have it in the bank, we won’t spend it. That way we could focus on the ministry of Jesus and not get trapped into making ministry decisions based on paying the bills. This is not to brag, but to show what you can do without getting lost in the attraction planting model. We (with the Spirits leading and empowerment) have been able to use our tithes to support three orphanages…two internationally and one domestic, support a missions organization, complete three projects of repairing widow’s homes, train people in adoption, touch over 8000 people with acts of kindness, sponsor an unborn child in Ethiopia, sponsor a child through Project James, and help send people to Haiti to help repair an orphanage…all with no debt.

  10. 10-1-2011

    Dustin,

    Awesome! Please keep me posted on how it’s going. Maybe we can travel over and meet you guys sometime.

    Aussie John,

    I like his equation also.

    Isabelle and Shane,

    Did you guys receive funding from others to start churches? If so, do you include that amount in what it takes to start a church? If you did not receive funding, would you include funding (i.e., finances paid to the ‘church planter’) in the cost it takes to start a church? Is this cost necessary to start a church?

    Shirley,

    £0? I wonder what that would be in US dollars…

    Hutch,

    Really? That’s too bad, because I haven’t been to any of those conferences. :)

    By the way, have you heard about the Threshold events? If so, what do you think about them?

    -Alan

  11. 10-1-2011

    I was joking-and from what I understand the Frank Viola/Milt Rodriguez events are very reasonably priced (Coles probably are as well) usually only to defer the cost of the meeting place, travel for the speakers and cost of your own accomodations.

    Attending these and other types of events are not necessary costs to plant a church, but there is certainly nothing wrong with attending one.

    Yes, I have heard about the Threshold Events, do not know much about the content.

  12. 10-1-2011

    Hutch,

    From what I understand, the Threshold Events are free, and are less focused on listening to individuals and more focused on talking with others at the event.

    -Alan

  13. 10-3-2011

    Alan,

    Are you including the cost of sending the pastor to seminary and the missionary’s furlough airfare?

    Dustin: that should be a credit card commercial!

    Alan, FYI “alot” is actually always two words: “a lot.”

  14. 10-3-2011

    Steve,

    Yes, I would include those costs, and I’d say that they are unnecessary. I prefer “alot” even though it’s wrong. :)

    -Alan

  15. 10-3-2011

    Yeah, I think anyone with a seminary degree when assembling with the church should probably not be allowed to speak for at least a year. That will give him/her time to unlearn the erroneous ecclesiology they were taught in school. :) I’m joking. Kinda.

  16. 9-17-2013

    Dustin comment made tears come out of my eyes. I pray we (my 2 year old and I–thats my staff for now) find people like you.