categories: church, working together
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March 12th, 2007

by Craig Groeschel

59 comments (+ Add)

How Do You Start a Church?

During April, I’ll be devoting a week of the blog to answering questions about church planting. I certainly don’t have all the answers, but I have learned some the things along the way. If you’re a church planter and have questions, fire away!

(I won’t be responding to these questions until April.)

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there are a total of59
  1. Mar 12, 2007 at 6:30 am

    Hi Craig,

    My main question deals with raising funds. God has brought an incredible team around us. We’ve had much success in getting the word out to our community. How do you suggest raising start-up/first year funds?

  2. 2Tina Harkey
    Mar 12, 2007 at 6:38 am

    I have several questions:

    How do you approach a church about starting a relevant church in your location?

    How much start up funding do you need?

    When you have a burning desire to see others come to Christ and know there is no church in your area that is really succeeding because they don’t offer relevant environments that foster dialogue to help people make those lasting decisions do you just keep praying and when do you put feet on the burden?

  3. 3Mark Broadbent
    Mar 12, 2007 at 7:11 am

    Hi Craig,

    Some friends and I planted a church 2.5 yrs ago in Brisbane, Australia. We target unchurched 20-somethings (since very few churches are reaching them - only 16% of Aussie 20-somethings attend church on a monthly basis). We currently average 150 people on a Sunday night. We are looking at starting 2 more congregations in the next 9 months.

    # Should we look to launch large with these new congregations? We are confident that we can launch each one with at least 50 people, but should we aim for more, and if so, how do we do that?

    # What process do you use to launch?

    # If our target is to reach lost people, then we want to launch with Christians who consider themselves to be missionaries to Brisbane. But there seems to be a tension between restricting the core group to people who have a mission mindset, and making sure that the core group is large enough. Any thoughts?

    Thanks heaps

  4. Mar 12, 2007 at 10:32 am

    CG,

    God is growing our lifegroup like crazy and several peopele have jokingly and repeatedly said we should start a church.

    Other than throwing a basket ball from half court, how would you recommend laying this fleece before the Lord?

    I am looking forward to reading your blogs on this subject.

    Thanks for all that you do

  5. 5Robert
    Mar 12, 2007 at 12:29 pm

    I am currently a pastor (not the senior pastor) at a church in the midwest. I believe that God is calling my wife and I to plant a church in the same community, It has nothing to do with splitting the church or having hurt feelings. We are in great standing with the church and congregation, but feel that we could impact a different segment of this community with a different style of church. So my question is,

    “How should we approach our senior pastor with the idea, and ultimately our congregation?”

  6. Mar 12, 2007 at 3:11 pm

    I pretty much have the same question as Robert.
    I have had a Godly desire to start a church in my area to focus in on the most neglected segment of our population.
    Lately I have felt like I have not really had enough faith to really step out.
    Right now, however, I feel like I have a burning in my soul to do this and it won’t go away.

  7. 8Chris
    Mar 12, 2007 at 5:05 pm

    What are the steps to take when considering to plant a church?

    Do you think that there are some essential ‘ingredients’ needed to start a new church?

    What are the factors you look for in a location (geographic area) that you think would be prime for a new church plant?

    When planting a church in an area that you think is needing a new church, but currently already has some in the area, how do you go about networking/communicating with these other churches so they don’t feel like you’re trying to ’steal’ there people or causing discomfort? (does that make sense?

  8. 9beau eckert
    Mar 12, 2007 at 11:43 pm

    Can you recommend some good books or articles that you have come across on this subject of church planting? Any that are specific to planting daughter/sister churches vs. new church plants? Looking forward to this on-going discussion next month.

  9. Mar 13, 2007 at 7:13 am

    [...] Our current obstacle with our church launch is really finances. We have had more open doors than we could even walk through and people in our area are seemingly very excited at what we are starting. The question is do we have the money to start it? Craig Groeschel wrote a post called How Do You Start a Church, where he is asking people to ask question that he will touch on in April. I encourage you to go there and post your questions, trust me you want to hear what he has to say. Reading through the questions so far however, you can see that many want to know how to raise funds to support a church launch. This is not a new issue but for us it is a main issue now and unfortunately April is a little too late for us. [...]

  10. 11Jordan
    Mar 14, 2007 at 2:53 pm

    I want to add another question to the mix. I have a different problem than most of you. Like many of you I have a strong desire to see a relevant church, that targets the audience that most churches are not reaching, or at least are not effectively reaching. I live in in Boulder, CO and my problem is not finances, I have a handfull of 6 figure donors ready to give towards this, however I cannot seem to find the right people to launch with. I would be open to an Lifechurch.tv plan, but i have not been able to get through to them. I guess my problem is timing and allowing God to bring the right people. I live in a culture that has had about 12 church plants fail in the last 5 years, a area that is about 96% unchurched. This place is white for harvest, and I am waiting on the LORD.
    Your thoughts are welcome!

    JORDAN

  11. Mar 14, 2007 at 3:02 pm

    Jordan,

    Sorry that you have not been able to get through.

    I’ll have Brian from my team contact you right away to see if there is a way we can help.

    Bobby

  12. 13Jordan
    Mar 14, 2007 at 6:18 pm

    Thanks bobby, I appreciate that. Today was the first time I have ever been to this site and that was my first comment. My original hope in leaving that comment was to encourage the several others who had left comments that were saying that they were lacking the finances to plant a church. Since that is not my problem i thought that it may encourage them to let them know that different people lack different elements at different times in the church planting business and that God brings everything together at the right time. And currently I happen to be lacking the relationships to move forward, not the finances and most of them have the relationships but are lacking the finances.

    This is so bizzar to me. Just last week I was talking to a friend at Lifechurch trying to find out if he could get me on the phone with someone who could help me further my quest in finding those relationships. Looks like God heard my request and maybe you or your team member Brian can help.

    Thanks again
    JORDAN

  13. 14Jason
    Mar 18, 2007 at 8:39 pm

    Craig,

    Almost a year ago God led us to start a home church from a bible study that we had meeting in our home. We have very successful in reaching young people who are disillusioned with the corporate body in our area. We have also been successful in reaching young people who have no desire to go to a “church” but will come and “hang out” with us and learn of the love of Christ. My question is about the tax and other financial issues with a church. We have tithing members and we are not sure how to proceed with the financial things involved in this church. We also are not sure if a home church is considered differently from other churchs that have their own buildings. Thank you for any help you can give us.

    Jason Tomlinson

  14. Mar 27, 2007 at 6:19 pm

    Hi! I am a newly ordained Minister. I am starting out from scratch and I mean from scratch. I live out on an acreage in the country on the edge of town. I have no members yet. I ponder how to start? I’m thinking of doing some volunteer stuff around my community. Maybe advertise in the local paper. Say something in the paper like, “Newly ordained Minister looking to start a new church. Feeling rejected or pushed out of your current church? Feel like all churches want is your money. (or maybe something like)Remember that old time church out in the country.” Most of the people in this community are conservatives. However, we get young visitors every summer. I think I may have a difficult time at this. I do not have a church built yet. I need to get members yet. How do I bring them in? I’d really like to see people blossom in their relationship with God.

  15. 16Dee
    Apr 7, 2007 at 8:10 pm

    Hi… I’d like to jump in here with a question, even though this is the first time I’ve been to your site. But my husband and I are both ministers (to be ordained next year) and we have been asked by our District Superintendent to help out at a VERY small church near our home.

    The church has a great facility - needs some cleaning and some work, but it’s very large and in a terrific community. The congregation consists of six people over 70 and a pastor who is ready to resign next month. Basically, hubby and I will be the only ones can do anything. Problem is… what can two people do to start a church in a community where we know absolutely no one?

    We’re both hesitant to knock on doors but if there are functions, activities, etc. that we can do to meet people and draw them in we’re open. Any ideas how to get started? Thanks for your input!

  16. Apr 8, 2007 at 9:34 am

    Dee,

    Welcome. So glad you stopped by.

    I think you are right, knocking on doors probably isn’t the best strategy. I don’t know any subsitute for the old-fashioned-get-involved-in-the-community way.

    People are craving authentic relationships. I wish I knew a short cut to recommend, but I don’t. It takes time. It is hard work. But it is worth it!

    Maybe some others can jump in and give you some good thoughts.

    Blessings to your ministry! May you reach tons of people!

  17. 18Dee
    Apr 14, 2007 at 7:58 am

    Thanks, Craig… I don’t think I’m looking for shortcuts, per se. I realize it will take time. I guess I just don’t know where to begin! Does that make sense? :o)

    We’re thinking maybe start with a kids Bible Club on Wed. night. This worked in another church I had pastored and we grew quickly from it. But how do you meat kids?

    Someone said maybe try a door hanger… just leave the info and leave. Has anyone tried that? Did it work?

    Money’s tight, of course, and we can’t afford to waste our efforts on something that won’t work. Still looking for input.

  18. Apr 20, 2007 at 5:49 am

    I am a nigerian getting ready to start a church thought i could use anyhelp.But we have low bandwith to listen to ur talk.I would’nt mind u emailing me.

  19. 20Brian - Central
    Apr 23, 2007 at 12:49 pm

    Amandasun,

    I would be more than happy to talk/e-mail you about some of our resources that we offer ministries across the world. Please e-mail me at your convenience: brian.ahern@lifechurch.tv.

    Thanks a lot.

  20. 21Gilberto Vasquez Jr
    Oct 6, 2007 at 10:08 am

    I am an Evangelist and have been for over 18 years. I have been praying about starting a church from nothing. I have only myexperience and not an Ordain Pastor. Sure I can approach several dinominations that have at one time offered for me to run a church,but some of the things they do,I do not agree with.

    I want to run this church as the Bible staters that we should do. I do not want man to rule it with the don’t do this or that and you must do this and that. Don’t wear this, don’t wear that nad you need to follow our rules or you are out. WOW!

    Ijust need to know if there is anyone out that that can help me with this! My goal is to have this church up and running by 2008. No members,no money, no building, just trusting God!

    God Bless
    Gilberto

  21. 22Rev. Rodney Peterson
    Nov 26, 2007 at 9:32 pm

    I have been preaching for over 20yrs. and have been called to start a church by God ! I don,t have any resources or money to get a building to meet in . I need to know how to get started with getting this legalized in my state. I need help as i have prayed that God would send me the help I need. What is the 1st thing I need to do?I have been in my own home doing bible study with friends and relatives!

    Thank You .
    Rev. Rodney Peterson

  22. Nov 27, 2007 at 8:57 am

    Rod,

    As to how to be “legal” in your state find a competent accountant. He/she can help with the IRS paperwork as well. If the people in your Bible Study don’t support your idea with a commitment of their money and time you may need to wait.

  23. 24Vincent L. Burton
    Dec 21, 2007 at 12:25 pm

    I know I have been called by God to lead a church he would have me to start up in the local community I live in. God has already given me the name of the Church and I feel He is just waiting on me to take that step of faith. Well this is one of a few steps I’m taking to be obedient to God’s call. Any insite, input amd definetly prayer would be grealy appreciated.
    Peace and Blessings to all!
    In His Service for His Glory,
    Lay Minister Vince Burton

  24. 26ELDER HILTON PAYNE JR.
    Jan 24, 2008 at 11:45 am

    I AM LOOKING TO PLANT A CHURCH WITH ANOTHER BUT I NEED SOME
    GUIDANCE ON THE STEP TO TAKE WE BELONG TO THE SAME CHURCH BUT I KNOW THAT GOD IS CALLING ME TO BRANCH OUT.CAN YOU GIVE
    ME ANY GUIDANCE ON HOW TO GO ABOUT THIS WITHOUT BITTER FEELING WITH THE CHURCH THAT I BELONG TO NOW.
    THANK YOU
    BROTHER PAYNE

  25. May 5, 2008 at 9:39 pm

    My Husband and I know that it is our calling to allow the Holy Spirit use us to speak the word of the Lord. We have been ministering for 10 years now. We are very young and people who are strong in the spiritual and Biblical knowledge stand behind us 100%. The others seem to think that we simply want to stir things up in their church. All we have ever wanted to was to be used to better God’s kingdom, even if that involves washing dishes after a community meal. We don’t want to stir things up we simply want to change the broken light bulb. We have traveled the world in the military and the church is our family. We do finally seem to grasp the reason while young adults our age do not attend church. We have been called to start our own church in a lower income area. We have no funding, 4 and 1/2 children, a father that passed from cancer 2 months and a mother who is currently receiving chemo for her cancer, whom lives with us. We humbly admit that we are the least likely candidates for this job, however, God has called us. The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few he tells us. We are scared and we are praying. We have to trust that God will help, however, we can’t sit on our bottoms and wait. We have to work. How in this world do we find help in this church planting process?

    Thank You and God Bless,
    Kathern White

  26. 28James De Meis
    Jul 12, 2008 at 6:19 am

    What are the laws in regards to starting a church?

    Thankyou.

  27. 29MUGIZI JACKSON
    Jul 15, 2008 at 11:22 am

    I also want to start a church but my family feels I should not leave my current job as a municipal statistician since it is the source of income.My desire is to serve God by way of ministering to His people.What can I do?

  28. 30Lary
    Jul 17, 2008 at 2:26 pm

    I would like to read the answers to some of these questions because they are very similar to my own questions. How do we see the answers?

  29. Sep 17, 2008 at 7:56 am

    I am going to a church that is called biker church.Everyone is welcome but we are trying to get the bikers in because there is need to reach the bikers here. I am getting my degree in Christian Counseling . My husband thinks that I should start a church like biker church. My pastor will not acknowledge me as a Minister to preach only because I am divorced and remarried. This is a Assmbly of God church.I am learning alot here.This is a very small church ,so I am seeing alot of what and what not to do here. But if we were to start one how would I go about it.We have no people or money.We are thinking when my husband retire to do this.We are thinking of moving to an area where it will be a new place not knowing body but a few family memebers. What do you thik I should do to prepare for this

  30. 32mike burson
    Dec 6, 2008 at 10:34 am

    Where are answering these question? I would love to here some of the responses.

  31. 34Evangelist Wealth Thompson
    Mar 25, 2009 at 3:25 pm

    Hello wonderful people of God. i can see your true desires to serve God. Let me say this to encourage your spirit. Starting up a church should not just be out of a desire but out of obedience to his calling with a clear vision in place. Your Vision must be clear: you must identify the people God is sending you to and the message for the people. If you are obedient to His Vision he will give you direction. Church is God’s vision that you are following not yours, so let him direct you. Also learn to listen to his voice, build a deeper walk with Him. Then you will see that ministry/church will grow both in words and power. Let God build His church while you follow his instruction. God bless you all, and i pray that you all renain strong in your God’s vision for life.

  32. 35DEAN BLYTHMAN
    Apr 17, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    HI AN THANKS FOR YOUR TIME ,MY MAIN QUESTION IS HOW MANY PEOPLE DO YOU NEED TO START A RELIGION AN WHAT ARE THE CRITERIAS THAT MUST BE MET IN AUSTRALIA .WE ARE A GROUP OF PEOPLE WITH SIMERLER BELIEFS AN HIGH MORALS WE BELIEVE WE ARE ARE BROTHERS AN SISTERS IN THIS WORLD AN WISH TO HELP OUR FELLOW MAN BUT MOST RELIGIONS WE SEE AS PUSH DOWN YA THROAT ENTERTIES SO
    WE WANT TO START OUR OWN RELIGION WITH LOVE, ACCEPTENCE AN TOLARANCE FOR ALL MAN KIND . NOT THAT WE DONT BELIEVE OTHERS WAYS AN WE ACCEPT THEY ARE DOING WHAT THEY THINK IS THE WAY AN MORE POWER TO THEM .
    WE JUST DIFFER IN OUR APROACH . ALL IMFO WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED AN WOULD BE HELPFUL IN OUR ROAD TO PEACE AN RESPECT FOR ALL MAN KIND AN BEOND . THANK YOU AGAIN FOR YOUR TIME IMFO YOU CAN GIVE ,AN SORRY ABOUT
    SOME OF THE SPELLING ITS A GIFT I WAS NEVER FULLY GIVEN . MAY EVERY DAY YOU LIVE BE MORE FORFILLING THAN YOUR LAST , DEAN PS WE ARE IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA IF THAT MAKES ANY DIFFENCE TO THE CRITERIA . THANK YOU ANY IMFO FROM ANY BODY WOULD BE APPECIATED :)

  33. 36Rev AMy Kathryn Bass
    Jul 8, 2009 at 9:10 am

    I need help in starting my church ministry from scratch. I am wanting to help felons to be able to get a fresh start and be able to contribute to the community. So many felons can not obtain work and I want to help them. To many people are home less due to mistakes they have made inn thier lives and are wanting a fresh Start!

  34. 37Rev AMy Kathryn Bass
    Jul 8, 2009 at 9:12 am

    I believe that no one should be judged and if they really and truly want and seek help it should be provided to them. please read my goal at yahoo connections under revamykathrynbass God Bless You!

  35. 38Rev AMy Kathryn Bass
    Jul 8, 2009 at 9:13 am

    In response to Mary #31 please read about my mission and goal for bikers on yahoo connection under revamykathrynbass

  36. 39Rev AMy Kathryn Bass
    Jul 8, 2009 at 9:16 am

    My church is The Church of Angelic Voices and it is for all bikers whether they are 1%ers or are just regular bikers or just for anybody who is wandering alone trying to find thier way. I am selling home baked goods in trying to raise funding for fallen bikers familes and for those wrongfully arrested. Please go to yahoo connections and look up revamykathrynbass! Go in Love and Light!

  37. 40Rev Amy Kathryn Bass
    Jul 8, 2009 at 9:18 am

    I am seeking followers and and angel seekers to help establish my Biker Church. I also perform weddings and I am a trained Counselor. revamykathrynbass@yahoo.com yahoo connection revamykathrynbass

  38. Sep 24, 2009 at 9:21 am

    How should we start the church? What should we say before the church start?

  39. Mar 4, 2010 at 5:06 am

    My husband is an anointed minister from the womb and was ordain in his 4yrs old as a minister in christ apostolic church,he went tru the seminary of ECWA and begin the pastoring .But when his daddy who is a pastor also died ,the prophesy that he must start at a place where his father laid down the life in ministry which is a IKERE EKITI in Nigeria.but every effort to start this plan were always difficult, Pls what shall we do and how will d prophesy come to fulfillment in the absence of money for the necessary thinks.
    thanks for this medium,
    God bless u

  40. Mar 22, 2010 at 12:00 am

    Hi, amazing to find you. I am part of a group who wants to set up a church to help people find faith hope and healing. please can you let me know if there is any criteria that needs to be met to set up a church, what legal process etc.
    Blessing Peta

  41. 44pastor Sam
    Apr 11, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    shalom, i desire to launch out an plant a church in Australia .. don’t know anyone ..kindly help am from africa .

  42. 45Charles
    Jul 15, 2010 at 5:27 am

    Am from Zambia and I will be planting my first church in August 2010. My main problem is funding. There are alot projects that I would like to do for community in which the is going to be planted. We have alot of widows, orphans, jobless youths and the like. I have been active in this community for two years now. I have led so many to Chist and God has been so gracious. We have seen so many miracles, the sick are healed, demon posessed are deliverd and so much more. But I believe that ministry is about finding and meeting the needs. Am looking for finnancial partners. And your faithful advice to how I could raise the funds for the ministry will be apreciated. Please foward your mails directly to my email adress: charlesmulen@yahoo.com

  43. Jul 28, 2010 at 1:27 am

    Our church has a main branch in Lansing, Michigan. It is a Vision from to our Pastor, and WE believe for Los Angeles (Culver City), California, that we plant another church. We are starting from ground zero…we see a need for great ministry out here. Unfortunately its only one person that is currently located in there area myself. My Pastor travels EVERY week to come, along with assistance(members), whenever they are available. I’ve been here for a month…my faith is NOT broken because I KNOW what God says. But what steps can I take to assist with getting the word out, getting people in the area to come to our church. People still don’t know we’re here.
    What steps would you suggest taking in from ground zero?

  44. Aug 7, 2010 at 8:31 am

    Hi,
    I am a full gospel preacher,if you are call to pastor and start a church email me let’s talk.
    sher7986@bellsouth.net

  45. 48muhammad salahaldin
    Aug 14, 2010 at 11:11 pm

    I want start a church what do i need to do.

  46. Aug 24, 2010 at 8:20 am

    To whom it may concern:

    Have location, is needed, lack resources. Please have someone contact me concerning church planting. Contact via email.
    Thank You,
    Eric Allen

  47. 50Paul Davis
    Sep 12, 2010 at 7:46 am

    I want to begin a Ministry of the Bible for Christ. What do I need to do to start a Christian Church in Rural Victoria?

  48. 51St Gammon
    Feb 10, 2011 at 8:07 am

    Well I have read some comments and questions here and I want to add my own comment. I have also been thinking of starting a Church to share the messages I have received. However, I am not called to Pastor, I am a Prophet, a visionary. My understanding is that Pastors create Churches, teachers ought to have classrooms and Prophets have Thrones. Just be who you are and do what you’re called to do, put ad in paper, hire a schoolroom and call your Church whatever you like. Don’t procrastinate but make sure you have heard and seen God before you leap.

  49. 52Frank
    Apr 18, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    Hi,

    I desire to start a church but have no money, no one wanting to attend, no place, or no anything. But I see a great need for people to hear about Christ and to live godly lives. Here in the Pacific Northwest, churches are few and far between (compared to the Bible belt).

    I see people want to attract the 20-somethings, the bikers, the post-moderns, the what-evers–I just want sinners to hear about Jesus! The church I attend laid off the pastor and now we have a revolving door of well-intentioned people preaching, but no commitment from a dedicated leader. I’ve offered my service to preach every Sunday, but since I’m not ordained, they choose not to “settle” with me.

    Is this a sign that it’s time to start a church? Please advise.

  50. 53Inder Sharma
    Jun 30, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    Hi there ,

    We are looking at church planting. What are the legal requirements for starting a church Australia. Is there a government body you need to register to ect … ? Your help in answering this questions will be much appreciated.

    God Bless

    Elijah .

  51. Sep 12, 2011 at 4:10 am

    We are planting a church in our home village in Pilane Botswana (Africa). The name of our Church is progressive Glory International Church. We don’t have any finances but the Lord has been providing. Our first meeting was in July 24. we are still in the process of registration. I guess my question or my request is pray for us. :)

  52. Dec 15, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    Hello there.
    In today life it is very hard to start a church without a proper back up and to establish your infidants,is there anyone there who could be willing to support me with public address and pay for me a meeting place JUST for six months and he or she will be proud of what He or she has done for the Kingdom. Stephen

  53. 56nokise oti
    Jan 27, 2012 at 3:32 am

    Hi Senior Pastor
    I want to start a church in brisbane Australia but i need to know what is the frist step to take and to go about it please, your direction will very much appreciated thank you and God Bless

  54. 57Simiyu
    Jan 28, 2012 at 3:38 am

    I’m looking for brethren to send us teachings, preachings or as visiting ministers for setting up a new church in the newly formed South Sudan state.There are hungry souls indeed.

  55. Feb 4, 2012 at 8:04 am

    How do I find funds and/or investors to assist in financing.

  56. 59Bishop Gabrielle Crofts Old Catholic Church faith
    Jul 8, 2012 at 4:22 am

    I would like to know exactly how do I regiter legally a Church I wish to establish in Perth Western Australia I pplan to help bring people to Jesus through Old catholic Church faith, reaching out to the community and saving peoples lives and souls, to Minister to those other Churches have hurt or sidelined and disempowered