Perhaps the most frightening part of Church Planting for new church planters is that one pesky detail – the one everyone needs – a paycheck. The funding issue can make church planting seem out of reach. But with a little faith and a good work ethic funding your church planting effort is a goal within reach.
To explain, let’s look at a lil’ case study. We’ll start with our make-believe church planter… we’ll call him Calvin.
- Calvin has a wife and three children. His wife stays home and takes care of the kids making Calvin is the only breadwinner in this family.
- Currently, Calvin’s Company offers him a total salary package of $60K a year for his work as a advertising executive. This includes his health insurance and Retirement. Although his family doesn’t have an extravagant lifestyle, they do have more luxuries than necessary. According to the US Census Bureau the Median Household Income in the US is somewhere around $50k dollars. So after discussing his income with his wife they are confident that they can live on $10K less per year and are glad to make this sacrifice to obey God’s call to plant.
- Calvin’s Church is positive about his call to start a new church and has supported him as he has taken seminary courses over the last year or so. Calvin is confident that some of the members will support them financially but is not sure if the church itself will make a financial investment.
So here’s some of the advice I’d give Calvin to help him through the process of collecting the funds necessary provide for his family as he dedicates his full attention to the task of starting a new church.
Step 1 – Identifying Funding Sources
- Sponsoring Churches
- Denomination or Network
- Core Group
- Individual Supporters
- Part Time Work
These aren’t the only possibilities for funding but these are funding streams that are commonly used by church planters and available to nearly all church planters.
Although it’s impossible to predict exactly how the numbers will work out for Calvin we’ll make a goal (in the form of a pie chart) to put some soild goal numbers to reach for. After talking with Calvin about what we thinks is realistic about his situation, these are the goal numbers we set for the first year – a total salary of 50K including benefits.
- Sponsoring Churches – $15,000
- Denomination or Network – $15,000
- Core Group – $5,000
- Individual Supporters – $10,000
- Part Time Work – $5,000
It’s important to note that – In other cases all sorts of unique situations arise with Church Planters. Here are a few examples that I have personally experienced.
- One of our Planters had 6, count them, 6 sponsoring churches. Each was giving between $100 per month to $1500 per month. His pie chart had only two categories. Sponsoring Churches and Denominational support.
- Another planter is a former Marine and has a pretty significant amount of funding coming from the government for his military service. This fact lowered the total amount he needed to raise.
- Yet another guy, lived debt free for years knowing he would plant, saved a boatload of money and was able to accept a much lower salary.
In the next post we’ll look a little closer at each of these funding sources and I’ll share some ideas about how to approach each one.