You may feel as if it is your calling to open a place of worship in your community. After all, a church provides more than just a place to pray in a community, it provides many benefits and opportunities for the community that it is erected in.
Of course, if you’re hoping to start your own ministry, you’ll need to learn about how to start a church in the proper fashion. Opening a brand new church can be more complicated and challenging than many people realize when first starting down this kind of path.
What do you need to know about before starting on your own journey to creating a home for worship? Read on and we’ll walk you through what you need to know.
Registering Your Church
So, you’ve decided that the community in which you reside could use a place of worship to call home. There is a long road ahead, but it all starts with just a little bit of paperwork.
You’ll need to incorporate and register your church with the state before you can take any other steps to make your church a reality. This begins with picking out a name for your church.
Once you pick out your name, you’ll be stuck with it for a while, so make sure to do your proper research and brainstorming! Pick out a name you think suits you and you can be happy with for years to come.
Once you have a name picked out, reach out to the secretary of state’s office and make sure no other organization currently exists with the same name. If it is already taken, you’ll have to come up with a new one.
Once you have a name all your own, you’ll need to file what is known as the articles of incorporation with your state office. These articles will usually include a statement of purpose, a dissolution statement, and other paperwork required by the IRS.
If you are planning to ordain ministers as part of your church, you’ll need to include this in your statement of purpose. Talk with your state employees about what other specific paperwork you might need.
It’s best to submit this paperwork as far ahead of time as possible as the processing time can take up to a few weeks. Once this is all processed, you’ll receive a federal identification number.
This will be used as your tax identification number in the years to come. It means that your registration has been a success. There will be many rules and regulations set down by the IRS that you’ll need to follow, so make sure to get familiar with them.
Build Your Congregation
You’ve got your church building, you’ve registered with the state, now all you need is to fill the pews. However, building a congregation as a brand new church is a challenge all on its own.
It’s an important once to face though, as you can’t help your community if they aren’t around for you to communicate with! There are many ways to grow your church, especially in the early days of your enterprise.
The most important thing you can do is get involved in the local community. You can and should do this prior to even opening your church. You should attempt to become a face and personality that many people within the community know and possibly even respect.
Volunteering is a great way to get out and meet people. So is organizing simple events for the community, be it fundraisers, parties, or whatever you set your mind out to accomplish.
All of these are great ways to set your stakes with a group of people and get familiar. Once this familiarity is in place, you can encourage this new network of people to come out to your church and find a new home.
Church Marketing and Publicity
A church can’t really market itself as a normal business would. However, there are still many ways to get the word out to those who might be interested in joining your congregation.
One of the best ways to get the word out these days is through the internet. It’s a good idea to create social media account and begin publicizing the great work that your church is doing.
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Social media is free and enables wide reach. You can encourage current members of your congregation to share the word of what your church is doing. As word of your home of worship is passed through various networks, you’ll connect with more interested individuals and grow your audience.
Managing a Church
Starting a church is one thing, but you won’t last very long if you don’t how to manage what you’ve just gotten started. There are many different challenges, obstacles, and opportunities you’ll have to navigate as a new church owner and operator.
You’ll want to purchase some church management software (many are out there) that can help you keep on top of all the nonprofit paperwork and accounting you’ll need to do.
You’ll need to hire a team of employees for your church and make sure they are the right people for the job.
You’ll also have to make sure you’re in a position to pivot when the unexpected happens. Many embraced church live streaming solutions this year and it’s worth thinking about how much tech you want to bring into your ministry.
How to Start a Church the Right Way
If you’re thinking about bringing the love of God into your community, you’ll want to read and digest the above steps on how to start a church. With a little elbow grease, you can have your church operational and spreading the word of the Lord in no time.
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