Last week I shared some thoughts on raising funds for a new church plant (click here for that post), and today I’d like to tackle another issue that’s vital in starting a new church… LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION.
Once you’ve confirmed the call of God to plant a church, securing a meeting location is one of the most important – and sometimes most challenging – tasks on your agenda.
Here are a few “do’s and don’t's” to finding just the right place for your new church to meet:
- DO clarify your target area. Has God called you to a specific community or neighborhood? Is there one part of town where you just know you’re supposed to be?In searching for a meeting location, you don’t want to venture much further than 5-10 minutes outside of your target area, so you need to have that target area fairly well-defined.
- DO look for locations that are familiar to the people you’re trying to reach. Ask around and observe people’s patterns, then use that to give you some ideas.Since you’re brand new, people won’t be familiar with you so you want to make sure they’re at least familiar with your location. The familiarity factor is why some of the best meeting locations for a church plant are schools, movie theaters and community centers.
- DO ask God for eyes to see beyond the “obvious.” Sometimes an answered prayer for “fresh eyes” is just what you need to find your next meeting location.There is a tendency to lock in on one or two potential meeting spaces to the neglect of dozens of others. Block out some time, take a drive and ask God to open your eyes to the possibilities.
- DON’T make a rush decision on a meeting location. Your new church’s meeting location is very important and not to be decided lightly.If God has called you to this area, then He has also picked out just the right meeting place for His new church!
- DON’T ever stop looking for meeting locations. It’s a good idea to keep a running list of potential places to meet for as long as your church is portable.You never know when a sudden growth in attendance, a school board policy change or an excessive rental rate hike might have you scrambling for a different space, so it helps to stay ahead of the curve.
Church planting is an exercise in faith… And sometimes it’s in that moment just before you give up that He’ll lead you to the location you were hoping for all along!
P.S. If you’re starting a church I want to give you more than $85.00 of Church Planting Resources for FREE. Click here to download yours today!
I shared some thoughts on how to set up your church’s budget a while back (click here for that post), and today I’d like to give you the first of two “hard-learned” tips about how to spend that budget.
I want to address specifically how you spend the line item in your church’s budget marked “advertising” or “promotion” or whatever you have chosen to call the funds that you have set aside to spend on getting the word out about your church.
You do have an advertising budget, don’t you? If not, that may be a topic for a different post…
Too often I see well-meaning church leaders take their already scarce advertising budget and make two painful (and completely avoidable) mistakes that lead to very few, if any, results in their churches.
Here is the first of those two painful mistakes (and how to avoid it):
Advertising Mistake #1: Spreading the advertising funds so thin that none of it makes an impact.
I see this all the time. Your church carves out a few thousand dollars to spend on advertising for the year and then tries to streeetttccchhh those funds to do something each month.
The end result is that very few people are even presented with your advertising message (whatever media you choose to use) and you end up disillusioned about the whole process.
Solution Principle #1: Focus every dime of your advertising budget on your church’s Big Days.
Like I teach in The Ignite Seminar, I believe churches can maximize their evangelistic efforts by building to four “Big Days” each year (one in February, Easter Sunday, one in the summer, and one just after school starts).
By focusing your advertising on these special Big Day opportunities, you can afford to touch more people with your ads AND you can boldly avoid….
Advertising Mistake #2 (which I’ll share in Part 2 on Monday)
P.S. For more information on planning, preparing, promoting, executing and following up on “Big Days” at your church, check out The Ignite Seminar.
I’m looking for an “A” player to fill a key pastoral position here at The Journey Church!
Fair warning: This position is not for the faint of heart.
However, if you have the skills and experience below and a raging passion to “give the people of New York City the best opportunity to become fully developing followers of Jesus,” you may be just the right fit!
Here’s the official position description:
The Journey Church is a contemporary 8 year old church in New York City with locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. The position of full-time Pastor of Ministry & Assimilation is currently available.
The Journey consistently has approximately 1,000 adults attending weekend services, over 1,100 in groups and expects continued growth.
PASTOR OF MINISTRY & ASSIMILATION
Leadership, growth and innovation of The Journey’s ministry and volunteer systems – with the goal of getting 50% of Sunday attendance involved in meaningful ministry on a weekly basis. Also, leading The Journey’s assimilation system in moving first time guests to becoming fully developing members.
Requires the ability to lead teams effectively and to raise up new leaders. Also, organizational and administrative skills are a must.
Must be extremely hard-working and have had leadership experience on a large and growing church staff. Other desired characteristics include strong interpersonal skills; growing leader; team builder; sense of humor; risk-taker (seminary not required).
No resumes will be considered that are not personalized for this specific position and that are not accompanied with a Cover Letter that outlines:
1) Your ministry experience
2) Why you are interested in this specific position
3) Why you might feel called to New York City
Familiarity with the book “Fusion” by Nelson Searcy is a must.
If you are interested, email a resume and a detailed cover letter to Pastor Kerrick Thomas, our Executive Pastor, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sorry, but emailing me or contacting the church in other ways shows that you can’t follow instructions and thus you won’t be considered – ha (but true!).
Combine that with the fact that Easter is the most likely day of the year for unchurched people to attend your church, and Easter 2010 has tremendous potential to expand God’s Kingdom!
That’s why today I’m releasing my revised and expanded Maximizing Easter 2010 E-Book!
I went back and updated this new version with information we couldn’t fit into last year’s Easter e-book, plus a lot of what we learned from your feedback.
Download your Free Copy of the Maximizing Easter 2010 E-Book (PDF) here:
I want to do even more to help you make the most of Easter this year, so I’ve put together a brand new Maximizing Easter Webinar that I’ll be leading for you next week.
In this 75-minute webinar I’ll walk you, your staff and your volunteers, step-by-step, through implementing the most important ideas from the E-Book and give you many more impactful ideas that were not included.
Best of all, you and your entire team can participate without ever leaving the office!
We’re offering the Maximizing Easter Webinar at 4 different times to be sure that you can attend one of them, PLUS - just for registering you’ll receive over $190.00 in FREE BONUSES (more than 4 times your investment for the webinar).
For more info and to Register Now for the Maximizing Easter Webinar:
I get the distinct pleasure of investing in a lot of church planters through our ministry here at Church Leader Insights. In fact, we give away thousands of dollars worth of resources to church planters every week (click here for more info).
That means I get to hear all sorts of stories – some good and some bad – and answer A LOT of questions.
One question that we’re asked pretty regularly involves funding a new church plant – especially in a “less than ideal” economic environment.
Here are a few tips that will help you raise the funds that your new church will need to launch and become healthy as soon as possible:
- Pray over, plan and polish your vision and strategy before you start trying to raise funds. Nothing says “I won’t be a good steward of your financial support” like not having a plan. The more serious you are about the process, the more likely others will be to take you seriously.
- Put together a list of everyone you think might possibly have a heart for what you’re doing, complete with their contact information. You never know who might be willing to support the new work until you begin asking. Intentionally carve out time on your calendar to call, call, visit and call some more.
- Ask clearly and boldly! Remember that you’re giving people an opportunity to invest in God’s Kingdom work – don’t back into the question about financial support or say no on their behalf. Paint the picture of what God is doing, ask boldly, and await their answer.
- Don’t let ‘no’ defeat you. If God has called you to start a new church, He has also made available just the right resources to fulfill that calling. When you’ve clearly and boldly asked and someone says no, move on to the next person on your list.
- Be creative to expand your list of potential supporters. When someone says ‘yes’ and agrees to support your new church, ask them if they know of two or three others who may be willing to partner with you. When someone believes in you and your work, they may very well know others who will too.
- Don’t burn your bridges. That church that wasn’t willing to partner with you two months ago (before you had anyone else on board), may be willing to help now that they see others doing so. A ‘no’ today doesn’t necessarily mean a ‘no’ forever.
- Over-communicate your gratitude. When someone agrees to partner with your new church send them a handwritten thank you note immediately. That shows that you truly are thankful and serves to reinforce the commitment they just made to the new church. And send another note (with an update on the work) each time you receive a check from them.
A mentor of mine told me many years ago that, “If you’re the lead pastor (or church planter), you ARE the chief fund raiser for your church… Get over it!”
If you truly believe in the new church that God has called you to start, then you’ll be asking people to come to your church, give their lives to Christ, give financially, serve in the church, join the church and so on and so forth.
You might as well use this time to learn to be a “Master Asker.”
P.P.S. If you’re planting a church right now (or in the near future), I want to give you more than $85.00 in Church Planting Resources – including “Funding Your Church Plant.” Click Here to Get Your Resources Now.
Well, you’ve probably heard me talking about it for a while now, but my new Senior Pastor Tele-Coaching Network begins TOMORROW and I have just a few spots available!
I shared in this post a couple of weeks ago my frustration with the negativity and pessimism that is running rampant right now in many church leadership circles.
I really believe that now is the best time to reach more people and grow your church!
This network gives me the opportunity to come alongside of you and partner together in a coaching relationship for the next 12 months to help you grow your leadership and your church.
So Pastor, my question for you is this: What are you going to do over the next year that will take you through a proven process to grow as a leader and to lead your church to greater effectiveness?
Growing churches are led by growing leaders!
If you’ve been waiting to apply for some reason, today is the day!
The first call is tomorrow and if you’re serious about maximizing your leadership and ministry I’d love for you to join me.
Download and submit your application now:
One of the many benefits of having coached so many great pastors is the sharing relationship that we build.
For example, Pastor Steve Wilson of China Grove (NC) First Baptist Church is a Senior Pastor Tele-Coaching Participant.
I talk a lot in The Assimilation Seminar about how your church’s guests are gifts from God. He could have sent them to any church in the area, but he prompted them to attend yours.
That’s a powerful concept that’s vital for church leaders to understand, but it can be a tough topic to try and teach your people.
Steve did a great job with these two sermons and he gave me permission to share them with you today:
Since we planted The Journey and especially since my book Launch: Starting a New Church from Scratch came out, I’ve gotten a lot of inquiries and questions about what’s involved in starting a new church.
One of the more frequently asked questions is about Demographics. It’s normally asked something like this: “I know I need to learn more about the people in the area where we’re starting a church (age, family makeup, income, etc.) but how do I get that information?”
Here are four solid sources of demographic information:
1) Your denomination. If you’re affiliated with a denomination, you can check with them to see what’s available — many denominations will provide you with demographics free of charge. For example, Southern Baptist churches can obtain free demographics through the North American Mission Board.
2) Another free source of demographics is ZIPskinny.com. This site is helpful for seeing basic demographics and projections.
3) The Leavell Center of Evangelism in New Orleans offers a more comprehensive set of demographics for a very reasonable cost.
4) The best reports that I’ve seen can be obtained from The Percept Group. They’re a little more costly, but they are easily the most extensive and useful on this list.
Church Planter: Let me encourage you – no matter where you get your demographic information – make it your aim to learn everything you possibly can about the people God has called you to reach.
This will have far-reaching benefits, from promotion and advertising to ministry strategy to planning your preaching, all combining to help you and your new church be as effective as possible!
P.S. Are you planting a church? I’d like to give you more than $85.00 of church planting resources to help you in getting started. Sign up for yours by clicking here.
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