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For the last year or so, the Lord has been working on my heart about starting a church. I have a Bible College degree, and I did have a class that covered this; however, I wasn't crazy about the methods that were taught about starting a church.

I've made an appointment with a Mission Board (of a missionary that my family helps support) to see if they can give me advice. I'm not meeting them to be a missionary (though I'm open to whatever God would have my family and me do); I'm just going to get advice and insight into starting a church. I had to cancel my first appointment with them due to a family situation. They were very understanding, and assured me that they would still like to meet with me. The Director (my contact) has been in Romania for a while, so I'm not sure if he's had time to check his email...so I'm not sure when I'll be able to reschedule the appointment.

My questions to you are...

  1. Does anyone here have experience starting a church?
  2. If so, I would like to ask you for any advice; however, I realize that it could take a lot of typing! Therefore, can you suggest any websites or any other organizations that I could possibly investigate into for information?
  3. Even those who may not have experience starting a church, I'd appreciate any help.

Thank you!
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There are two basic methods for planting a church.
1. Move to an area, get a job, and begin by evangelizing. Once you have led a few to the Lord, organize in a Bible Study and as the group grows, plant the church.

Benefits
You have personally led the people to the Lord, Discipled them and you will have a very strong core group when the church is actually planted
Draw Backs
Can take years to get the core group, depending on where you are planting the church.
Requires Pastor to work a job while trying to get the work going

2. Raise support as a Church Planter. Move to the area. Take 30 days to pass out thousands of John & Romans. Hold a week of opening meetings, Officially organize.

Benefts
Most churches planted in this fashion start with anywhere from 20-100 members.
Pastor is fully supported for 5 years to be able to focus on stabalizing and growing the church.
Most of the people who join are already saved and you often have a second good family that can assist with teaching SS.
Church will grow faster in the early days because people today like going to a church with alot of people, rather than just a handful.

Draw Backs
You haven't won and discipled these people, therefore there is no loyalty
The people drawn are sometimes disgruntled members of other churches
Deputation typically takes 2 years

There are versions of each of these models and I have been involved in both ways and know pastors who have done it in each fashion. It really depends on your personal preferences.

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Thank you Pastorj...

As of now, moving plays no part in it. I would be starting a church where I already live. I realize that I will have to do a lot of evangelizing / door-knocking / visiting.

I guess I'm trying to find out more about getting a place to meet...just the basic necessities of starting a church. We live in a small house, and my wife isn't fond of the idea of starting out meeting in our house to begin with. She's for whatever God wants, but if we can avoid meeting at home, she'd be happier.

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PastorJ I think there are two subgroups of your second point....

1. Raising support and getting a family or two to help, and starting from scratch.

2. Raising some support but getting a good portion from your home church and having a very good number of your home church actually come and blitz the area, some of whom even stay on as workers.

The first method is long and painful. The second method, if you are lucky enough to have a good solid church to help you, is the absolute best way...plus its probably the most Biblical way, since its one church directly birthing another.

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Good point Kitagirl...we attend a small church (it's the best church in our area). Unfortunately, our area has a church on every corner, but our church is the only one that is worth attending. All the others...ALL the others are compromised. I've talked with my pastor about this, and he's supportive and understanding...but he really can be of no assistance in giving advice...

Any church that I may start would be under our present church's authority (?)...but I don't want to take any members away from an already small church. Though I'm sure they would like to help in any way.

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Mitch, Chevy1958, Could probably give a bit of good advise, but I have not seen him post lately


Thanks Bro. Jerry. If he doesn't respond to this thread, I might PM him to see if he can give me any advice...if he ever checks in.
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Great. I gave him a link to your topic, so if he reads it, he will have the link. I think Mitch & I could probably be great friends if we lived close to one another & probably could talk about most anything after we got to know one another. And he has spoken of his experiences on here, so I feel he could give some good tips.

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I agree Kitagrl, I was trying to keep it with the main two ways.

As to specifics,
It would depend on which method you want.
If you are going to do it by starting a Bible Study and building a group of believers, then you will probably be meeting in your home for the first year or two, or moving from family to family. Remember, this is not a planted church, this is a Bible Study, usually done under the leadership of another church.

If you are going to do it via the 2nd method - You will be looking for a location like a school, hotel conf room, etc.

I would recommend contacting Pastor Jim Townsley at Central Baptist Church in Southington, CT. He has a news letter that he emails out that is extremely helpful to church planters. You can get his newsletters at www.churchplantingrevival.com

If you have difficulty, pm me your email address and I will forward all that I have. I have kept most of the emails he sends out.

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Method 1 is more "Old School". It is also how most missionaries plant churches. I personally like method 1 because you don't get a church started with lots of problems to begin with.

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I should also say, there is nothing Biblically wrong with either method. It is completely a preference. You can also make your own version of either method and I know one pastor who sort of used both.

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Hi -
I am by no means an expert, but as a church p;planting missionary (foreign field so there will be cultural diffs) I have started a few churches.

1. Pray lots.
2. Pray some more.
3 Get to work on a plan that has simple defined steps.
4. Do NOT make it complicated.
5. Do NOT whine.
6. NEVER complain about the difficulties in "your field" as compared to someone else.

I would suggest that pastorj "old school" method has the best benefits and results that will encourage you.

1. Canvas the area for 2 things. a) a place to meet - I think your own house is a BIG negative, and B) to get a feel for the folks
2. Plan a blitz of propaganda.
3. Plan a meeting in the midst of the blitz (put the time on your flyer, the palce and serve refreshements)
4. This meeting is a "Get to know us" meeting.
a. A short video perhaps of other ministry experience you have
b. Various ministries you plan to execute
c. Talk up the need for a church like yours
d. Do NOT tell folks there is no good church in your area (nothing worse than "bashing religions" of folks in the minds of the people you desire to reach)
e. DO Tell them that finally a church that cares, a church that loves, a church that desires to make an impact in the lives of every day people LIKE THEM is coming to town.
f. Have an invitation @ this meeting.
g. Recruit others to help you hand out flyers in your area.
h. Serve food.
i. Do NOT preach @ this meeting. MOTIVATE..., POSITIVE.... POSITIVE... POSITIVE!!
j. Hand out more flyers - NICE FULL COLOR CARD STOCK FLYERS (do NOT go cheap on the publicity)

HAVE A SECOND GET TO KNOW ME MEETING A FEW DAYS BEFORE YOUR GRAND OPENING
repeat the steps of the first mtng.
List a hundred ministries on a large white board. think BIG

I have done this 6 times in my life, and the results are varied but sure.

MINIMUM 10,000 flyers.

In Campeche we handed out 8500 flyers and our 1st get to know (GTKU) mtng had around 40, the 2nd another 40, Grand Opening 107 in church.
In Quintana Roo we handed out 10,000 flyers 1st GTKU mtng 25, 2nd 30 or so, Grand Opening 124 in church - that church plant started 3 other churches in rural areas.
In Yucatan, we handed out 20,000 flyers 1st GTKU mtng 8 people showed!! The 2nd 5!!!???? Grand Opening 147 in church - who is sufficient for these things!?

IMHO only, I think it better to get a bunch and work with the ones you can. Generally you have 80% of them for a year. They never were faithful to their old church and they simply won't stick with you either. But use the resources God gives you while you can. Disciplining people is a process, and I try to have at least 4 or 5 men or couples @ a time to disciple in homes. My wife has 4 or 5 ladies all the time. If you try to have one family at a time you will be in for a very slow process. 1 hour a week with 4 or 5 men or women or couples (however it works out) goes far better than one couple a week. If you cannot get the man, then send your wife to disciple the wife. If you cannot get the wife in the study, then keep after the man. Don't try to get the perfect couple that will be your right hand man for ever. Just try to disciple a few so that in 6 - 8 months you can recruit some SS teachers, Jr. Church workers etc.

Ok, enough.

God bless,
God speed,
calvary

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Hi -
I am by no means an expert, but as a church p;planting missionary (foreign field so there will be cultural diffs) I have started a few churches.

God bless,
God speed,
calvary


Thank you...that was really interesting (and amazing) testimony! I really appreciate your input and advice. Do you mind if I ask what Mission Board you are (or were) with?
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Thank you...that was really interesting (and amazing) testimony! I really appreciate your input and advice. Do you mind if I ask what Mission Board you are (or were) with?


I opted for local church as my "clearing house", no Mission Board. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't get one or get one. What works for some may not work for others. Take heed unto THY ministry. Much of the advice I got from a book someone gave me years ago. Don't have it any more, but it was a pastor in Oregon, Mike Miller or something like that.

God bless,
calvary
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I opted for local church as my "clearing house", no Mission Board.

God bless,
calvary


That's wonderful!

The methods that you mentioned using seem very similar to what I've read on the "Baptist Church Planting Ministry" website that I posted a link to. Edited by No Nicolaitans
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