Funding the Vision
One of the greatest challenges church planters face revolves around the issue of funding. According to Bloomberg, eight out of ten new businesses fail within eighteen months. Why? Over the past three decades the reasons have remained the same. Top of the list: Undercapitalization. In church-planting terms: they didn’t raise enough money to fund the vision.
That’s why it’s comforting to remember that God provides. When we pursue his vision, he supplies the provision. However, he doesn’t provide for vision that we’ve manufactured. Nor does he provide for irresponsibility. He provides for his vision and entrusts it to those who have proven they can be faithful stewards.
At Passion for Planting, we equip church leaders to start healthy, multiplying churches. Part of that equipping involves training church planters to raise the funds they’ll need to fuel the vision God is calling them to pursue. Whether you’re a church planter who needs to raise thousands of dollars, or a student minister tasked with raising money to send students to a summer camp, learn this lesson: money flows to vision. People don’t give to needs. They give to compelling vision.
All too often church leaders think they have money problems, but it’s pretty common for it to actually be a vision problem. Either they don’t have clear vision, or few others see it.
If God’s entrusted you with vision, it’s your responsibility to raise the resources needed to make that vision reality. That’s why we’ve filled this month’s newsletter with tools to help you fund ministry and fuel generosity in your church.
-Patrick Bradley, Director of Operations
May 2022 – Contents
- Launch Vision Template
- Side Hustles for Planters
- Prepare Before You Pursue
- Fundraising Strategy Template
Launch Vision Template
One common mistake church planters make when it comes to fundraising is focusing their messaging on the needs of their target community. They highlight statistics, thinking that’s going to motivate people to give. However, people generally don’t give generously to cover expenses or affect statistics. Needs don’t inspire. They don’t stir the spirit.
Asking people to help keep the lights on doesn’t compel them to take time off work to pitch in. But we’ve seen how hearing stories about drug dealers and addicts both giving their lives to Jesus compels people to use their vacation days to go serve.
If you’re raising funds, inspire people. Help them imagine the stories of the people who could be impacted through your ministry. If lives are already being changed, tell those stories (but maybe don’t use their real names). Remember, resources flow to vision. To help you cast vision and help people see what you’re seeing, we encourage you to develop a Launch Vision (Connect Church Sample). With the guidance of our free template you’ll be well on your way to showcasing the good future God is calling you to pursue with the generous support of others.
Side Hustles for Planters
Let’s face it, if you’re a church planter, you probably get bored easily. God has wired you that way. You don’t mind change, and you seek out adventure. You’re constantly looking to start new things, meet new people, and develop new skills. You’re a Kingdom entrepreneur. Lean into that. Especially if you’re wondering how you’re going to provide for your family while planting a church.
Getting a side gig to supplement your income so you can make ends meet shouldn’t be something you avoid like the plague. Not only will it take some financial pressure off the new church, it’ll also provide you with unique opportunities to connect with and serve people outside the church “walls”. Plus, it could very well make you more relatable to the average church goer.
For ideas on great side gigs for church planters, read Clint Clifton’s recent blog post, 3 Great Side Hustles for Church Planters or listen to Thom Rainer’s Six Possible Second Jobs for Bi-Vocational Revitalizers and Replanters.
Prepare Before You Pursue
Church planters are a passionate bunch. We’re not surprised that once you catch the bug to plant, the temptation is to immediately dive into the deep end of the pool. If that’s where you are, take a deep breath, slow down, and make sure you’re equipped for the journey ahead. Understand that vision and passion alone won’t raise funds or build the cohesive team you’ll need to plant a healthy, multiplying church. All too often we meet church planters that fail to count the cost and prepare properly. They end up making many costly but avoidable mistakes that sometimes take years to overcome.
Abraham Lincoln once said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” As a leader, Lincoln knew the importance of preparation when getting people to work together towards a common vision. Church planting is no different. The right amount of preparation is a key to success. Continue reading why preparation will help you plant a healthy, multiplying church.
Once you’re able to clearly and confidently cast God’s vision for the new church, it’s time to develop a strategy to guide you in the fundraising process. Budgeting and fundraising can be two of the most daunting tasks for church planters. This doesn’t have to be the case. Fundraising won’t be easy. It requires time and effort. Sometimes it will be awkward and intimidating. Sometimes it will seem like there’s not enough money to go around. You can overcome these obstacles, though, with prayer, the right tools, and an effective strategy.
When it comes to developing a church plant budget, use our free budget worksheet. It highlights common areas where church plants receive and spend money, so you don’t need to worry about overlooking a whole category of expenses. Your budget should inform your fundraising goal and even your strategy. Don’t start with a blank sheet of paper when you sit down to develop your budget. Use our free template! It’ll save you time and energy.
It may just also bring to light other things you’ll need to do to help you cast vision and raise money.