Finance the Mission

Financing the mission is one of our five best practices at  Today I spent about an hour talk with Will Henderson our Aussie church planting resident.  I gave him a structure for laying out his initial budget.  I thought I would pass it on to other church planters.

Whenever laying out your financial plan in a new church I always break it down into three catagories:  They are start-up budget, salary for first couple of years, and operating budget.  churchplanterslogo

Start-up Cost – consists of anything related to getting started.  They are largely the one time cost items required to getting ready to launch.  A start-up budget should include: worship equipment, marketing, meeting space for first three months, core group development, cost of a physical move, administrative cost, etc.

Salary Cost – consists of salary, housing, insurance and/or any other cost related to an employee.  This should include any staff you anticipate hiring during the first year.  The top three staff for a new church would include: Lead pastor, worship leader, and a multi-purpose pastor.  Chances are any pastor in a new church will wear at least a dozen different hats in the first few years.  Look for the who, you can always figure out what.

Operating Cost – includes on going cost such as administration, programing, marketing, and rent.

There are a number of reason I like to break it down into these three areas:

  • It allows you to anticipate when you will need the funds.
  • It allows individuals to give toward specific needs.  People are often willing to give a one time gift to a specific need.
  • It allows individuals to give toward the support of a particular person.  People give to people.
  • A good launch with a strong core will allow you to finance the on going operations out of the launch.
  • Breaking it into these three parts make it easier to manage.
  • Breaking it into these three parts gives you a realistic picture of what it is going to take.

A common mistake that church planters make is to fail to anticipate the financial requirements of a new plant.  We also tend to underestimate how long it is going to take to become self-supported.  Failing to do your homework prior to planting can land you in church planters bankruptcy.

Stay turn and as Will develops his budget I will see if we can’t post it for you guys who are in the process.


2 responses to “Finance the Mission

  1. Dave,

    I’ll be following this closely. When we started Midtown, money just seemed to come to the table. I know now that it is an unusual situation and had I had your wisdom back then I would have done things a bit differently.


  2. Hey Bro!

    Just wanted to say thanks man for everything! I appreciate your ministry more than you can imagine. As I think about what it will take for us to take CrossPointe to a new level, I realize how important it will be to have men like you pouring into my life. Thanks for challenging me to think about things I’ve not considered. See ya soon!

    David Rogers

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