One who is called to start a church or ministry usually has expertise in biblical scripture, principles, and doctrine. However, a pastor, reverend, bishop, apostle, or evangelist, is an expert in the Word, and not necessarily an expert in starting, operating, and managing their church or ministry. Operating within compliance of today's city, state and federal rules and regulations have recently changed.
Below are a few steps to consider when starting a church or ministry. Following these steps will save you, your church, or ministry valuable time and thousands of dollars.
When you start a church or ministry, consider the location. Where you meet for your current church services, or your study group, or bible study, may change when you start your church and find a permanent church location.
Call the city and county to determine what the zoning requirements are for your church. Sometimes a particular building may be perfect for you to start your new church location, but city or county zoning rules may require that a church can not operate in that particular area. Establishing whether or not a church can operate in a chosen location, BEFORE you sign a lease or mortgage, will save you thousands of dollars.
Find out what the licensing requirements are for your city and state, and federally. There is a lot of paperwork involved when starting a church. You will need articles of incorporation, bylaws, and you will need to organize a board of directors.
When you start your church, you'll have to decide if you want to have 501c3 status for your church or ministry. Some new churches wait to apply for 501c3 status because it is expensive and the application fee to the IRS is nonrefundable if the application is not approved. Do not wait too long to apply, because waiting will make it more difficult to receive approval for 501c3 status.
When you file your startup paperwork, for instance, your paperwork to the secretary of state, and your paperwork to your city to operate, you should then also apply for your 501c3 status.
When you start your church, you will need to establish what your church or ministry will stand for. Your church constitution or your tenets of faith can clearly outline what your church or ministry believes in, and what standards it holds for the members and the leaders.
Finally, when starting your church or ministry, you still have to prepare and deliver sermons and bring souls to salvation. Organizing the start of your church or ministry can be daunting, expensive, and time-consuming. It is easy to become bogged down with paperwork and hit road blocks.
To facilitate the process of starting your church, hire a good business consultant, or business manager, who specializes in starting churches, and in church business management. Hire someone who can file your paperwork in any state within the US Make sure the consultant has experience in filing 501c3 applications and has had success in obtaining 501c3 status for her clients. Hire a consultant with marketing expertise, human resources compliance and expertise, and volunteer training expert for your outreach ministries. Make sure that your business manager or business consultant has experience in helping you negotiate real estate contracts like leases and real estate loans. If your manager or consultant has all of these qualifications, you have a valuable resource to propel you and your church or ministry to success!