Finance Fridays: Church Plant Fundraising (pt. 1)

As part of the church planting series that we have been walking through, I would like to break the idea of fundraising into two sections.  Today, I want to talk a little bit about the idea of fundraising… next week, Jon Sturdevant will share a little bit about how to raise funds for the church you are planting.

Church planters, myself included, have an odd relationship with fundraising.  Our practical sides recognize the importance of meeting with people and asking them to financially support our ministry.  We also recognize that this is a time consuming task, and can be a bit of a grind.

Over the last few years I have had several conversations with church planters who have sworn off fundraising all together.  Claiming that fundraising “gets in the way of what I am supposed to be doing”, that they don’t have time to invest in fundraising, or whatever their reason, the general feeling that I get is an overall disdain for the fundraising process.

I’d like to reframe the conversation on fundraising, and share why fundraising is not something that you should do… it is a privilege that you get to do.  Here is why fundraising is a priviledge:

  • Sharing Your Story.  How often do you really get to clearly share the story of what God is doing in and through you?  The time that you spend over a meal, a cup of coffee, or dessert (and it is generally good dessert) is a time for you to share how God is moving, and what he is calling you to.  This is a great opportunity to not only cast a vision for your church, but to explain why you are so passionate about the work you have been called to.  How often do you really get the opportunity to do that?
  • Inviting People In.  Not everyone can plant a church with you.  Whether it is their life situation, geographic location, or a lack of calling there are many people who just can not physically join your church.  This does not mean that they do not support what you are doing.  Asking people to pray and financially support the work that you are doing is way for them to be a part of what you are doing… even if they can not join you on a Sunday morning.
  • Expand Your Impact.  Most church planters think that the lives they are impacting are the ones who live in the neighborhoods that they are working in.  This answer, while true, is incomplete.  Asking others to join with you through financial, and prayer, support can be a significant factor in their development as a follower of Christ… do not take lightly the potential impact that you can have in the lives of your supporters as they support your ministry from a distance.

What has been YOUR best fundraising experience?


About the Author: Matt Steen

I love Jesus, Theresa (my wife), the Redskins & Capitals, and am currently living in Waco, Texas where I am studying the finer points of BBQ (while working on my MDiv and MBA at Baylor University). When not studying, I serve church leaders through and am the Director of Connections for Harris Creek Baptist Church's Downtown Campus.

  • marcapitman

    I agree! Fundraising allows people to participate in expanding the Kingdom in a tangible way! 

    • Matt Steen

      And with that, Marc Pitman sums up in twelve words what it took me about 450 to do… 

      Well said Mark!

  • Barry Whitlow

    Nice read Matt, thanks. Although my fundraising efforts for our new Nashville plant has been limited and we have a l-o-n-g ways to go, my greatest success came from courting, over time, a business owner who contributed some startup funds and computers for our new church. That type of success seems to be few and far in-between, and we continue to try and crack the fundraising code. 

    • Matt Steen

      I think you are on your way… you have the passion for your calling, and you are able to clearly articulate what you are about… people will come, it may take a little time, but it WILL happen.

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