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Rethinking Church Plant Funding

Written by Ed Stetzer Feed on . Posted in Ed Stetzer

What do you do when the well runs dry? You dig another well.

Since the turn of the century, many denominations have made a strong effort to funnel resources toward church planting. This support helps to secure facilities, execute marketing campaigns, provide equipment for ministry, and even underwrite pastoral support.

That's a good thing.

Not only have denominations created departments that financially support church planting, the church planters have the blessings of the denomination’s leadership, which often helps them gain access to established local churches to seek financial sponsorship.

In the new millennium, networks have followed a similar pattern, though to a lesser degree due to their smaller resource base.

The Landscape Is Changing

Fast forward to today.

I am often asked, “How do you see the funding options available to church planters changing in the future?”

My view is that there will be less funding readily available to church planters from the current sources. But before we get discouraged about the future prospects, we need to realize that we can’t—and shouldn’t attempt to—buy our way into a church multiplication movement in the West (North America, Australia, England, etc.).

The truth is: most denominations and church-planting networks run out of money for church planting every year—and every year, plants go unfunded due to financial restrictions. And so, we must consider other ways to plant churches, like organic church planting, and raising up leaders from the harvest who are intentionally bi-vocational along the way.

If there is one thing church planters recognize in established churches, it’s that you can’t keep doing things the way they’ve always been done if you want ...

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