Every church planter must have a plan in place and know where all the money goes. The type of church you plan to start influences the money necessary to begin. Two of the most challenging tasks a church planter will face are budgeting and fundraising. But simply put, the overall objective of the church planter is to In simple terms the overall goal of the Church Planter is to decide what God is calling them to do (budgeting) and then figure out how God will provide for that vision (fundraising). Initially, most church planters realize the money needed is greater than what was anticipated or than what their commitment are in contributions. Now the church planter must make some crucial decisions – raise more money, spend less money, or find some balance between the two. Below are some categories to consider in the pre-launch phase. The following are taken from an article found on Church Planting Solutions website.
1. Staffing - How much will you spend on staffing? Depends on how many staff will be hired, how much they will be paid, when they will be hired, and whether they are expected to raise any outside support. In a house church, staffing expenses may be zero. In a multi-staff, sponsorship plant, staffing expenses could be well over $100,000. Staffing is often a major expenditure for the new church and will include at least the lead planter’s salary. (Note: This is one of the reasons Aplos was designed with such simplicity of use. The skill set needed for the individual managing the finances may prove to be different (i.e. no accounting degree required) than you might expect with the use of our fund accounting software, saving you money needed for this staffing hire.)
2. Equipment - Most new churches have a number of one-time expenses for equipment purchases. These include but are not limited to a sound system, lighting, multi-media projector, storage cabinets, children’s supplies, Bibles, and a trailer. Depending on the quality and size, total equipment costs can range from zero (house church) to $80,000 or more. Unlike staffing expenses which are ongoing, most equipment purchases are one- time expenses in support of opening day. Most churches will spend at least $10,000 to $15,000 in getting started.
3. Marketing and Outreach - Marketing and outreach are all about starting conversations with seekers in the community. Too many church planters rely on one big marketing campaign just prior to launch to establish name recognition rather than a more balanced approach of outreach and marketing activities. A new church is ready for a big direct mail campaign only AFTER establishing broad name recognition in the community. Like equipment expenditures, total marketing and outreach costs can range from zero (house church) to $80,000 or more. Most churches will spend at least $10,000 to $15,000 in getting started.
4. Facilities - Many new churches cannot afford to purchase worship facilities. Instead, they rent schools, movie theatres, or community centers. Sunday rental typically ranges from $12,000 to $50,000 per year for Sunday rentals. Additional facility costs may include rented office space. During the pre-launch phase when the new church has not yet started weekly services, facility costs will be much lower. The timing of starting weekly worship services will drive costs.
5. Operations - Ongoing operations including printing, copying, office supplies, insurance, phones, pagers, etc. Church planters are encouraged to develop a budget through opening day and a second budget for the first year of the church after opening day. In developing a pre-launch budget, we recommend the following approach:
1. Work through the development of a philosophy of ministry and picture of opening day
2. Develop a detailed action plan (launch plan) that will help turn your vision into reality.
3. Assign cost figures and completion dates to each of the actions in your launch plan.
4. Sum up the total expenditures and compare them to available income. If expenses exceed income, you will need to raise more money, spend less money, or some combination of the two.
NOTE: Budgeting requires that you look at two different aspects of expenses vs. income. First, you need to verify that your total expenses over a given period of time are less than or equal to your total income over the same time period. Second (and often completely neglected), you need to verify that your cash flow stays positive as a function of time and that your bank account does not go negative.