The word church has several definitions. A church is a group of people with the same spiritual beliefs. It also refers to everyone who identifies as a Christian and commonly refers to buildings where Christians gather to worship.
Starting a church involves hosting worship services for people with the same doctrinal beliefs. Church meetings can be held in a traditional church building, a rented facility, or a home church. No matter what type of structure you plan to use, these steps will guide you through the process of starting your church.
Acquire the skills you need
Starting a church is a labor of love, but commitment isn’t enough. Church leaders typically earn a bachelor’s degree in theology or religious studies. You may be able to start the process of building your church while you learn. Google “What is e-learning” to learn about online learning options. Distance learning is an effective way to acquire new skills to prepare you to build and lead your church. Christian leaders need counseling and leadership skills to perform their duties effectively. You can also opt to start an e-learning business to provide your congregation with access to accredited leadership training.
Establish your doctrine.
Although the Bible is the foundation of Christian beliefs, different interpretations of the Bible affect how people worship. The emphasis of each Christian group also influences doctrinal beliefs. While some churches emphasize gifts of the Holy Spirit, others focus on different priorities. Establishing your church doctrine will ensure you attract like-minded people who are comfortable with your church’s worship style and the teachings your church features.
Take legal steps to establish your church.
Choose a name for your church and register the name. It’s a good idea to research names of local churches and Christian organizations, so you don’t choose a name similar to another establishment. That way, you’ll avoid confusing people about which organization you represent. Your church name should also be appropriate for your style of worship and specific beliefs. A formal name will infer formal services and traditional doctrinal beliefs. If you plan to hold informal worship services, you may want to pick a name that suits that tone.
Once you register your church name, you can apply for an employer identification number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). An EIN is required to file taxes. You should also review the IRS guidelines for tax-exempt status to ensure your church meets the requirements.
Identify needs that aren’t being met in your community.
Although churches typically meet in a dedicated church building or rented space, COVID-19 social distancing guidelines have made it challenging to hold church services in person. If you’re looking for a way to keep yourself busy at home, you aren’t alone. Boredom has prompted people to look for ways to fill their time. It’s also caused people to struggle with isolation and loneliness. You might think it’s impossible to start a church during a pandemic, but it could be the perfect time to launch your church. You can offer remote worship services and use social media to promote your events. Thanks to live communication platforms such as Skype and Zoom, you can safely hold Bible study and prayer meetings. This is a great way to build a church community, and it will give you time to build your congregation while you make practical arrangements to meet in person when it’s safe.
Acquire the supplies you need.
Your church will need some essential supplies. Once you begin hosting in-person services, you may need musical instruments, communion supplies, baptism supplies, hymnals, Bibles, and other materials that can be used to lead worship services.
You’ll also need supplies for special events. If you plan to host a vacation Bible school (VBS), you can secure Rocky Railway VBS materials. The Rocky Railway VBS theme uses a train travel theme to teach kids about Jesus. It includes a leader manual for your VBS director, as well as activity suggestions, DVDs, music, and a guide for planning a successful VBS event.
To start your church, you’ll need to take some legal and practical steps to register your church name and meet IRS requirements to qualify for tax-exempt status. Whether you plan to start holding events in a physical church, a rented space, or online, you should clarify your doctrinal beliefs and choose a style of worship so you can focus on building a membership with people who share similar beliefs. Once you’ve completed these steps, you can secure the resources you need for your church.