If you’re interested in starting your own congregation, you’ll need to pick a location first. When looking at different areas and weighing your options, it’s a good idea to consider who makes the most sense for you to serve. After all, larger metropolitan areas such as cities likely already have lots of established churches. Rural areas, on the other hand, offer much more potential if you truly want to grow your name as a priest or pastor while serving a community that may not otherwise have much access to religious services. Read this beginner’s guide for starting a rural church to ensure you don’t make any rookie mistakes when setting up your church.
File all appropriate licenses in your state
The first step in establishing any organization is filing the proper paperwork. After all, in order to be recognized as a legal entity in the state where you’re operating, you’ll need to incorporate. Incorporating your church will help it receive helpful tax breaks and also protect you and your congregation from certain legal actions. Once you register this information, you’ll also be able to incorporate as a 501c3 organization, giving you certain non-profit rights as well. If you want to operate on the up and up, you simply must file the appropriate paperwork.
Find a property
It’s okay to start small, but no matter what, you’ll need a place to gather. That being said, you don’t have to start from the ground up when it comes to building a house of worship. Plenty of churches operate out of smaller, already existing buildings and do just fine. Whether that means finding a property for lease or sharing space with a theatre when it’s not in use on Sunday mornings, there is a wide range of creative ideas to consider when looking into properties where your congregation can meet.
Start stocking up on church supplies
Once you have your legal foundation, in addition to a spot where you can practice your religion, you’ll want to make sure you have the right church supplies. In order to operate your church and conduct services, it’s crucial that you have the right materials on hand. From communion wafers to Bibles, hymnals, and other supplies, a church isn’t a church without the proper accessories. While these sorts of items are necessary in order to conduct a service, they don’t need to break the bank. Many businesses offer discount church supplies to help newer congregations save on these vital materials, so take a look around before you make any purchases.
Have a plan for dealing with acts of God
In rural locations, you may find yourself more at the whim of nature than if you were setting up your church in a more densely-populated area. While that can wind up being a blessing since you’ll have beautiful vistas to use as a backdrop for outdoor services, it can cause some problems, too. It’s for these reasons that it’s always a good idea to have a backup plan for dealing with acts of God. An insurance policy for regularly occurring weather phenomena is a great place to start, but you may want to look into investing in some equipment to serve as a backup plan, too. Finding a silent generator for sale, for example, can be an excellent way to power your church’s essential electronics if you lose power due to a thunderstorm. These sorts of generators generally run on diesel and can kick in if your main breakers go out. This makes it possible to still conduct service, rather than sit in the dark.