Did you know there are now over 380,000 churches in the US?
Many people have the assumption starting a church is easy, though it comes with a lot of responsibility and legal work. But do you know the correct steps to take when starting?
We can help with both the mission of your organization and legality. Read on as we discuss how to start a church.
Build a Community
Church starts and ends with community. If you do not have a community of people who share common beliefs and values, then you can not build your congregation. Therefore, starting a church begins with a group of people who share spiritual values with you.
A great place to begin this is with a prayer group. If you are not already a preacher, then you should get experience. As you grow, you will naturally develop people around you who will start to form this core of the church.
Choose a Name
Once you have this, your church needs a name. This is important so that you can check no other organizations with the same name exist. You can then draft and file the articles on incorporation you need to proceed legally.
These articles should include a purpose and dissolution statement. You also need to check your ministers have the right to license and oversee if you plan to ordain.
Organize Your Legal Framework
Once you have your church followers, you need to get your legal frameworks in order. Just because you are opening a church and are tax-exempt, does not mean you do not have to follow rules and guidelines.
You need to be open for only religious, scientific, educational, or charitable purposes. Earnings from the church can not go to shareholders or individuals. You are also not allowed to be seen as political in any way, influencing campaigns or public policy.
Put Policies in Place
As well as legal compliance, you need to have internal policies and procedures in place to manage your operations. They can help you stay in line with both state and IRS legislation, as well as provide the service you expect.
You will need a number of policies put in place. These include everything from conflict of interest policies to anti-terrorism policies.
Build Your Church
After this, you need to find physical premises for your church. Here, you have two options. You can either find an existing property or build your own.
Churches do not go on the market that often, and you may have to rent a standard building until your funds increase. When you finally get the capital to build your own church, you need to consult your congregation on the types of churches you may want to build. American Steeples are a great company that may help you work out what you want.
That’s How to Start a Church
Now you know how to start a church, plan your process. Get the assistance of a good lawyer and accountant to help you stay in check. Remember to concentrate on growing your congregation and including them in decisions.
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