It is part of the challenge of starting a church: Finding Funding. The church planter is called upon to (not only) form and shape a vision, pray through a plan, build a core team, and develop a culture. But the planter must also find the funding to support the new work.
And that is no small task.., especially now.
Traditionally, there have been about five methods of finding the support that a planter could need.
- Denominational Funding:
Often times a diocese had money set aside for expansion. This is no longer the case…at least in most dioceses. Some dioceses have minimal support funds available each year. A few do a bit more for strategic church plants. But this well is not very deep.
- Parish Support:
When a church planter has the support of a local ‘sending’ parish, there is often a financial subsidy with it. And the people who leave to support the new planter are among (usually) the most committed and financially involved members.
- Accumulated Savings:
In this scenario, the planter has saved enough personal funds to make an investment in the new work.This would be a hard core commitment…but it is very rare. If a spouse is working and supporting the family by that salary, that is a ‘de facto’ sacrificial commitment. The money was given or spent though is a true investment without repayment.
This is obviously a good alternative and it would include the bi-vocational clergy/planter. The planter works at a ‘paying job’ and volunteers time to invest in the leadership of the church and build up the body. This is a very admirable approach and it found in the work of the Apostle Paul (Acts 18:1-4). The wider church should honor the dedicated souls who do this. It cannot be easy.
This is the process of seeing yourself as a missionary and asking friends, family, and churches to support your work by agreeing to support or underwrite the work, pledge by pledge. It is a strange sounding word for many people, but it has a wonderful history. Deputation it is an undetermined period of time of praying, writing, talking, and visiting with others about finding the funds needed for the mission. Obviously, the critical question here is whether the planter can achieve through support what is needed for a living salary.
The following video is a face to face conversation with a young man on deputation. He raised his salary from friends and family. Alex did not go out to do this unprepared or untrained. His story, training, challenges, and success are very interesting and very inspirational. Watch it all.