How should a sending church help a church plant financially?

Sending churches commit to take responsibility for a church plant until it can stand on its own as a self-sustaining, self-governing and self-propagating church. Many sending churches have questions about their role in helping a church become self-sustainable.

Here are six critical elements of the sending church’s role in walking with a church plant toward financial sustainability:

1. Set a realistic budget

The sending church and church planter should work together to determine a realistic budget that accounts appropriately for personal, administrative, ministry and missions expenses. PlantingProjector.com is a free tool developed by the North American Mission Board to help this process.

2. Determine an appropriate salary

Sending churches should help planters determine an appropriate salary that makes it possible for the planter and his family to thrive in their ministry context. NAMB has created a salary calculator to help with this process. Download the spreadsheet at namb.net/resources/support-calculator-us.

3. Build adequate support

Sending churches should take the lead in advocating for a church plant with potential supporting churches. Successful plants benefit greatly from a network of churches surrounding them with prayer, participation and provision (when appropriate).

4. Manage bookkeeping, including receiving and distributing funds

NAMB expects sending churches to take the lead role in financial support management and bookkeeping by receiving donations, distributing them with appropriate accountability and providing accounting services for the plant until it has the financial wherewithal and/or the appropriate processes and structures to handle it on their own. 

5. Institute appropriate accountability measures

NAMB expects sending churches to take the lead role in advising and supervising the plant’s implementation of appropriate systems to receive donations, distribute salaries, pay bills, process purchase orders, oversee accounting, etc. This often includes walking with the plant through incorporation, formalizing a constitution and bylaws, registration with the Southern Baptist Convention and other logistics necessary to legally organize a church.

6. Trust but verify

Accountability is important for all. Sending churches should trust their church planter is handling things appropriately, but verification is critical for holding the church planter, sending church and supporting network accountable. 

Are you ready to take your next step toward becoming a supporting or sending church? Visit here to learn more and take your next missional step today. 

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