Why church plants sometimes have trouble becoming self-sustaining

This South Florida-based church started as Jubilee, and is now meeting as Turning Point.It’s not rare to hear a church planter name money as one of his top needs even as he shifts in his seat and tries to come up with what he hopes you think will sound like a more spiritual answer.

And, while many planters will admit that finances rank as one of their plant’s top challenges, it is still tough for them to ask for money from potential partners or even their own congregation.

The reality is, however, that support from organizations such as the North American Mission Board, the Florida Baptist Convention and sending churches typically has a time limit attached to it, and if the church plant does not find a way to become financially self-sustaining its future will be uncertain.

Al Fernandez, Southeast regional catalyst with the Convention, says that there are two important things church planters must do to put their plants on the road to self-sufficiency.

“Let people know how the church is being funded, and give them goals and a time frame to reach them,” he said.

In his experience working with church planters across Florida, he has found that many are cutting it close when it comes to being financially self-sustaining within the five-year limit NAMB sets for considering a church a plant.

To learn more about how church plants in Florida are becoming self-sustaining be sure to look for our related story in the April print edition of your Florida Baptist Witness.

Keila Diaz is the Miami-based reporter for the Florida Baptist Witness, the official news source of the Florida Baptist State Convention.

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