Central Baptist Church of Southington Connecticut


Timelines for Starting a Church

  • Jim Townsley
  • Apr 23, 2009

Starting a church requires planning and preparation. A failure to plan is a plan to fail. Many good men have responded to their burden to start a church, and though well intended, have not been successful. Often their failure was due to a poor plan and a lack of preparation. A young man should be prepared spiritually and have received a proper education. In addition, he should have a close association with a man of God to advise him along the way.

Church planting requires a step of faith. Every man must be determined to give his best and do it right. This will require the raising of money, much planning, and at least a two year plan. Going to a place on a moment's notice, without financial backing may work, but rarely am I finding men being successful in this manner. There must be a determination and commitment to do everything in the best manner possible. And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Colossians 3:23 Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest. Ecclesiastes 9:10

All dates correspond to the first service. Every task may be done previous to the deadline, but it should not be put off later than the deadline.

Two Year Church Planting Timeline 1 1/2 - 2 years before the first service – Survey trip to determine the place to start
(This may require more than one trip and could be determined even earlier than two years.1 1/2 years – Seek the approval and blessing of the home church1 1/2 years – Design and build a web site1 1/2 years – Begin calling and setting up meetings (Schedule every service possible up until two months prior to the first service.)15 months – Determine who will be the reproducing church15 months – Web site must be finished, prayer card must be designed and printed, and the statement of faith should be finished and placed on the web site.14 months – A list of needs should be prepared13 months – A database of prospects should be developed (While on deputation people will give you names of friends and family to contact. These should be entered into your database files.12 months – Begin full time deputation. (This could be done locally for the first few months before resigning from your job.) The most efficient time to schedule meetings is in the Spring and the Fall. Scheduling conferences should be a priority because mission's conferences are usually more successful in providing support.7 months – Design all printed material. The design and printing of materials usually requires longer than anticipated and often printers do not meet their deadlines. Make plans to allow for delays in this process. Some of the material to be designed and printed include: John and Romans, tracts, flyers, post cards, display ads, prospect cards, bulletins, a church brochure, temporary signs, stationary, a visitor card, decision cards, and other things not mentioned here.6 - 12 months – Form the church as a corporation, open a bank account, and file for federal tax exemption. (There are differing opinions on seeking federal tax exemption.) This could take several months to complete.6 - 12 months – Continue to schedule deputation meetings.6 – 12 months – Prepare the first two months of sermons Discipleship material, and Sunday school lessons.6 months – Begin in earnest to find a meeting place.4 months – Finalize the meeting location3 – 4 months – Move to the area where the church will be started.3 months – Check on all printing and deadlines.3 months – Call churches to remind them of your starting date and check on the possibility of their support.3 months – Begin calling program for your targeted area. (Everyone does not do this, but it can be very profitable) Calling also requires many volunteers.3 months – If prospects are located, start a weekly Bible study.2 months – Constitution should be finalized.7 weeks – Stuff John and Romans4 – 6 weeks – Begin visitation and surveying.4 weeks – Hold a special luncheon with area pastors and supporters.4 weeks – Display ads and mailings must be completed and scheduled.1 – 4 weeks – Visit, visit, visit, visit, pray, pray, pray, pray!3 weeks – Hold a weekly get-acquainted meeting.

Plan for mistakes and delays and be flexible when necessary.