Build a prayer team for the new church
Begin by building a prayer team of supporters. Your prayer team needs to be anyone you have ever touched in ministry or friendship: including family, friends, past churches, seminary friends, professors, previous pastors, and even co-workers. You will need prayer support before you need financial support. In the meantime, build an Excel spreadsheet with all the necessary contact information: name, address, e-mail address, and phone numbers.
Once your list is complete, it is time to compose your first e-mail letter. You could simply send out an e-mail from Outlook, but I would encourage you to go a step further and use Constant Contact, an effective tool to keep up with and to build your support team. For example, it tracks how many of your e-mails were actually opened, by whom they were opened, and how many were forwarded. Constant Contact also gives you the opportunity to put pictures and graphics into the letter. Obviously, there is a monthly charge for the service, but the cost-benefit is well worth it for the long-term.
Use this first letter you compose to share what God is stirring in your heart. This letter is not necessarily a fund-raising letter, but an "awareness-raising" letter. Concisely share your calling and passion to begin a new church in the city in which God has called you. Further use Constant Contact to link to your church Web site. If you have not started a Web site, do it ASAP. Finish the letter by asking people for three things:
1. Commit to pray for you and the new church.
2. Commit to financially support the church.
3. Commit to be on the launch team for the new church.
You can find a sample letter under free resources on www.pdplanting.com.