Strategic partnerships with churches
Build a potential sponsoring church list of all the churches that you have been associated with through the years. Add to your list churches that have a heart for church planting and churches that have a heart for the city you are trying to reach. We have found that it is best to approach churches that are averaging 2,000 to 3,000 in attendance. They have been around long enough to have a healthy financial base and a heart for reproducing healthy churches.
We have discovered it is best to build a group of partner churches. This is similar to building a mall. Choose the right anchor stores first and you will fill the rest of the mall. Find one or two churches that are church planting churches and ask them to be part of your partner network. Locate influencers who can enlist others to your partnership. Partner churches are churches who are investing a sizeable amount in the new church with a three-year commitment. You'll need to have a complete master plan before inviting other churches to partner with you.
It is best to spend time recruiting churches who will invest heavily, rather than spending your time going after churches that only commit small monthly amounts. Most of the time, churches who commit to sizeable monthly contributions require the most work and have the longest decision making processes.
Consider hosting a partner's meeting in your city as well, inviting all your partners to be present. In this meeting you can include an update on your church – where you share the church's vision. Then give your partners a tour of your facility and the city itself. Make sure to give everyone plenty of time to get to know one another during this time. As you do, you'll be building a network of people who are passionate about starting churches.
Raising adequate funds to start the church will require countless hours of praying, sharing the dream, and casting a vision. Leave no one out of hearing the dream God has placed within you. Remember that since God has called you to start a church, he has also tapped people to financially support his dream. It is time to find them.
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