Ask for help
Imagine going to your spouse and not only saying, "Honey, God has called us to start a church," but also adding, "By the way, how do you feel about emptying our retirement fund to do it?" I did just that as we faced the challenge of our life – starting a new church. When my wife, Teddi, and I began Church @ The Springs, it never even occurred to me to ask anyone else for financial support. I didn't even know you could ask anyone for money to start a church – and no one bothered to tell me.
There was no available denominational support, so we got money from the only other source we knew – our retirement fund. We emptied out all $30,000 from our retirement to start our new church. For obvious reasons, I do not recommend this!
Our first mistake was not asking anyone for help. Like us, most church planters I know feel they are not good at raising money. However, without adequate funding, a church plant in this millennium is crippled before it has the opportunity to ever get off the ground. In Purpose Driven Church Planting seminars, we teach planters to launch large in order to quickly get a base of attendees. While there are many benefits to launching large, it does require even more money than a typical church plant. Your new church plant will need money for marketing, mailers, equipment, rental facilities, and start-up salaries. For this reason, many churches choose starting smaller by default. Starting smaller is fine, just realize it will be a much longer process to grow a church and that much longer before your church is truly self-sustaining.