how to start a church

How To Start A Church: Your Detailed Guide

By | Resources

Taking the lead and planting your church is a serious decision. This venture requires a lot of confidence and planning to properly pull off. It is okay to be a bit scared at first because you don’t know what to expect.

You would think that with the decline in church attendance that now is the wrong time to open a church. In reality, now is when you should seize the opportunity because so many people have defected from their church. There has been a growth in the number of believers that are vulnerable to identifying with a new home.

Thousands of Americans have taken it upon themselves to start a church. You have the power to do the same. Many startup churches fail before they see any success at all but that’s the result of erratic planning. With the right strategy, effective marketing, and your commitment⁠—we believe you can build a worship sanctuary that will last.

The Planning Process

Having the right plan will help you go about starting your congregation on the right foot. The hard part of figuring out your strategy is understanding what you should plan. It can be confusing for a newcomer because there are so many variables at play. That said, we will give you some insight into the most important factors to plan out for your startup church.

So, let’s begin…

Who will you be?

It is important to understand what your identity is within your congregation.

Will you be involved in preaching or only serve as the director?

Who do you need?

What positions need to be filled? Who do you have on-hand so far?

What values will the church hold?

Every church has unique values. Define yours and don’t defect from your vision.

These are simple points to think over. Now let’s get started with the rest.

What is the Denomination?

The biggest focal point of any church is its denomination. Assuming it’s a Christian-based church, the main denominations that you might choose from include:

  • Roman Catholicism (1.313 billion)
  • Independent Catholicism (18 million)
  • Protestantism (920 million)
  • Anglicanism (85 million)
  • Eastern Orthodox (270 million)
  • Oriental Orthodoxy (80 million)
  • Non-trinitarian Restorianism (35 million)

These figures indicate the number of church members worldwide as shown on Wikipedia. In the United States, the most popular religions are Protestantism (48.9%) and Roman Catholicism (23%).

It is important to stick to your beliefs. Church planting is something that is done out of deep faith in our Lord and no ingenuine decisions should be made along the way. However, you must avoid alienating potential church members by getting too specific with your denomination.

If it applies to you⁠—choose to be a Protestantism or Roman Catholicism-based church and don’t go micro-niche by further detailing your denomination. Your message and goals can fall in line with specific beliefs but you can still be welcoming toward all Protestants or Roman Catholics.

Alternatively, you may want to consider starting a non-denominational church.

What is the Branding?

Just like starting a business, a new church should receive proper branding so it is attractive to potential members. Good branding can make all the difference when attempting to increase attendance and turn churchgoers into disciples.

The body of your church will grow and help boost overall success because of the team dynamic at play. But, for this to happen your church must appeal to enough people and that starts with the “branding” you choose.

What’s the name?

Start by reading some tips on naming a church so you can wrap your head around this subject. This decision will carry with you so be thoughtful. You do not have to be overly creative with the name that you choose⁠—many churches are named based on the street or neighborhood where it’s located.

Don’t stress too much—the identity you carry is what truly counts.

Who will you appeal to?

Figure out your church’s target demographic. The main variable will be what denomination they are but you should always dig further. If you are a pastor already, consider who your sermons and personal beliefs resonate with to detail your typical church member. You do not need to overthink this subject but it is still good to generally outline your target demographic.

Here’s a good idea—define these people by “mindsets” instead.

What are the goals of your church?

Church planting is often done because a void is seen that needs to be filled. Think about what inspired you to look into building a church in the first place. Look at what your church body can do through discipleship and the different goals that can be achieved. Realistically speaking, church goals should be dynamic and there should be both big and small targets.

Here is a good church goal-planning strategy that should help you with planning your hopeful achievements.

Who are the pastors?

One of the brainstorming questions we mentioned at the start was “Who do you need?”. Your pastors are the glue of your congregation and hold a fundamental role in the church’s success. It is important to identify and plan around these individuals.

Without a doubt, make sure you determine who your regular pastors will be⁠—and hopefully get on talking terms with a few guest speakers⁠ as well. Figuring out the identities that will represent your church is key and should be done during the planning stage. Of course, things might change in this department but always be selective and only bring in quality fits to your congregation.

How to find pastors for your church

It can be difficult for a startup church to find a dedicated preacher.

In fact… it’s very hard for smaller churches to find a willing pastor.

Sometimes you are better off getting an interim pastor to serve the role for the first 3-6 months or so. This person might turn into a permanent speaker. Since you cannot guarantee successful attendance from day one—not putting too much pressure on a prospective pastor is a good idea.

With an interim pastor on board, even if it’s someone with less experience, it becomes easier to attract other preachers to your church. You might be able to fill the role with a senior pastor as the lead preacher. You do not want to build up a congregation based on convenience; be patient with finding the right people for your team, but always make sure all roles are filled.

Read online to find tips for finding a pastor for your church to better grasp your options.

What else to know when team-building

Remember: Choosing a new pastor is a difficult process when there are multiple parties involved. It is a good idea to make a constitution that applies when filling important roles. A vote amongst your congregation is a good idea. As your church grows, the percentage of votes required to pass a decision should increase to prevent creating unease within your team.

Planning a non-denominational church? Many pastors are influenced by the idea of preaching at this kind of church. The non-denominational movement is growing in size and is becoming a more acceptable choice. Push the reputability that comes with your non-denominational church when trying to bring a new speaker on board

Lastly, you will need more than one preacher prepared for sure. Your lead pastor is important but you should focus on finding an associate pastor, assistant pastor, and youth pastor.

Interview potential church staff members. 

Make sure their message falls in line with what you want to achieve. Your team should be passionate about the goals that you set out for your church. Forcing a congregation simply to have all your “ducks in a row” will backfire every time. There has to be heart from all, not just you!

Establishing the Church

Your general outline is now in place. Next, how do you establish the church?

This process is the tiring part. It’s all logistics and little emotion.

We will walk you through some of the most important steps.

Choosing Your Location

God calls it upon all of his disciples to plant their own church. If you have the ambition to achieve such a missionary goal there will be no challenge that you cannot overcome. Ask for His guidance and embark on your mission to find chapel space with the help of the spirit of the Lord.

Next, begin figuring out your preferences and check your options.

Where would you like to plant your church?

You probably have an idea of what part of town or which neighborhood you would like to plant your church. Finding the right location can be difficult but the searching pains will vary depending on where you live and what the real estate market is like.

Without a doubt, your first course of action should be to look at all of the currently vacant churches and see if any fit your criteria. You can then look at converting a zoning-appropriate building if none are in an acceptable area.

Of course, when planting a church it is not essential to have a full-size venue from day one. Your plan can be a bit staggered and could involve renting out spaces to host meetings and sermons in the early stage of your growth. That way, your major real estate-related investment will only come once you have built up your team and developed a relationship with the members of your church.

Determine Your Costs

You must determine your budget and analyze your costs.

Take a basic accounting course if you are not qualified.

Make use of an accounting software program to keep it all simple.

Check out cost estimates for church planting to get an idea of what you might expect to pay when starting up your own church. Consider both your launch costs and your operational costs.

Look for fundraising and sponsorship opportunities. Here are some fundraising tips that can help when trying to raise capital for your startup church. Be creative and get some suggestions from others on your team too.

Getting Finances in Order

Many important things need to be done to make sure your church meets basic requirements financially and legally. Below we will go over a handful of points that should not be ignored.

How do you get an EIN?

You need to fill out Form SS-4 to receive your EIN (Employee Identification Number). You can do this online, by mail, or through fax. Check out the IRS information page to find everything you need to know about getting an EIN for your church.

How do you open a bank account?

You need to prepare everything the bank will want to see. The documents you should have ready include a copy of your proof of incorporation, “meeting minutes” from the board meeting where the bank account decision was decided and signed for, your EIN number, and your personal ID. Make sure to confirm with the bank if there is anything else that they will require from you.

How do you get your Proof of Incorporation?

The requirements for how to incorporate a church will vary depending on the state where you are located. Usually, the process involves submitting forms to your Secretary of State. This process is only different in three states. In Louisiana, the state approves or rejects the incorporation request but the documents are ultimately processed and stored with the local Parish. In Michigan and Virginia, there is a Corporations Commission that handles everything. Check the site for your state or give them a call to get the exact details on how to incorporate your church.

Being incorporated is important. It takes personal liability away from the church if anything happens to any members or staff. It gives you the chance to qualify for some grants via both the federal government and certain faith-based groups. It gives you cheaper mailing costs and various other types of discounts. Learn more about the why and how of incorporating a church if you are feeling a bit out of touch on this subject.

How do you get grants?

If you are incorporated you have a chance to qualify for some grants for your church. Check out this simple guide for finding church grants to get a better idea of where to look to find the available options. These grants won’t just help with startup and operational costs but also with raising capital for a mission or special event. Here are more tips covering church grants and the faith-based foundations that supply them.

How do you become tax-exempt?

Churches are qualified for tax-exempt status through the IRS. Nothing must be done to maintain this status. You can find out more about this exemption and the exception from filing the annual information return (Form 990/990-N/990-EZ) on this page.

Marketing Your Church

Now you get to the fun part.

You need to gain attention for your startup church. After you get known, the next step is to increase the attendance growth. When this is no longer a concern you can focus on upping financial contributions and church commitment/discipleship from your active members.

Two quick pieces of advice…

This YouTube video touches on how you can optimize your church for growth behind the scenes.

The first piece of advice that is given (by pastors-turned-entrepreneurs) is that you should always be measuring your metrics. This aspect matters in the business world but far too many churches fail to measure enough factors to truly be able to optimize for growth.

You should look online at different list-based articles and metric-tracking tool feature pages to compile a comprehensive list of what to measure. This list will give you 20 metrics to track which is a good start⁠—you can borrow some standard business metrics as well.

The second piece of advice is to be strategic in your hiring by outsourcing many jobs to qualified people. Instead of keeping it all in-house, get expert help because the difference matters. It might seem easy enough to “do it yourself” but a church marketing guru will always be a step ahead.

You can handle most of this stuff yourself at first, but as your church grows an emphasis should be put on outsourcing to experts. Some tasks are more important to outsource than others. Use your logic and always consider how much it will impact your church’s growth and reputation.

How to Gain Attention

Getting exposure to a new church can be very tough.

Here are some methods that have worked for others in your shoes:

Host a “Neighborhood Day”

Have a BBQ for families and friends in the community. Make the event non-denominational and focus on having a good time. Consider this your “housewarming party” and use it as a means of networking and building early relationships.

The people that live closest to your church location are the easiest first leads to convert into actual attendees. Even if they don’t stick around, many that live nearby are likely willing to visit your church at first and return for occasional events/sermons.

Live Stream via Facebook

Build interest in your sermons and get your church’s message across through social media platforms. Facebook, in particular, can be very beneficial. You can run a live stream and talk about your mission to plant a church, the goals you want to achieve, etc. You can live stream sermons held in rented venues before launching in your official space.

The social reach that Facebook offers is immensely powerful. Use your live streaming as a way to connect with prospective church members. These people will share content from your page and increase attention to your church. You can make a big announcement for your opening day and continue promoting your church this way every week.

Use Paid Advertising Methods

Local advertising methods can work. For example, sending out pamphlets in the mail is costly but not as expensive when done efficiently. Target households within a 2-5 mile radius depending on the population in the area. Do whatever you can to get the word out—put up posters, hand out flyers, pay for a radio or newspaper ad, etc. 

Your launch day is a big moment and needs to be planned to perfection. Get your marketing materials in order as early as possible. Think through all the different promotional avenues that are available to you and don’t be afraid to bring in some outside help.

Plan separately for member retention.

It is hard to keep church members even after they attend a service a few times. You must build a relationship, create a community feel, and engage everyone to keep up your attendance numbers. 

Establishing a Digital Footprint

In today’s age, every church needs to have a proper presence on the web. People are always seeking information and engagement through digital sources. From your perspective, having an established position online and on social media will empower your church to grow!

You need:

  1. A social media presence
  2. A website
  3. A church app

We will go over these three variables in more detail.

Social Media Marketing for Your Church

Your church should have an active Facebook page at the minimum. Some other platforms you might want to engage with people through would include Instagram and Twitter. These social media networks are the most populated and create the best results from a marketing perspective.

You should hire a social media marketing expert to handle your social pages. The way to approach everything will vary depending on the specific network. The best techniques are not easy to learn and succeeding means knowing how to adapt “on the fly”. Even so, learn how your church page should be used to get an idea of what needs to be planned out.

Think of your Facebook page as your brand image and reputation. Anyone can discover it. The way your page is presented will give the first impression that could attract or detract potential church members. The way your page is used also has the power to engage current church members which helps your church sustain its growth. Remember, the more happy and engaged members you have⁠—the more disciples you will have on hand to serve your church!

Your Church Needs a Website

Your church’s website is a landing page for current members and potential newcomers. The way your homepage is presented will play a big role in how people engage with your site. The right layout can influence visitors to go through what are essentially the “steps of a marketing funnel”. You should take a few minutes to learn more about how website conversion funnels work and understand what they can achieve.

You have the power to direct your visitors to act as you want. You can encourage new people to try your church and influence discipleship or contributions from your active members.

Take a look at our list of the best church website designs of 2019 to get an idea of what works. We provide commentary on some of the key elements of each listed website design. Your website has many variables that matter ranging from the page tabs to typography choices. Take the time to learn the ins and outs—we discuss the marketing strength of certain design features in that piece as well, which is very important.

How can you easily set up a website?

Your options include:

  1. Outsourcing the web design work to a freelancer in your area or online. Websites like Upwork and PeoplePerHour are full of low-cost designers and developers that can bring your vision to life.
  2. Setting up your website on your own through a builder like Wix, Weebly, or SquareSpace. These services come with a recurring cost but the simplicity makes it easy for a beginner to set their site up without needing outside help.
  3. Building your website through a premium WordPress theme. ThemeForest is the most popular site to buy theme licenses from and you can check their church themes here. Most of the themes are extremely user-friendly and the WordPress backend itself is very easy to use and update.

Increase Donations & Engagement with a Church App

Many churches are incorporating a mobile app as a way to increase engagement with their members. At the same time, the application serves as a simple and secure transaction source for church donations. Along with push notifications, the right app content can grab the user and build their commitment to your church.

Churches use their app to supply members with:

  • Regular sermons
  • Event invitations
  • Volunteer requests
  • Contribution requests
  • Plus whatever else…

Our “Church Giving App” gives you the ability to accept donations from mobile users. The payment options are immense (including Apple Pay). We’ve also put our software into a tablet-style kiosk machine which receives 24% more donation $’s on average.

If you want to wait for an app till a later date that’s understandable. You can still go for text-to-give donations which work incredibly well. We also have embedded give forms that can go onto your website (contact us to go over your options). 

Managing the Church

In the last section of our detailed guide, we want to touch on the important factors regarding the management of your church. We’ve already covered planning the startup and marketing to gain attendance. But, it is essential to make sure that your church is operational and obliging to all expectations.

Some important things to consider includes: your accounting, on-site security, event planning, and discipleship growth.

How to Handle Church Accounting

It is usually good to leave your accounting work in the hands of a professional. You can run the books at first on your own but pass this role to an expert when your church starts to grow. It would be a good idea to make use of a popular church accounting software program like FlockBase or Aplos Church Accounting.

Check this review list to compare your options.

How to Handle Church Security

Security is of the utmost importance. Threats will always exist but the more your church grows the more you should do to protect your members and staff. Take a look at our list of 10 church security tips to get an idea of the different practices and protocols that you should make common.

The points we cover include:

  1. Specifically detail all assigned roles
  2. Run background checks on members/volunteers
  3. Develop emergency scripts for speakers
  4. Invest in communication tools like walkie talkies
  5. Always have security cameras and cover the entries
  6. Consider the position of your pastor’s pulpit
  7. Be certain everyone is aware of the exit points
  8. Communicate, discuss, and develop with your team
  9. Watch out for other sources of disruption
  10. Create a sense of joy from within

How to Plan & Schedule Events

Planning and scheduling events should be done amongst all staff members. You can hold weekly meetings to go over what’s happening with the church, its congregation, the community, etc. These meetings are the perfect opportunity to go over any events that you would like to plan. You can always have guests join in on these meetings if any upcoming events will involve other churches, speakers, or any other third-party.

You will have to address each situation individually based on the circumstances. For example, if there is an upcoming missionary trip you want to make sure it is scheduled for a time that works for most members. In this scenario, it might make the most sense to create a poll asking which days work for your members and which days are not possible.

The goal is to leave the opportunity open for as many members as possible. You want to sustain their discipleship which is why optimizing your scheduling efforts is so important.

Using a live schedule spreadsheet through Google Sheets or an actual program or mobile app would be a great idea. Many mobile apps are full of beneficial features for teams like yours. Take the time to look for one and get everyone to start making use of it if you like that idea.

Also, consider the financial side of planning an event. You need to make sure it is workable with your church’s budget. To offset the costs it would be a good idea to get fundraising and sponsoring for as much of the cost of the expenditure as you can. Plan to raise funds ahead of when the event or excursion will take place. You can do a vote with your board members to determine if the opportunity is worth the cost before green-lighting it.

How to Build Discipleship

Solid attendance and commitment to your church result in a growth in disciples under your congregation. Establishing this relationship requires evolving a new church member into someone who feels like they are a full part of your team. The “we’re all in this together” approach is fundamental and should be ingrained into every aspect of your growth efforts.

Read this article on discipleship culture in the church to understand how you can influence your members to get more involved. Their description explains it well by claiming that people do not just go to church and become disciples overnight. They attend, get baptized, and then become teachers/servants. The church is responsible for evangelizing non-believers, establishing their beliefs through baptism and teaching, and then equipping them with the knowledge and power to be disciples.

Two other key things you should do to build discipleship within your church include incorporating disciple-making sermons in your weekly service and pushing opportunities for your believers to teach and serve the Lord. You can also seek out the help of a senior pastor to build a detailed conversion strategy.

Conclusion… It's Possible

Church planting is an intimidating process but that doesn’t mean you should give up the idea. Many people succeed at starting a church of their own. With His help, you will find no struggle too overwhelming to overcome. However, it WILL take a lot of planning to make everything work.

At NewFire Giving we regularly provide hands-on consultation for both new and established churches. You’re welcome to reach out for help. Check out our Ignite Coaching service page to better understand what we can do to help grow your church and maximize your donations.

Trust in the Lord above all things

By | Clarify the WHY

Ask yourself, who is it you trust most in this world? Who is the most worthy of your trust? Think of all the wonders that god gives us, and how little he asks in return.

Building your relationship with the lord means building trust with him. It is when uncertainty has fled your heart that God’s love will show itself.

Remember to stand in awe at the narrow range of the lord’s capabilities that you are able to understand. Fear his wrath and what is wrought upon his enemies.

Take a few minutes and think about trust. What does trust mean? What can be gained from it?

We all falter from time to time. When you are down and out, remember this page and re-read some of these passages. Contemplate what trust means to you, and what you can do to place more of it in the lord in your everyday life.

Psalm 56:3-4 When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise- in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Isaiah 26:3-4 You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD himself, is the Rock eternal.

Psalm 13:5 But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.

Psalm 37:5 Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this:

Psalm 9:10 Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.

Jeremiah 29:11-14 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”

Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Jeremiah 17:7-8 “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,

whose confidence is in him.

They will be like a tree planted by the water

that sends out its roots by the stream.

It does not fear when heat comes;

its leaves are always green.

It has no worries in a year of drought

and never fails to bear fruit.”

Proverbs 16:3 Commit to the Lord whatever you do,

and he will establish your plans.

Psalm 143:8 Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,

for I have put my trust in you.

Show me the way I should go,

for to you I entrust my life.

2 Corinthians 5:7 For we live by faith, not by sight.

James 1:6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.

Hebrews 13:6 So we say with confidence,

“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.

What can mere mortals do to me?”

Proverbs 29:25 Fear of man will prove to be a snare,

but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.

Psalm 73:25 Whom have I in heaven but you?

And earth has nothing I desire besides you.

Hebrews 13:5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

Philippians 4:19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

Proverbs 16:20 Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers,

and blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord.

1 John 4:16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.

Psalm 37:3 Trust in the Lord and do good;

dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.

1 John 4:1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

Psalm 31:19 How abundant are the good things

that you have stored up for those who fear you,

that you bestow in the sight of all,

on those who take refuge in you.

And with these thoughts in mind.

We have some thoughts to pray on. We need to see the light that shines upon us when we trust in a higher power. We need to feel the strength that flows through us, knowing that we are not along. We know that it is our faith that gives us his favor. It is our devotion that will sow the seeds of prosperity.

We need to know what it means to see god in everything. We see the beauty of his love in everything around us. We see the trials that he sets before us for what they are. We are alive in the knowledge that with his love, there is nothing that we cannot overcome.

We could all do with more trust in our lives, and trusting in the lord is our best foundation to do so.

Prayers For The Church

Prayers For The Church

By | Bible Verses

Prayer is one of the mysterious ways of the Christian life. Praying for yourself, your family, community or your country is one thing while praying for the church is a different thing altogether. Prayer is the heart of the church. Through prayers, we seek reconciliation, express our gratitude, seek wisdom and ask for grace. Since the church is not immune to earthly problems, we as Christians ought to pray to God to let the spirit guide us in building, protecting and expanding the church.

Prayers give the church a deeper understanding of the true nature of God and His purpose for the world. Kneeling before God alone in your room is often powerful, allowing you to connect to God in magical ways. For a church, prayer is a conduit to the power of God. As a church, how do you pray together? What prayer items are essential? Who should lead church prayers?

Here are crucial 9 prayers for the church you should consider when planning your church prayer sessions.

1.      Thanksgiving Prayer

Whether it is in a thanksgiving celebration or the usual church service, a thanksgiving prayer is an excellent way of expressing our gratitude to the ultimate Creator. In 1st Thessalonians 5:16 – 18, we are reminded to pray continually and give thanks in all circumstances. It does not matter if the church is facing problems or celebrating milestones; the bible urges us to give thanks to Whom we bestow all blessings at all times. Thankfulness opens up a stream of wonders and delight and draws us closer to God.

2.      Reconciliation

Reconciliation should be a central theme in church prayers. Sin can alienate the church from God preventing it from witnessing the omnipotent nature of the Almighty. Jesus’ prayer for peace in his sermon on the mount shows that reconciliation lies at the epicenter of Christ’s ministry here on earth. In Ephesians 2:14, it is succinct that the role of the church is to pray to break the walls of division among people of all backgrounds through prayer. Paul teaches the church of Corinth to pray for reconciliation among themselves and, most importantly to God. Pray to Creator to give your church an understanding of what it means to be reconciled to God. Reconciliation is the way you can comprehend your problems, forge up solutions and fulfill the purpose of the church on earth.

3.      Church Growth

Churches are required to trust in God to work miracles in and through their growth. Church leaders and followers are urged by God through the Scriptures to build and expand the church, making disciples in every people, tribe, and nation. This is a huge task which no single follower, pastor or church leader can accomplish alone. But with the help of the Almighty through prayers, church growth becomes easier. Christians are required to invoke God’s guidance through constant prayer to enable both the physical and spiritual growth of the church.

4.      A Prayer for Grace

The Scriptures tell us that if we ask anything from God, through His will and faithfulness, we shall be given what we seek. Grace is the foundation of a church. It is the fuel that enables churches to put on the armor of light and shine Jesus’ kindness and love to the world. In 2nd Cor 12:8, we are told that God’s grace is sufficient for all of us for His power shows during our darkest moments. A prayer for grace enables the church to grow up in Christ resulting in lifelong spiritual maturity. With grace, the church can sail through storms, withstand trials and temptations and witness the fruits of proclaiming the purpose of Christ for the world.

5.      Church Generosity

Most verses in the bible about money emphasize on the importance of sharing the little we have with the needy. Generosity is one of the primary obligations of the modern church, where most churches lay down frameworks for charity or crowdfunding to raise money to assist the needy in the society. Praying for generosity allows the church to show God’s limitless and never-ending ability to bless those who give generously. A prayer for generosity involves asking God to bless others through us (the church). Generosity is not just tied to material things – it also involves sharing the fruits of the Holy Spirit and extending grace and mercy to the world.

6.      Prayer for Church Leadership

Praying for God to bless and provide knowledge and resources to the church leadership is fundamental. From the time of Paul, successful churches have always relied on prayer to give wisdom to their leaders. When three enemy armies surrounded King Jehoshaphat, he did not know what to do but pray to God. Praying for church leadership will enable them to break obstacles in their most difficult times. In prayer, we draw church leaders into deeper dependence upon God allowing them to walk a life worthy of their calling.

7.      Church Unity

Divisions in the church can arise because of differences in culture, political ideologies, or socioeconomics. Paul noticed that the Church of Ephesus was about to divide because of disagreements between the members. He then wrote from prison reminding them of the need for unity in the church. When organizing a prayer week or planning for a church service, keep in mind that prayer for unity is the pillar for success. Prayers for unity bring church members, leaders and partners together, enabling them to work in harmony to fulfill God’s will for the church.

8.      A Prayer for Peace

Peace in the church is a status of the inner joy, tranquility, and comfort where members and leaders coexist in harmony. A prayer for peace can help your church to resolve conflicts where every party gets satisfied. The Bible urges us to face conflicts in the church head-on and use the power of prayer to invite peace among the conflicting parties. Prayers enable us to seek personal peace with God through Christ creating an inner sense of calmness and well-being.

9.      Forgiveness

Prayer allows us to seek restoration and healing for the church. Whether you are seeking forgiveness for your own sins or asking God to forgive others, forgiveness is a powerful fruit of the Holy Spirit. It frees the church from past wrongdoings and prepares them for the future. Our shortcomings as human beings can anger God in ways we may not understand. That is why we are reminded to seek forgiveness for the sins we know and those we don’t know. A prayer for forgiveness gives the church new hope and beginning.

When God’s house on the earth is a house of prayer, then heaven is busy in its plans for the church. A church that prays is encircled with protection and peace of Christ. It is shielded from its enemies by supernatural powers of God.

How to Lead Church Prayers

While you can quickly assume that pastors or church leaders have a mandate of discipling the church towards prayer, any Christian can lead church prayer. There is one caveat, though. Some biblical lessons teach that God may not answer your prayer if you are asking for the wrong things, or asking for wrong reasons, or if you lack faith and have not asked for forgiveness. You need to ensure that the person leading your church in prayers is spiritually mature and can ask the right things for the right reasons.

If you are planning a prayer meeting or a prayer week in your church, here are some of the tips that can help you have a fruitful prayer session.

  • Have a specific theme. Whether you want to seek forgiveness, pray for church members, or ask God to help strengthen the growth of the church, you need a well-thought theme that will drive your prayers.
  • Is it an invitation-only or an open prayer meeting? Church leader groups, women groups, or any other group in the church might want to engage in prayers. Organize everything to suit the needs of the group
  • Consider the number of the congregation. If you are organizing a prayer meeting for the whole church, senior church leaders and pastors should be given the role to lead the church in prayers. You also have to inform your members early that you’ll be having a prayer meeting.
  • Define the length of the prayer session. Congregants need to know how long a prayer will go on.
  • Get comfortable with the uncomfortable. Some topics or sessions can be uncomfortable for some of the people. But that is the essence of prayer – to bring to God issues bothering us and ask for His grace and assistance in resolving the issues.
  • Write down your prayers. If you have the prayer leader, you might want to write down your prayer to enable you to stay on the rails even as other congregants veer off from the main prayer theme.

Leading people in prayer is a humbling role that requires you to plan well. You need to be dynamic so as to accommodate other prayer items that can pop up during prayer meetings. Praying and worshipping go hand in hand together. You can make your sessions more engaging by including praise and worship sessions. Encourage your church to pray by carrying out occasional all-church prayer meetings.

Prayer Items for Your Church

Sometimes, you don’t know what to include in your prayer or where to start and stop. When engaging in all-church prayer, some members of the prayer team may go off-topic. So, what prayer items should you consider in your church prayers? Paul prays for the church of Thessalonica, Rome, Ephesus, and Colossae where he considers the needs and problems of these churches in his prayers.

Most churches structure their prayer calendar in such a manner that the prayer items coincide with the theme of the week. If your theme for the week is spiritual growth, then your prayer items should center on aspects regarding spirituality.

In the church, we may have a few prayer warriors, but many church members lack the biblical vision and discipline to commit themselves to intercessions, and supplication. Prayer is communication with God, believing and receiving what He has given to us through Christ. Proper connection with the Almighty implies understanding how God receives and responds to prayers.

Here are some questions to ask yourself when suggesting prayer items for your church:

  • Is the prayer item relevant to the congregation?
  • How does the item address the church’s intimate relationship with God?
  • Does the prayer harmonize with God’s will for the church?

Like praying for yourself, you need to be steadfast and persistent when praying for the church. If Christians fail to pray for the church, the Bible tells us that we may not realize the true power of God. During church prayers, let us remember to include the prayers we discussed earlier to build our spiritual authority with Christ.

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