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Baseline Funding Model & Sustainability Plan

Our approach to funding new church development projects is predicated on financial and attendance trends that have been documented over the life cycle of existing projects in our area. The trends show that it takes a five-year commitment of funding for a new project to move toward financial sustainability in preparation of chartering. For these five years, the data revealed that from 2010 to 2015, it required an average of $345,000 in funding.

Some of the important highlights of this baseline funding model is that it also requires the planter to raise $8,700 in her/his first 12 months. The strategy behind requiring our planters to raise funding is to create a learning opportunity that helps the planter and emerging leadership team recognize the importance of a stewardship plan and strategy. These initial funds can be raised by various creative methods, to include the planter’s personal network, Kickstarter or Go Fund Me campaigns, partnering strategies, and other related methods. The new rhythm this establishes for the planter will help shape and drive the necessary work that church planting requires in the 21st century. Creative development of stewarded resources, by way of giving, funding partners, and other developed revenue streams, are essential to how we foster sustainability in our context and season.

Developing a giving narrative that shapes good stewardship is absolutely essential, from day one.
Developing a giving narrative that shapes good stewardship is absolutely essential, from day one.

Additionally, the new funding model also has a built-in shared ministry giving plan, which ramp up the new church toward paying full apportionments. This provides a basis for a giving narrative the planter can integrate into teaching and when continually casting vision. It also does one important thing: encourages multiplication. How? Because the entire amount of shared ministry giving is set aside in a separate fund at the conference level, and if the new church multiplies in the sixth year, every bit of this shared giving (estimated at $63,235 in our projection model) is then applied in support of the new expansion site — reinvested in the multiplication and fruit of the new church.

If a new project is approved, it will be supported through this baseline funding model. If the new project is birthed out of an existing church or partnering churches, the funding support will be adjusted, based on the contributions of the partnering church or churches. In review, the two most beneficial highlights of this baseline funding model are as follows:

    1. The planter is required to engage in the development work from a fundraising position early in the process, in order to work strategically toward a sustainable and multiplying project.
    2. The funding model allows for a built-in shared ministry-giving plan, which provides the planter a platform to shape a giving narrative toward better stewardship that encourages multiplication.

NOTE: For more details on the Five-Year Baseline Funding Model & Sustainability Plan which includes assumptions and considerations, please see the Appendix section.