According to that same 2011 report, the #2 challenge church planters face is money. This includes managing church and personal finances, internal giving, and external fundraising in order to achieve financial self-sufficiency and viability.
Money was also the #1 issue for church planters’ wives. In a 2007 NAMB study, 63% of planters’ wives worked, 53% outside the home. Of those working outside the home, 97% said finances played a role in that decision. Bi-vocational planting, often the only alternative, puts additional stress on the family. These pressures can wreak havoc on the stability of a marriage, and of a church.
Most planters come to the uncertainty of church planting from a steady paycheck. They’ve never created a church budget. They’ve never raised money. Managing finances is frustrating and just no fun, so it gets put on the back burner. Or it’s so overwhelming, it monopolizes their time.
That’s why NETS is comprehensive in our support. As part of the Leadership & Management Track, planters heading into the field develop a realistic four-year budget and start raising funds to reach it, with the help of NETS staff. In addition, NETS contributes approximately half of the four-year start-up costs. An average church takes at least three years to become self-sustaining. NETS makes a four-year commitment, and stays in the game until a church plant is established, showing every sign of long-term viability.