Funding Church Planting

Church planting can be expensive. This concern keeps many of our churches “on the bench” believing they can’t possibly play ball in the big leagues of church planting. Church planting shouldn’t be out of reach for any of our congregations. If we are going to meet the needs of unchurched populations in the decades to come, we must be stewards with an “all-hands-on deck” spirit together from Mound City to Kennett, La Grange to Neosho, Kansas City to St. Louis.

Only a portion of the cost of church planting comes from District grants. Here are three of several stewardship principles of church planting discussed in our learning communities of planting congregations and their workers.

Real Relationships over Real Estate The youngest generations (Millennials, Gen Z, and Gen A) tend to value relationships more than buildings and programs. Real estate costs money; relationships require investing time in people. Time will cost you more because it is priceless in our society. It is also the most effective way of making disciples. One Missouri District example: All Nations (University City) renting space and investing major amounts of time with their community.

Shared Ministry “Where two or three are gathered together… there we are District!” When churches work together in support of reaching new people, we are better stewards of our gifts. We gain capacity working together. We experience the momentum of joy and growth in Kingdom of God. This is low risk, high rewards. One Missouri District example: Our Savior (Platte City) and Northland Lutheran Outreach (Smithville) sharing workers, volunteers, school ministry, video streaming, and much more.

Co-Vocational Workers Most successful church plants in North America today are led by Co-Vocational workers and teams. It’s not just about saving money on salaries. We use the prefix, “Co” (rather than “Bi-Vocational”) to emphasize engaging the very people we are trying to reach through our work. For example a part-time high school baseball coach will meet many Gen Z youth and their Millennial parents through this complementary and financially supportive position in the community. One Missouri District example: My Church (Ozark) where Pastor Jim Bartok meets many young families by teaching Karate School.

Want to learn more? Contact Rev. Bill Geis at who gathers and facilitates learning communities around church planting and funding the mission.