Finance

STXChurchPlanting

Are Matching Funds a type of loan or grant?

Matching Funds are not considered a grant because the ongoing efforts of the Fund depend on the replenishment of the money awarded to you. Matching Funds are also not a loan. Your monthly financial replenishments have no interest attached and are based on the monthly income of your church. To qualify for Matching Funds, you commit to tithe 10 percent of your undesignated tithes and offerings each month. Fifty percent of that offering can be designated to the missionary or missions project of your choice. The remaining 50 percent is paid forward into the Church Multiplication Network (CMN) Matching Fund. The money you’ve paid forward will be used to invest in future church plants.

 

If I receive Matching Funds, will I have to follow certain rules when planting my church?

The purpose of CMN is to equip, fund, and network church planters — not tell you how to do church ministry. However, if you are awarded Matching Funds, you will be asked to respond to a survey each month on the status of your church plant. Additionally, any other requirements for your church plant would come from your AG District and/or parent church.

 

We filed a New Church Opened form, but haven't launched yet. Are we still eligible for Matching Funds?

Possibly. In order to qualify for Matching Funds, we require that each church plant submit a New Church Opened form or Parent Affiliated Church (PAC) Charter form. A church is classified as open once their district has filed these forms with the General Secretary's office. Because the purpose of the Matching Funds are for the pre-launch phase of a church plant, you will not be eligible for funds if you've already had a public launch service. If you have a New Church Opened form on file and it is classified as open, this is not necessarily equivalent to a public launch. Because we do not fund churches after they launch, it is important to submit your application a minimum of 10 weeks prior to your launch.

 

After I finish replenishing the Matching Funds, what’s next?

When the Matching Fund amount is paid forward in full, the planted church agrees to continue to give a minimum of one percent (1%) of all undesignated income every month to CMN to support the planting of new churches through CMN resources. The one percent (1%) commitment will remain in effect in perpetuity or until the planted church has a granddaughter church, aka plants a church that plants a church.

 

Do I have to hold my ministerial credentials with the Assemblies of God in order to apply for Matching Funds?

Yes.

 

What is an Assessment?

An Assessment is the process of discerning whether a potential church planter is called to plant a church and whether the person is right for a specific new work. In order to qualify for Matching Funds, you will need to have an Assessment or a Primary Partner approved Assessment. We encourage you to begin by contacting your AG District office and speaking with the individual responsible for church planting within your district. If you have any questions, feel free to contact the offices at CMN.

 

What are you looking for in a Ministry Plan?

We would like for the following questions and topics to be addressed within your Ministry Plan:

  • Describe the community where you will plant and how it will impact the community.
  • Provide demographic studies and explain how they have informed your process and action steps.
  • Please give your team-building strategy (e.g. launch team, first-year team, initial hires, etc.).
  • Describe your expected discipleship pathway with special focus on the intentional steps you will take to lead people to a confession of faith and Spirit baptism.
  • Describe how you have communicated your Ministry Plan to and learned from other ministry leaders already serving in the ministry context of where you are planting this church.
  • How will people in the community discover the new church plant?
  • Give a detailed look at your financial plans and expectations.
  • What is your strategy for raising funds (e.g. letters, events, starting a business, etc.)?
  • How will your funds be allocated/spent?
  • Provide a sample of any fundraising literature you might be using to build your financial support team.
  • How do you plan to introduce stewardship?
  • Where are your funds coming from?

 

What is a Primary/Secondary Partner and who qualifies as a partner?

A Primary/Secondary Partner commits to stand with the church planter and church planting project in prayer and support. They will provide stewardship of the Matching Funds in partnership with the planter, and will agree to replenish the funds if the church plant is not able to do so. The Matching Fund check will be sent to the Primary Partner and it is their responsibility to ensure the funds are utilized by the planter in a manner that maximizes the launch of the church plant. Please see the Matching Fund application to review the terms of the Partner Agreement.

 

The availability of matching funds through the Transform America Project has generated significant interest and a number of questions as to how to qualify for these funds.  Below is a list of a few sample Frequently Ask Questions produced by the Church Multiplication Network who administers these funds. For the most current and complete information go to: www.churchmultiplication.net/matching-funds/qualifications/

 

Bi-vocational?

Many of our church planters are bi-vocational for some portion of the church plant process. While some bi-vocational situations can make it difficult to manage time, vision, or focus, we have seen many of our planters find jobs and careers that can compliment their ministry very well. Though there may be sacrifices required, we encourage planters to make financial plans that will allow them to provide for their family and have sustainability while the project is in the infant and even into the adolescent stage. This ability to give the church plant a longer time to build a healty financial environment can be a great advantage.

 

Here is a resource that might be helpful when considering bi-vocational ministry.

 

www.missiopublishing.com/bivo

 

An online assessment specifically directed toward bi-vocational readiness is available here.

 

Personal Finances

In preparing to plant, church planters should get personal finances in order, eliminating debt and making financial plans for to cover personal needs until the church plant can become self-sufficient.

 

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