Thinking about opening a community church? We tell you what you need to know to get started.
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Defining a Community Church
Over the past few decades, community churches have been appearing on the scene in record numbers. But the origins of the community church movement go back much further. During America's early days, small pioneer communities didn't have the people or resources to sustain multiple denominational churches. Instead, they crossed denominational boundaries to form a single community church that met the needs of the entire community.
Modern community churches also transcend denominational boundaries, but in a much more intentional way. Many community churches envision themselves to be local worship centers that appeal to a broad cross-section of area residents. On the whole, community churches are independent, conservative and evangelical congregations that espouse a casual worship style.
For religious entrepreneurs, community churches are an easy on ramp to the world of church planting and spiritual leadership. The lack of denominational influence eliminates many of the barriers to entry and allows passionate believers to launch churches in a segment of Christianity that is experiencing an upward growth trend.
Despite their non-denominational nature, many community churches participate in associations such as the International Council of Community Churches. These associations facilitate the sharing of resources and offer encouragement to community church leaders.
Growing Your Community Church
The long-term success of your community will hinge on your short-term ability to attract church attenders. At any given time, there is a sizeable group of community residents that is looking for a new church home. These folks are low-hanging fruit for your community church plant, but you'll need to deliberately reach them through marketing channels and messages that speak directly to their needs.
Beyond that, getting people in the door of a religious startup requires a diverse mix of strategies and tactics. These days, no single technique or communication channel is capable of reaching your entire prospect base. Instead, you'll need to pursue a diverse marketing mix that leverages multiple channels and communication vehicles.
These additional resources regarding getting started as a religious entrepreneur may be of interest to you.
If you already are in business and came here to learn about growing an existing community church, these resources will come in handy:
If you came here to learn about selling to community churches, you're in the wrong place. These resources are more appropriate for you:
We offer startup guides for other religions. View some of our sample guides below.