Starting a Church

How to Start a Presbyterian Church

This advice is written for those who hope to start a Presbyterian church. This is a must-read before you begin your venture.

Thinking about opening a Presbyterian church? We tell you what you need to know to get started.

Presbyterian Presence & Polity

The Presbyterian Church USA is a formidable presence in American Protestantism. With more than 2 million members, 10,000 churches and 13,000 clergy, Presbyterian churches can be found in nearly any town (large or small) throughout the nation.

Presbyterianism polity includes both episcopal and congregational elements. PCUSA has governing bodies at four levels: session/congregation, presbytery, synod and general assembly.

Church planters in the PCUSA tradition need to be intimately acquainted with the governing bodies and procedural nuances of Presbyterian polity. Church planting is an option for Presbyterian religious entrepreneurs, but the complexities of Presbyterian governance require a much more sophisticated approach than other Protestant denominations and spiritual streams.

Becoming a Nonprofit Entrepreneur

Despite the religious nature of your mission, as a Presbyterian church planter you are essentially embarking on the career path of a nonprofit entrepreneur. Like business entrepreneurs, nonprofit entrepreneurs apply a range of skills and techniques to advance their organization's mission and core values.

It's not uncommon for Presbyterian church planters to lack an entrepreneurial skill set prior to their church planting initiative. But although the learning curve can be steep, entrepreneurship is a field you'll need to quickly master in order to achieve growth and long-term viability.

The specific skill set that is required for nonprofit entrepreneurship revolves primarily around nonprofit funding and organizational management. To bring yourself up to speed, we recommend visiting our "Nonprofit Entrepreneurship" section for a comprehensive slate of resources designed to improve your nonprofit leadership skills.

Related Articles on Starting a Religious Organization

These additional resources regarding starting a religious organization may be of interest to you.

Strategic Planning for a Religious Organization Startup

Religious Organizations: Laying a Foundation for Growth

Where Should I Advertise My New Religious Organization?

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