Thinking about opening a Protestant church? We tell you what you need to know to get started.
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Navigating the Protestant Minefield
Protestant Christianity covers an extremely wide spectrum of denominational and independent churches. Birthed as a "protest" against Catholicism and Orthodox Christianity, today's Protestantism represents a range of ideological and theological understandings.
For religious entrepreneurs, it isn't enough to simply express a desire to start a Protestant church. Your first step is to narrow down the list of options to a specific strand of Protestantism based on your personal convictions and religious preferences.
You should also be aware that there is an abundance of both liberal and conservative Protestant churches, sometimes within the same denomination. Despite apparent similarities in beliefs and practices, conservative and liberal Protestant churches appeal to radically different memberships. A miscalculation here can have big consequences for your church's success.
Strategic Planning in a Protestant Church Startup
Clearly, planning plays a central role in the launch of a new Protestant church. From the outset of your startup project, you will need to strategically choose the strand of Protestant Christianity from which your church will emerge and the resources you can marshal from within that strand to advance your efforts.
After you have identified an appropriate theological and/or denominational identity for your congregation, you will need to create a strategic plan. Strategic planning for religious startups is not unlike strategic planning for a business or nonprofit organization. The mechanics of the process are the same -- all that changes are the core components of your organizational mission and the specific strategies you will employ to accomplish your objectives.
If you're at a loss about where to begin your strategic planning process, we recommend starting with a SWOT analysis. SWOT analyses identify your organization's Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats -- key elements of a comprehensive strategic planning initiative.
These additional resources regarding starting a religious organization may be of interest to you.
If you sell to Protestant 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.