How to Start a Church

Opening an Eastern Orthodox Church

These tips are written for those of you who plan on opening an Eastern Orthodox church. Read these tips before you open up shop.

Wondering how to start an Eastern Orthodox church? We take you step-by-step from start to success.

The Eastern Orthodox Communion

The Eastern Orthodox or Orthodox Church is the second largest Christian denomination in the world behind Roman Catholicism. Within Eastern Orthodoxy, there are a multitude of national churches that are represented throughout the U.S. Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, Ukrainian Orthodox and other national churches each maintain their own practices and traditions while retaining allegiance to the theological tenets of Eastern Orthodoxy.

Eastern Orthodox churches are highly liturgical and hierarchical. The momentum for opening a new Eastern Orthodox church can be a combined effort of clergy and laity. In many cases, it makes more sense to expand a current Orthodox church than it does to build a new one, especially if the area is already being served by one or more Orthodox congregations.

In the U.S., the Orthodox Church in America provides support to church planting efforts through its Department of Evangelization. Under current guidelines, new Eastern Orthodox churches may be eligible to receive matching funds for up to three years to support full-time clergy in missionary communities.

Creating a Mission Statement for an Eastern Orthodox Church

One of the first challenges that needs to be addressed is the creation of a church mission statement. Church planters in general have a tendency to write mission statements that are overly vague and ultimately, not useful. When you write a mission statement for an Eastern Orthodox church plant, it will need to be consistent with Orthodox values, but contain enough specificity to forge the church's unique congregational identity.

The development of a mission statement is usually a team effort. Even though it will take longer, you should involve denominational representatives and key team members in the process. The business community has become very adept at creating effective mission statements and can be a good resource for learning to how to create a mission statement.

More Advice for Religous Startups

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

Startup Requirements for a Religious Organization

Finding the Right Location for Your Religious Startup

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