Finding the right location to launch is crucial for any church plant. After all, the church location and venue play a key role in how effectively your church plant reaches and engages the community.
Are you looking for the ideal place to launch your church? Here are seven tips to help you zero down on that perfect location:
Ask God to give you a burden for a specific place:
Jesus is building His Kingdom! If God has called you to plant churches, He will also reveal where He wants you to start. Ask God to give you a burden for a particular area. Pray without ceasing! After all, solid prayer and passion are the foundations of any successful church plant. Has God placed a burden on your heart for a specific town, area or community?
Look for areas devoid of churches:
Did you know that 65 percent of the population in the US have no real church connection? There are many pockets across the country with a high concentration of people, but little or no church activity. The Northeast corridor, for example, has nearly 20 percent of America’s population, but very few churches to match. Zero down on the areas where there are fewer churches. Are you ready to go where the need is the greatest?
Talk to other pastors ministering in the area:
This is the time for Kingdom collaboration! Irrespective of their denominational differences, church planters and pastors are increasingly coming together to reach out to their cities. Let your church plant be a result of such a collaboration! Consult with other pastors who are already serving in the city or town that you feel called to. Ask them where the greatest need in their city is, and identify the challenges of the specific communities in the area. Most importantly, ask them to support you in prayer as you seek to obey the Lord’s calling on your life. Are you ready to collaborate?
Consider the layout and facilities:
Finalizing the area that you will call home is just half the battle won! The next step is to find that perfect venue. And, there’s so much to consider! It is a good idea to look at the venue from a visitor’s perspective: Is it easily accessible? Does it feel cramped and dingy? Does it have adequate parking spots and clean rest rooms? Is there ample meeting space for both adults and kids? In addition, you will also have to think about facilities such as a kitchen space, lighting and stage setup. Are you looking at potential church venues from the eyes of a visitor?
Think about the costs:
It’s no surprise that the potential cost of setting up a church can be a deal-breaker. You might find the perfect facility with the accessibility and welcoming atmosphere you were looking for. But, if the numbers just don’t add up – you’ll be heading back to square one! It is important to factor in all the costs involved in moving into a new facility. Will you be paying monthly or quarterly rent? Will there be additional equipment that you might need, in order to set up in a particular facility? Don’t forget to include any ongoing expenses, like electricity or cleaning services, while doing the math! Have you made a list of all the costs involved in launching your church?
Consider equipment requirements:
Setting up your church in a community center would require you to arrange for different gear than launching in a restaurant would. For example, a school might allow you to use their projector for your weekend services. A movie theater, on the other hand, would save you the trouble of bringing in chairs and an additional screen. Think about the specific equipment requirements for each potential church venue. It’s also important to enquire about on-site storage facilities. If you are launching a portable church, it will be helpful to be able to store your gear at the venue. If such a facility is not available, you could consider customized, portable cases like the ones Portable Church offers. These enable mobile churches to roll their equipment in and out every weekend with ease! Are there any specific equipment requirements for your potential church venues?
Make sure that the venue matches the vision of your church:
It is important that your church venue compliments the character, vision and mission of your church. If your church has the heart to engage the unchurched, the warm and casual atmosphere at a bowling alley or a pizza parlor might be a good choice. If children’s ministry is a priority, then consider a facility which will let you create multiple safe and fun environments to cater to different ages. Will the community you're called to feel welcome at your church venue?
This post has been adapted from Portable Church, which offers services to church plants, multi-site churches, and fellowships who meet in rented spaces to launch well, be operationally sustainable and thrive. Portable Church is an Influence Partner. To learn more about Portable Church and how it can help your community, click here.