The Barna Group teamed up with Cornerstone Knowledge Network to research current methods of planting and growing congregations. The results of the research are detailed in the book More Than Multisite: Inside Today's Methods and Models for Launching New Congregations. What follows are their findings, adapted for this article, related specifically to financing the project and budgeting for the specific needs and priorities involved in planting a new church.
How do churches prepare financially for new churches? They rely on a variety of strategies for raising needed funds. Church plants are most likely to be organically self-funding—that is, giving increases as they grow and those funds cover increasing operational expenses. Nearly three-quarters of Planting Beginners (72 percent) say they primarily rely on this approach. Meanwhile, two-thirds of Planting Strategists (66 percent) also use this self-funding approach, but almost half (48 percent) say they also set aside a certain percentage of their operating budget for ongoing growth, since their expansion strategy specifically includes continued growth and regeneration. (See the sidebar "New Congregation Types" for a definition of each category explored in this article.)