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Church Planting Resources

Below are some resources for starting or organizing new churches. The following links or resources don’t necessarily represent the views or have the endorsement of the SDB General Conference USA & Canada but we are providing them for your information. The resources are not exhaustive and are organized by category. 


Organizational Setup

1. Corporation entity or Department of State for your state or province
2. Legal Counsel

Non-Profit/Tax Exempt Status
1. IRS or Revenue Canada
2. State or Provincial Tax Office and/or Corporation entity or Department of State

1. Location, Mission, or Vision could impact your church’s name (SDBs do NOT require SDB or Seventh Day Baptist to be in the church name)

1. Churches need liability insurance and property insurance. They may also want to consider worker’s compensation, disability insurance, automobile/vehicle insurance, pastoral counseling malpractice, directors & officers coverage, religious freedom coverage, or bonding. 
2. Some common church insurance companies include Church Mutual, Brotherhood Mutual, National Church Group, or GuideOne. You may also want to contact local agencies.

1. Churches should set up an account with a reputable local bank. 
2. There should be multiple counters when money is collected as well as multiple signers on an account. 

Systems and Structures

Church Structure
1. SDBs are congregational in nature. In the early stages of a churches development, however, a sponsoring church, an outside board, or the church planter/pastor may need to have significant influence

Mailing System
1. MailChimp has a way to run free campaigns to use to email lists. 
2. Contact the UPS for direct mail options.

Church Management Software
1. There are many good CMS options. You can review some of the best ones here.

1. I am a Church Member by Thom Rainer
2. What is a Healthy Church Member? by Thabiti Anyabwile

Worship Times
1. Consider the times that would work best for your group and for the people in your community that you are trying to reach. To be an SDB church, you may worship at other times but you must worship regularly (at least monthly) on the 7th day Sabbath (Friday night-Saturday night)

1. Meals, parties, and events are powerful opportunities to grow relationships with others. Make the time and resources spent doing these things count by being strategic. Continually evaluate to make sure you are doing what is best to build relationships. Ensure that you are intentional about making these things open and inviting to non-belivers. Encourage members to have meals, fellowships, and events at their homes and third places where they invite their unbelieving friends as well as those from church.

Visitor/New Contact Follow Up
1. Welcome Packets
2. First Time Guests
3. Church Guest Checklist

1. Seven Keys to Keeping Your Church Informed
2. Phone vs Email

1. Your Church is Larger Than You Think
2. Infrequent Church Attenders

Graphic Design/Printing
1. The cost of printing will only continue to rise. You should establish from the start that communication will happen electronicly. 
2. Look for local individuals or companies for graphic design. You could also use a service like Fiverr. There are a number of rather talented SDBs who may possibly be willing to help church plants for low or no cost. Please contact the Director of Pastoral Services.

Human Resources/Evaluation
1. A very important step in the formation of your church should be policy manual for the conduct, compensation, operation, recruitment, and dismissal of volunteers and staff. Your church will at the very least have volunteers serving. You should set the expectations of service at your church clearly. 


1. Are You Called To Be a Church-Planter? from Summit Network; Am I Called to Be a Church Planter? from Vineyard; Am I Called to Be a Church Planter? from New Churches; 20 Questions to Assess You as a Church Planter by Scott Thomas
2. Some organizations use assessments to determine the character and potential effectiveness of church planters. SDBs do not currently assess church planters but this is a widely used assessment tool. 

Family and Personal Life

1. My Husband Wants to Be a Church Planter 
2. How to Start Well as a Church Planting Spouse

Time Management
1. SDBU ??? – Church Administration and Time Management

Financial Management
1. The Money Challenge by Art Rainer
2. Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey

1. 3 Reasons Church Planters Don’t Have Friends (and How to Fix it)
2. Pastor, You Need Some Friends

1. Parenting in Ministry

1. The Gospel, Marriage, and Church Planting
2. Four Ways to Strengthen the Church Planter’s Marriage

Spiritual Discipline

1. The Gospel and the Discipline of Prayer
2. The Gospel and the Discipline of Fasting

Self Control
1. Self Control and the Power of Christ

1. SDBU ??? – Sabbath Theology

Bible Reading and Memorization
1. Memorizing Scripture
2. Bible Reading Plans


Pastor Support
1. SDB Pastors Facebook Group (ask  the Director of Church Development)
2. Pastor Support Network; Pastor Serve; Focus on the Family Pastoral Care Line 1-844-4-PASTOR; K-Love Pastors Line 1-800-525-LOVE 

Networking & Support
1. SDB Church Development Facebook Page
2. SDB Church Planters’ Forum

CD Network Calls
1. On the last Thursday of the month at 8pm Eastern, SDBs host a Church Development Network Call where SDBs who are planting or revitalizing can be connected with each other to share stories and to pray. Please contact the Director of Church Development if you would like to be added to the email list for those notices. 

1. You can seek mentoring/coaching/discipleship from your local pastor or contact the Director of Pastoral Services for suggestions. 
2. DWELL is a semi-formal peer coaching opportunity where those in ministry can learn, pray, and encourage one another to their next step in Christian maturity. For more information, contact the Director of Pastoral Services

Core/Launch Team

Team members
1. Recruiting a Church Planting Team
2. Building a Launch Team

1. From Preview to Launch
2. Another Option

Launch Weekend
1. What Should a Church Planter Do on Launch Weekend? 

Team Planting
1. 7 Essential Roles for Every Church Planting Team
2. Building a Great Team
3. What You Want on Your Church Planting Team

Church Planting Timeline
1. Example 1

Volunteer Management
1. How to Develop Volunteers
2. Four Tips for Managing Volunteers
3. Ideas for Recruiting and Retaining Volunteers


Facility Choices
1. Finding a Facility for Your Church Plant
2. Church Planting Tutorial Facilities

1. Church on Wheels; Portable Church
2. Church Planting Tutorial: Equipment

Safety & Security
1. How to Form a Church Security Team

Lease Agreements
1. Dangers of Leasing Your Facility to Another Church
2. 5 Church Plant Facility Lease Surprises to Avoid
3. Leasing a Church Plant Facility


1. 7 Tips for Choosing the Right Location
2. How to Decide Where to Plant Your Church

Community/Demographic Survey
1. Church Planting Tutorial: Demographics
2. Demographics

Worship Style
1. Church Plant Worship Wins
2. Is Your Worship Driven by Mission? 

Partnership with other local churches
1. Churches Partnering Together
2. Missions Partnerships
3. Power of Partnership

Vision, Mission, Values

Mission/Vision/Purpose Statements
1. Leading from the Sandbox by T.J. Addington
2. Examples
3. More Examples
4. Simple Church by Thom Rainer & Eric Geiger 
5. Feel free to seek direction or suggestion from the Director of Church Development. 

Core Values (DNA)
1. How to Discover and Develop Core Values
2. Developing the Church’s Core Values

Statement of Faith
1. SDB Statement of Belief
2. How to Write an Effective Statement of Faith
3. What Should Go on Your Website about Statement of Faith

Strategic Planning
1. Strategic Plan Template Example
2. Strategic Church Planting
3. New Church Strategic Planning Process
4. Your Church Plant Master Plan


Budget and Fundraising

Bank Accounts & Accounting System







Sermon Development/Preaching















Children’s ministries (teachers, background checks, space, noise concerns, safety)


Youth ministries (or integrate into adult ministries/discipleship)


Men’s and Women’s Ministries



Website & Social Media








Useful Websites recommended by a SDB Church Planter: 

Useful Books:
Breaking the Missional Code (Ed Stetzer)
Launch: Starting a Church from Scratch (Nelson Searcy and Kerrick Thomas)
Launching New Churches in a Postmodern Age (Ed Stetzer)
Nine Marks of a Healthy Church (Mark Dever)
Organic Church (Neil Cole)
Planting Growing Churches for the 21st Century (Aubrey Malphurs)
Planting Mission-Shaped Churches Today (Martin Robinson)
Planting Missional Churches (Ed Stetzer)
Simple Church (Thom Rainer)
Starting New Chuches on Purpose (Ron Sylvia)
Starting a New Church (Ralph Moore)
The Nuts and Bolts of Church Planting (Aubrey Malphurs)
So You Want to Start a House Church? (Frank Viola)
Starting a House Church (Larry Kreider)
Bivocational Church Planters Book