How to Start a Safe Home-Based Church
In these uncertain times, faith and hope are more important to many than ever. But with safety concerns and guidelines around social distancing and gathering, it can be difficult for organized religions to effectively support their members. Starting up a home-based church for like-minded worshipers is something anyone can do, and because of the pandemic, is becoming more and more common. Because of technology, many have turned to digital platforms for this very purpose. Whether to catch a Sunday service or to form a community with others of similar spiritual beliefs, home-based churches are growing in popularity. If you’re considering beginning your own safe, home-based church, here are some things to think about.
Buy proper accessories, and know your scripture.
Whether you have a background in divinity, are ordained in youth ministry, have experience preaching, or have led a church for years, you’ll want the right supplies on hand if you plan to start a home-based house of worship. Bibles, mementos, and even that special baptismal candle can all be found online and shipped directly to you. Make a list of items and resources that you think you’ll need before taking the dive. Consider reaching out to your network of peers to find out what items they believe are critical. While you don’t have to spend a fortune and may even need to explore fundraising options, these special things will serve as handy tools and, in some cases, references.
As you collect tools you’ll need for your church, think about what you will and won’t offer. If you’re starting your church because there aren’t others in the area or because you prefer smaller groups, you’ll still want to look at the bigger picture. How will you form a community? What trips or retreats could you offer for in-person and larger groups? What will the boundaries be about personal sharing and more? How available will you be to those you serve and in what ways? How will you help your community and serve their needs? These are all things you’ll want to consider.
Use what you’ve got in new ways.
If you plan to run the church out of your home you need to design a comfortable space in your home from where you’ll preach digitally. Later, when the pandemic is over, you may even want to consider opening this space up for things like bible studies or small groups for book and prayer clubs. For this reason, you’ll want to do better than a camera tripod with a blank wall behind you. Think about the items you collected from the above and how they could be placed in your digital shots or even for marketing as you plan.
Know the pros and cons of online research.
Going digital-first will have its perks, but because churches are the people and community, not the buildings they work out of, you’ll need to do your research with what the internet offers to help you spread the word. Drawbacks of cloud security cameras, programs that are non-compliant with HIPPA, and ways you’ll invite guest speakers are all things you’ll want to do your homework on before you open your doors. You’ll also want a church website and to get up and running on social media platforms.
Technology is only the first of your concerns when it comes to your research. You’ll also want to search for lawyers, get registered as a legitimate non profit, come up with a business and mission statement, and consider how you’ll do fundraising for your congregation. If the pandemic isn’t a top concern, and you plan to hold in-person worship, you’ll also want to look into information on how to keep your followers safe.
There’s a lot to think about when starting a home-based church, but your efforts will be rewarded with a group of people who share your beliefs, community, and a direct connection to your faith. If you’re considering starting a home-based church, take it one step at a time, and leave space for God to lead the way.