How to Start Your Church in 90 Days

By Christine Bove

What if I told you now is the time to start your church or ministry?

That's right—you can start your God-given dream today!

We know that 2020 held a lot of unique heartaches and challenges for pastors and ministry leaders everywhere. Many had hopes and dreams of planting churches and ministries to make an impact on their communities, only to face setback after setback. 

However, I want to encourage you that God has placed a call on your life to start your vision, and you still can before the year is over! You can begin laying the foundation for your church or ministry in 2020 so that you can see your vision become a reality in 2021.

In today’s blog, we will show you how you can start a church or ministry before the end of the year during our special 90-Day Challenge!

The 90-Day Challenge

So what is the 90-Day Challenge? I'm glad you asked!

In just 90 days, we want to encourage you to begin your church plant or ministry. What will you accomplish during this time?

The 90-Day Challenge includes:

    1. Establishing your name
    2. Getting incorporated
    3. Creating a brand
    4. Taking your church or ministry online
    5. Starting your 501(c)(3) approval process

Several ministers and church planters have already taken the leap of faith to start their vision during this season, like Pastor Fred Chin of Tobiah Life Center. He says,

"The pandemic is bringing a lot of harvest. We started doing street outreach and found that people are so hungry for God! It's time to go after souls like never before. I don't regret the day I decided to use StartCHURCH; the only thing I regret is that I didn't act and hear about it sooner. Sometimes we wait for God to put something in our lap when he already said, “I have provided everything for you.” We must start doing, and that's when things happen." - Pastor Fred Chin, Tobiah Life Center

Step 1: Establish Your Name

One of the most important first steps is to establish the name of your church or ministry. You'll want to do your research and see if there are any other churches or ministries with the same or similar name. If so, you may want to consider choosing a name that another organization has not yet taken.

It's best to do this pretty early on so that when you go through your state's incorporation process, you will already have a name claimed to put on your documents.

You can check your state's Secretary of State's website to see if your desired name is available.

Some people know the exact name they want for their ministry or church. For others, it can be a tricky process.

Here are some helpful tips to consider while choosing the name of your organization:

    • Make it easy to remember.
    • Use shorter names.
    • Leave our complicated words (unless it has core relevance.)
    • Stay away from "trendy" words.
    • Choose words that will stand the test of time.
    • Pick something with meaning. (Examples: something from scripture or a life event God encountered you in!)

Step 2: Get Incorporated

Once you have selected your name, you will want to begin your incorporation process. This process can take anywhere from 4-8 weeks, depending on what your state requires for your application.

Take a look at your Secretary of State's website to see how to become incorporated. Each state will have a unique process, so make sure you do your research to determine your specific incorporation requirements.

Do you need help getting your church or ministry incorporated? Look no further than our StartRIGHT Service! Give us a call today at 877-494-4655 to learn more or click the link below!

Discover How To Become 501(c)(3) Approved

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Step 3: Establish Your Brand

While you are going through the incorporation process, you can begin creating your brand.

What is branding? Branding is a visual identity that communicates a unified message of vision and purpose of a person, business, or organization. Your church's branding will include a logo, name, colors, and a slogan.

Establishing your brand will become very important moving forward. Branding is how people will recognize your ministry as you engage with your communities. Your brand will also serve as a guide for your organization on how marketing, t-shirts, websites, and more will look and feel. You will want to have a consistent brand to send a consistent message.

Let people know what your church values are and express your church's individuality through branding.

We know developing a church brand can be overwhelming—that's why we created the Church Branding eBook to guide you step-by-step through the process! To download a copy of the book, click here or give us a call at 877-494-4655!

Step 4: Take Your Church or Ministry Online

Many ministries and churches have migrated to having a consistent digital presence this year. Online platforms will be vital in moving forward and establishing a solid foundation for your organization in the days ahead.

Not only can you have a website for sharing about what matters to your church or ministry, but you can also enable online giving and host live-streamed services.

Need some ideas to get started online?

Host Online Prayer

Hosting weekly online prayer gatherings is a great way to get started using platforms such as Zoom, YouTube, or Facebook. By creating a space online for people to engage with you, you can build relationships with new and existing members and become more confident in managing your online services.

Host Online Services

Use one of the above listed live-streaming platforms to host weekly services. You can structure your online service to match with what you do when meeting physically, or you can structure it differently for online optimization.

We know establishing online services can be overwhelming. We created the StartCHURCH Connect ebook to help you take your ministry online!

Find Your Domain

Domains are the website addresses for people to arrive at your website, such as ""

Several online companies offer the ability to purchase website domains. Here are a few popular options:

    • Google Domains

Picking a domain can become frustrating as you discover that your ideal choice isn't available. Here are a few tips for creating the best domain:

    • Keep it short and simple. The longer your domain is, the harder it will be for people to remember to locate your site.
    • Use acronyms or shortened words.
    • If your organization's name is long, a shortened version will make it more accessible. For example, to shorten "New Light Church" as a domain: www.
    • Use your slogan as a domain.

If your organization name isn't available as a domain for purchase, using your tagline is a great alternative. For example, if your church's slogan is "to all nations," this is an option:

Step 5: Start Your 501(c)(3) Process

Now that you have your online presence established, you can continue your organization's process of receiving nonprofit status.

It's a good idea to set your expectations from the start and know that this process usually takes time. Typically, the timetable for completing the process is up to seven months, including the wait time for the Federal Determination Letter from the IRS. However, as a part of the 90-Day Challenge, you can take steps toward that process today!

You'll be freed up to continue working on your church or ministry without having to focus on the administrative details. While you wait, you can focus on building what God has called you to do!

If you have online giving set up on your website, you'll still be able to accept donations during this time and have them be tax-deductible.

Read this blog to learn more of the benefits of obtaining your 501(c)(3) status.

Challenge Accepted

This season is a great time to accomplish more for the Kingdom of God and to give you time to build on a solid legal foundation. But you don't have to tackle it all alone.

StartCHURCH is always here to help you thrive in God's calling to start a church or ministry!

We want to know if you are ready for the 90-Day Challenge! Give us a call at 877-494-4655 or click the link below to start the 90-Day Challenge today!

May this trying season bring forth more of a harvest for you and your ministry than you ever thought for or hoped.

Start Your Church in 90 Days!

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And receive Book 1 of our Grow Trilogy FREE today! This series gives you the strategies you need to get started growing your church plant today!