What Happens When You Step Out!
In 1993, when my wife and I set out to pastor a new church in South Florida, we could not find the information we needed to guide us along the way. Our extensive searching led us to a wealth of instruction on the spiritual side of ministry, but with regards to legally establishing ourselves, we were left wanting! It was then that the Lord spoke to us saying we should do it for ourselves.
The months that followed were very tough for us, as all the information we harvested had to be personally collected from IRS tax codes, publications, revenue rulings and regulations. Moreover, throughout our searching, we often met with resistance from fellow pastors and leaders, many of whom were unwilling to share any knowledge with us. Though our own pastors were kind to us, they had no experience in the legal process we were undertaking because they hired attorneys to help them along the way. Nevertheless, we did eventually gather the needed information. Challenges like those required us to take the long road, for which I am now grateful. After finally going through the process of legally establishing our church, the Lord spoke to my heart again and said that I should expand into helping churches in all 50 states. That word from the Lord began a journey of study and continual research that carries on strong to this day. The pain and struggle we went through in those days is exactly what fuels our passion to educate pastors and leaders across America.
Ministry today is not what it was several years ago. Today's pastors and leaders have to operate with the mindset of a CEO. Success is realized not only by preaching the Word with conviction and accuracy, but also by having the mindset of an administrator and business leader. The Lord has commanded us to be obedient to every ordinance of man. The government does not accept ignorance as an excuse to allow us to operate in a way that is inconsistent with the law. Unfortunately, like John the Baptist, we at StartCHURCH often feel like a voice in the wilderness. The majority of churches and ministries today have yet to learn what is required to ensure that they operate in obedience to the Lord and to the ordinances of man.
What to Expect From Us
Chances are that you found this website because you have been looking for information on how to better position your ministry on a solid legal foundation. We believe that anyone can accomplish any task, including the most difficult ones, if the steps are broken down and easy to follow.
Moreover, if church and ministry leaders are given the tools necessary, they will be able to complete any task with a level of excellence and professionalism that is unmatched by the world. That is why we continually strive to create tools and resources that empower pastors and church leaders in the start-up and management of their churches and ministries. Whether it is our blog, email newsletters, personal consulting programs, Do It Yourself software programs or our Church Compliance and Ministry Empowerment conferences, our passion is to empower you with the resources and knowledge you need.
My wife and I took our inspiration from the Scriptures in Genesis when the Lord Himself created the earth using a step-by-step approach. Looking at Genesis chapter 1, we see that God started at the very beginning when He saw the chaos and knew something needed to be done. He could have done it all with one spoken word, however, He chose not to. In His created order, He established that certain things must come one before the other.
When we look at creation we see that it was done in seven steps; each step being an event unto itself.
Step one. God looked at the chaos and said, "Let there be light." When the light had accomplished what He purposed for it, He moved on to step 2.
Step two. God created an expanse to separate the waters below from the waters above. He knew this step was necessary because the earth would no longer be a mass of water, but a planet with a sky that separated the waters above from the waters below.
Step three. God gathered all of the waters below to one place and created dry ground, upon which all sorts of seed bearing plants and vegetation could exist.
Step four. He created the sun, stars and moon to govern over the day and night. This step was necessary to create a system for which plants could photosynthesize their food.
Step five. God created the fish of the sea and birds of the air. These creatures could not exist without their food from plants, which He created in steps 2 through 4.
Step six. God created every kind of animal, both large and small.On that same day God also introduced His best and most staggering creation of all; man.
Step seven. When the heavens and the earth were complete, and He saw that it was good, God rested.
All of the previous steps were for the purpose of designating a wonderful place for man to inhabit. This would be a place where he would rule and have his domain with God.
Be encouraged! You are about to shape the future of your church using the same approach the Lord Himself used in creating the world, one step at a time. Raul and Genel Rivera, and the StartCHURCH family, invite you to join them on a journey to getting your church and ministry books in order. It will not happen in six days, but if you follow through with all the information you learn from the website and the resources we provide, your day of rest will come.
Please continue to browse our website. You can...
- Take advantage of the many articles we have posted on our blog pages. There, many topics concerning IRS involvement with churches and ministries are discussed.
- Learn about extensive tax benefits that exist for churches, ministries and ministers of the gospel.
- Read our online guide for properly establishing your church and ministry.
- ... And so much more!