GenZ Ministry: When to Restart?

As churches slowly begin to reopen, the natural next thought is: When do we resume our GenZ ministries? … There is no specific guidance for church youth programs, therefore, church leaders are left to make their own decisions. We have provided a few tips as you make your plans in reopening and restarting various ministries of your church.

As churches slowly begin to reopen, the natural next thought is: When do we resume our GenZ ministries? Although we want to move forward as quickly as possible, it is best to remember the old adage, “Slow and steady wins the race.” There are some churches in “friendly states” who have begun very modified GenZ ministries. In these cases the churches have completely reorganized their schedules and facilities to accommodate an hour long Wednesday night children’s meeting (in the main auditorium) and a youth program (in a large youth room or fellowship hall). The adults not involved with the GenZ programs attend their Sunday morning groups during this time. Not every church has the facilities for this option, so proceed with caution.

Listed below are key guidance plans for reopening churches and restarting youth activities. Take time to read through each carefully. As your state issues guidance regarding education, children’s and youth activities, read them to gain an understanding of their interpretation of the CDC guidance. Your state’s guidance will be what you will want to follow.

As expected from government documents, the guidance is convoluted. There is no specific guidance for church youth programs, therefore, church leaders are left to make their own decisions. We have provided a few tips as you make your plans in reopening and restarting various ministries of your church.

Above Reproach

We are navigating through uncharted waters. What we do now will set a precedent for the future. At the same time, our actions during this time is establishing a testimony in our community for a future opportunity to reach out.

Ensure that your church is in complete compliance in every area of your Constitution and By Laws. Failure to be puts the church at grave risk in any potential litigation. (This is true for any time, not just in these times.) If your church is not in compliance with your own rules and guidelines, wait on restarting your ministries for a time. (For further guidance or any questions, please contact the Christian Law Association (CLA).)

Above and Beyond

We understand the urgency to get back to normal. Many churches are still simply trying to navigate reopening for Sunday morning in-person services. Go slow and be cautious in your decision to restart your youth programs. Know your area, the status of active cases, the community feeling on reopening, etc. Work with other churches in your community on reopening policies and guidelines.

As a testimony to your members as well as to the community, plan to go above and beyond in every area. If you are not able to minimally follow the guidelines your state suggests for reopening, you should wait to restart your GenZ ministries until you can.

Redeem the Time

Remember why you are restarting your GenZ ministry. Nearly every pastor and ministry leader we have spoken to through this crisis has had a moment (or two) of reflection on what worship and ministry truly is. Many are planning changes as things “get back to normal.”

Now is a good time to re-focus your GenZ ministry. With reduced time for weekly ministry, major on the majors in the time you do have. Scripture memory and Bible teaching should be the main part of your time back with the youth. Fun things may be included, but if the fun time is longer than the Bible teaching and scripture memory, something is out of focus.

Continue with or begin digital avenues of ministry with your youth to enhance Bible teaching, communication, and time together throughout the week. The Gen Z generation thrives on digital; find ways to incorporate it into your ministry.

Written Guidelines

Leaders need to write a detailed reopening plan for the GenZ ministry. Include policies and procedures, safety and cleaning protocols, etc. This will help communicate your plans to staff, volunteers, parents, and members. Present the plan to your local public health department; they will be able to assist in ensuring you have a safe plan. You will also have written documentation to show to any authorities who might question your actions. Remember, whatever protocols you write down, you must follow them.

Staff and Volunteers

Before you decide to restart the GenZ ministry you will need to assess whether or not you will have enough staff or volunteers. Although churches are not required to follow student/teacher ratios, we all know that there needs to be at least two per group. With the extensive cleaning and sanitation guidelines, you may need to add one or two others simply to keep up with those requirements. There are also social distancing measures to consider. If you plan to meet in smaller groups to accommodate these guidelines you may need additional help to maintain the two leader per group safety protocols.

Speak with your staff and volunteers to ensure they will be comfortable jumping back into the GenZ ministry. Some regular volunteers may be in the vulnerable category which may exempt them for an extended time from serving in this area.

Signage

One of the big requirements is that of signage. Reminders of social distancing, how to properly wear a face mask, and sanitation policies are strongly suggested. These links are from the CDC with all the printables you should need for information, reminders, and directions.

Social Distancing

The type of youth ministry you restart will largely depend on your facilities. In the Georgia guidance for day care and day camp the limitation is a maximum of 20 individuals per “single location” (classroom) with 6 feet social distancing as much as possible. For many churches this number of people in a single classroom will be difficult due to room square footage.

The classrooms in these photos are from a church with a small Christian school. Even in a room of this size having 20 individuals properly social distancing will prove difficult.

Note the tables in the photos. The kindergarten tables are roughly 6 feet in length. With the guidance from the CDC and the state of Georgia it would be impossible for these tables to be of much use in the classroom. Additional guidance for schools or day cares suggests students all face the same direction; therefore, children would not be able to sit across from one another. The regular school desks (background photo 1) would be a better option for a table surface for writing or coloring as they could be angled and spaced to aid in social distancing.

Sanitation/Safety

Presently, masks are recommended for everyone over the age of 2. Encourage staff and members to wear masks at all times if it is medically feasible for them to do so.

Remind those attending to monitor their temperatures. You may want to invest in touchless, infrared thermometers (especially in the youth areas) to help identify someone with a fever should they become ill while at church. No one with a temperature of 100.4 or exhibiting any symptoms of illness should attend services; family members should remain at home as well as a precaution. Set aside an area for quarantine in the facility should someone become ill while at services and are unable to leave right away.

Provide hand sanitizer throughout the premises. Keep restroom supplies well-stocked. Wipes should be available near high traffic touch points. Assign individuals to wipe down surfaces regularly. In the children’s areas ensure that shared objects are cleaned between each child’s use or set aside to be cleaned later.

Should someone attend services then later become diagnosed positive for Covid-19 have a plan in place for alerting those who attended. Be prepared to suspend in-person services for at least the 14 day quarantine period. Follow all guidelines for deep cleaning the facilities.

A big part of church fellowship is food. IF you should decide to have an activity or fellowship involving food, follow CDC and state guidelines for restaurants to ensure you are fellowshipping in a safe manner.

The testimony of your church in the community is paramount; be mindful of this in your planning. Use the time you will have together to be intentional in true ministry. Know who it is your are ministering to and determine if you are being effective; ministry that is not effective is simply busyness. As pastors and ministry leaders we are tasked with the spiritual well being, growth, and safety of the flock. In these unprecedented times we are also tasked with keeping the flock as physically safe as we can. Planning with thoughtfulness and in great detail will go far in protecting the church and your ministry now and in the future.



To Meet or Not to Meet? Forsaking the Assembling

Is the church a building or is it its people? Does the church have to assemble all its people at one place to be a church? Is a church a church because it assembles? Is assembly of the church the command of God? What does the Bible say about the church meeting together? The Bible does tell us and we need to search this out.

Is the church a building or is it its people? Does the church have to assemble all its people at one place to be a church? Is a church a church because it assembles? Is assembly of the church the command of God? What does the Bible say about the church meeting together? The Bible does tell us and we need to search this out.

Hebrews 10:19-25, 19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; 21 And having an high priest over the house of God; 22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) 24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

These verses are a parenthetical thought in a larger context. What we are looking at today is the thought. The church, while in the world of sin, is separate from it because of our being in Christ. The church has a great mission that is large and expansive. This passage deals with a vital part of the whole mission. The focal point tends to land on the “assembling of ourselves together”. The command seems to be that the church is not to forsake this assembling. Considering the current situation where the whole country and many parts of the world asks all to not assemble for any reason, how does this work for the church?

Covid-19 has caused changes to everyone and everything including the church. The word “change” is an ugly word in most churches. Let a pastor start making changes and he may find that he is leaving the church for “health reasons;” the church is sick of him making changes. But we are having to make changes and there is little to nothing anyone can do about it.

The part that most seem to focus on is not being able to assemble. The question is: Are we violating God’s command to us? There are several points to consider. One point is that God said in Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” There are many people over two thousand years of church history that understood this when they could not meet in large groups. Were they not of the church? Were they violating Scripture? I do not believe so. 

The word “forsaking” does not mean to miss a church service or not attending every time the doors are open. “Forsaking” means to leave behind, to desert it all together. Some may say if someone misses a service, they are one service closer to forsaking. This may well be true but they, at that point, have not forsaken the assembly.

The focus seems to be on the assembling in these Hebrews verses, however, the context is about why you are assembling and what you are to be doing. I believe this forced pause in “normal” is allowing us to focus once again on the purpose of this passage and its true importance. 

In verse twenty-four we see why we are to assemble. We are told to “consider” one another. The word consider means to observe fully. As a church we are to observe fully all others in the church. This goes along with other biblical principles of putting others first. One of the reasons why we are to assemble is so that we can observe each other’s needs. In the past too many people come to church to have needs met but failed at meeting the needs of others.

The verse then says that when we “consider” we take what we have learned to “provoke” one another. In the English language we note this word as a negative. In the Greek language it had both a negative and a positive side. In this passage we see that there is an aspect of both. The positive side of the word means to bring incitement while the negative side of the word means to dispute.

First it tells us to provoke to love. The word love is the Greek word agape which is a godly love. On the positive side we should be inciting in people to love as God loves. On the negative side we are to dispute against anything that would cause one to not have the love of God in them. When we assemble, we should focus on where all stand in our godly love. God loves unconditionally, He loves in spite of, His love never fails. Every time we assemble, we should be fully conscious of provoking love.

Then we see we are to provoke to “good works.” These words literally mean valuable actions. On the positive side, when we assemble, we should be inciting people to do actions that are valuable or eternal. If there is no eternal value in the action, we should, on the negative side, be disputing those actions.

We know that when we assemble together, we should focus on learning the needs of others, encouraging them to love as God loves, and inciting eternal actions.   Verse twenty-five then addresses the not “forsaking,” meaning if someone has left the assembling all together, they cannot be helped neither can they help others.

Verse twenty-five does go on to tell us one more thing we are to do when we assemble. We are to exhort one another. This word is the Greek word parakeleo, the same root word used for the Holy Spirit’s role in being our comforter. The word literally means “call near.” In the world of social distancing we are not talking about standing side by side. The idea is to bring someone along with you on the journey. Now we are learning about others’ needs, encouraging them to love as God loves, inciting works that are eternal and inviting others to walk with you on this journey.

This is why the church is to assemble and what we are to do when we assemble.  The spiritual goal is NOT ATTENDANCE. You are not a spiritual giant because you attend every time the doors are open. If you are not doing the things we just saw you are failing. Attendance to a place is a means to be able to do these things. Right now, we are unable to attend. Does this mean we cease from doing these things? The answer is an emphatic NO. The number we can assemble with may be down to the “two or three gathered together in my name” but the actions should not cease.

We live in a time where God has provided technology that allows us to do something previous generations could not. I can use the phone, social media, and video meetings to “consider” another or learn what their needs are. I can send a message of encouragement to love as God loves. I can talk to another to encourage them to do good works that are eternal. What a great opportunity to have technology and for many the time to send messages of the gospel to others.  People are scared and stir-crazy; we can give eternal hope. And, as a church, we can encourage others to walk with us through this. We continue to hear a phrase
“together, alone.” We may have to keep our distance, but the church is not a building, it is its people.

Were we as a church doing these things before when we were all together?

Or were we satisfied that we obeyed the command of God because we met together?

One more thought. In verse twenty-five we learn that we are to do this more as we see the coming of the Lord is nearer. The discussion has been that we are to meet more not less. This verse has been used to criticize churches who no longer have three to four services a week. The argument given is that we should be having more services. After studying this passage with regard to the thought given and then in the larger context, I see it differently. It is not that the church should assemble more, but that the church should be provoking love and works more, should be exhorting more. Yes, we should assemble but if assembly does not bring about more of the above, what is the point?

All of this will end. There will be a day in which the church will be able to assemble all together. What will be the change? Do not go back to the way it was. Change now. Because we can. Let us do what we should have been doing as a church so that when we come together again, we just keep doing it.


As you plan to re-open and assemble together once again just how to do that may be a bit overwhelming. Where do you start? We have developed a downloadable talking point document to help you walk through aspects of your church ministry – some that are obvious and others that are not. You can find those talking points here or on our download page.

CARES Act Q&A

UPDATED 4/2/2020 The CARES Act provides a great deal of help for churches during the Covid-19 pandemic. We have addressed some of the questions many have regarding what is available for churches and other religious 501c3 organizations.

Working with Connexus Group and their ministry and non-profit arm, we have available a webinar available that walks you through the process of applying for the Payroll Protection as well as answer any questions you may have. Connexus Group CARES Act Webinar

The forms and more information have been released. They are available at the Treasury Department website. You may also go to the Small Business Association website. They will be able to answer any other questions you may have regarding the Payroll Protection Program or any other small business loan or disaster relief loan for which you may qualify. Remember, this is a whole new animal to be dealt with – it is going to take time for everyone to have all the guidance they need in order to provide the help.

At the same time, contact your bank to set an appointment to go in and apply for the loan. There are limited funds; the sooner you get in line, the better off you will be. The CARES Act has provided for all FDIC banks to process loans for the Payroll Protection Program. This is a major change as normally there are only a handful of banks who process SBA loans. For this reason, we strongly recommend you contact the SBA first. As always, read the fine print. If you have any questions or concerns at all go back to the SBA for guidance.

Payroll Protection Program – Financial Help for Churches

Q: Can churches apply for financial help under the CARES Act?

A: Yes. Any 501c3 non-profit (religious or secular) may file for financial help as described in the CARES Act. Starting April 3, 2020, small businesses and sole proprietorship scan apply. Starting April 10, 2020, independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply. We encourage you to apply as quickly as you can because there is a funding cap.

Q: Are evangelists, mission boards, missionaries, Christian singing groups or other itinerant ministries eligible to apply for financial assistance under the CARES Act?

A: Yes, if they are organized as a 501c3 non-profit corporation. If you fall under this category, then you may file for financial help under the CARES Act.

Q: Does the financial aid come directly from the government to the churches?

A: No. The money is coming from lending institutions such as banks, credit unions, and lending brokers who are FDIC insured through loans under the Small Business Association’s guidelines and regulations.

Q: Is there a potential for government interference with our churches in the future if we receive financial assistance through the CARES Act?

A: No. Religious organizations do not forfeit first amendment rights of freedom of speech or freedom of religion under any circumstances. Religious organizations were added into the CARES Act when it was noted that leaving them out was a discriminatory act based on religion.

Q: What expenses does the CARES Act cover?

A: The Paycheck Protection Program provides small businesses with funds to pay up to 8 weeks of payroll costs including benefits. Funds can also be used to pay interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities.

Q: What are the qualifications to receive a CARES Act loan?

A: Small businesses with 500 or fewer employees—including nonprofits, veterans organizations, tribal concerns, self-employed individuals, sole proprietorships, and independent contractors—are eligible. Businesses with more than 500 employees are eligible in certain industries.

Q: What are the terms of the loan?

A: Funds are provided in the form of loans (grants when forgiven) that will be fully forgiven when used for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities (due to likely high subscription, at least 75% of the forgiven amount must have been used for payroll). Loan payments will also be deferred for six months. No collateral or personal guarantees are required. Neither the government nor lenders will charge small businesses any fees.

For more information:  https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources

Q: What exactly is forgiven with the loan?

A: Funds are provided in the form of loans that will be fully forgiven when used for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities (due to likely high subscription, at least 75% of the forgiven amount must have been used for payroll). Loan payments will also be deferred for six months. No collateral or personal guarantees are required. Neither the government nor lenders will charge small businesses any fees. Forgiveness is based on the employer maintaining or quickly rehiring employees and maintaining salary levels. Forgiveness will be reduced if full-time headcount declines, or if salaries and wages decrease.

Q: How do I apply?

A: You can apply through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. Other regulated lenders will be available to make these loans once they are approved and enrolled in the program. You should consult with your local lender as to whether it is participating. All loans will have the same terms regardless of lender or borrower. A list of participating lenders as well as additional information and full terms can be found at http://www.sba.gov.

Q: What do I need for the forms?

A: The form is only 2 pages. You will be asked for your average monthly payroll. This total will be multiplied by 2.5. This will be the amount of your loan/grant. There will also be several other questions to answer, none of which require pulling together any other information.

Q: Are there other loans available to cover other expenses?

A: Yes. However, these loans are not forgivable, but they are very low interest which can be paid back over 10 years. Contact the Small Business Association (SBA) for more details.

Q: In addition to including 501c3’s, who else qualifies for assistance under the CARES Act who normally would not?

A: Small businesses with 500 or fewer employees—including nonprofits, veterans organizations, tribal concerns, self-employed individuals, sole proprietorships, and independent contractors—are eligible. Businesses with more than 500 employees are eligible in certain industries. Pastors let your congregations know that the CARES Act may benefit them as well. They will need to contact the Small Business Association in order to acquire the proper forms and help.

The Charitable Giving Incentive (part of the CARES ACT)

Q: What is the giving incentive? (The information is found in Section 2204 of the CARES Act.)

A: On next year’s tax forms there will be an above the line charitable giving deduction for contributions of up to $300 for anyone who does not itemize. This means that anyone who gives up to $300 for the year will not have to itemize in order to receive a tax deduction.

Q: Is this only for the tax year 2020?

A: No. The giving incentive included in this bill amends the Tax Code of 1986. This will be a permanent change and amendment (at least until they change it again).

Q: Are there any other charitable giving changes? (This information is found in Section 2205 of the CARES Act.)

A: Yes. The CARES Act also lifts the existing cap on annual contributions for those who itemize, raising it from 60% of the adjusted gross income to 100% of the adjusted gross income. For corporations, the law raises the annual limit from 10% to 25%. Food donations from corporations would be available to 25%, up from the current 15% cap. (We have consulted with several people regarding these new charitable giving guidelines. The prevailing though at this time is that this particular portion of the charitable giving changes will only be for the tax year 2020. Speak to your tax accountant for more information.)

*Please Note: This is not a comprehensive reflection of the entire CARES Act and there may be additional requirements or guidelines not listed above. This is not legal or tax advice and organizations are advised to review this material with internal and/or external counsel.

Church Preparedness for Potential Pandemic

It does not matter how small or how large a church is, plans should be thoughtfully made for potential disasters. Thinking through how your church might be affected – from at risk members to outside ministries and outreaches – will help in implementing plans quickly should the need arise.

Whether a hurricane, tornado, blizzard, earthquake or pandemic, each church has a responsibility to prepare for the unexpected for its area. It does not matter how small or how large a church is, plans should be thoughtfully made for each of these and other potential situations. While we are not overly concerned with the present information regarding the virus, it would be prudent to prepare in the event that local, state or federal agencies enact social distancing or quarantine measures for a particular area. Thinking through how your church might be affected – from at risk members to outside ministries and outreaches – will help in implementing plans quickly should the need arise.

Guidance is being provided to employers on how to prepare for potential disruption during this current coronavirus (Covid-19) situation. In an effort to help churches prudently prepare should the present situation escalate into more outbreaks locally, regionally or nationally, we are including links to the most up to date and factual information we can find.

Remember, the current thinking by the coronavirus task force is that those with compromised immune systems, chronic illnesses, and the elderly are the most at risk. The present focus is to protect those populations. If you have a nursing home ministry, contact the facility and follow their guidance on ministering at the facility. Those who have hospital ministries also need to contact administrative officials to seek guidance on the protocols healthcare facilities may implement.

For your congregants, encourage families to be vigilant with hand washing protocols, provide hand sanitizer and tissues throughout the buildings, and consider changing greeting habits between church members for the duration of the potential risk. Encourage anyone who is sick to stay home, including those who may hold ministry responsibilities. Be vigilant in following cleaning protocols on property, especially in public areas, food and beverage areas, and restrooms. It may become necessary to temporarily suspend services if local authorities advise no social gatherings. Determine if there is a way your church may still be able to conduct an online service via a Facebook live video, YouTube channel or other social media mediums. Make those plans now in order to work out any technical issues and to provide the information to your members.

What You Need To Know About COVID-19 factsheet

What To Do If You Are Sick With COVID-19 factsheet

Symptoms of Covid-19

John Hopkins Coronavirus Tracking Map

How to Conduct a Risk Assessment for Exposure

Coughing and Sneezing Etiquette

Hand washing information including posters, stickers, fact sheets, and videos

Printable Posters for Staying Home When Sick and Slow the Spread of Germs Place these posters in nursery and children’s area, entryways, kitchens, and office areas.

OSHA Overview regarding COVID-19

Protecting Workers During a Pandemic FactSheet (OSHA) Although specifically for employers, much of this factsheet may be applied in a church or school setting.

Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

CDC Travel Health Notices

We will continue to add information as it becomes available during this round of concern.

Feel free to share in the comments ways your church plans for emergency situations and continuing ministry.

The Legal Documents and Requirements for Churches

There is not a week that goes by that we are not talking to someone in ministry regarding legal issues that have risen in a church. One of the first things we ask is: What does your Constitution and Bylaws state?

There is not a week that goes by that we are not talking to someone in ministry regarding issues that have risen in a church. One of the first things we ask is: What does your Constitution and Bylaws state? In the early days we were always shocked that the person did not know. We are no longer shocked. Both clergy and the people in the pew have no idea what their legal documents state. Often they are surprised to find that even their Statement of Faith is not what the church practices and believes. This ignorance is dangerous ground and the basis for many churches finding themselves in court today.

We constantly hear: What’s the big deal? Why do we have to have all of this? Most of this is redundant. It’s too complicated. Unfortunately, many of those who have stated this no longer have a church because the church no longer exists.

The “big deal” is that as an incorporated business, often as a nonprofit, there are state laws that must be followed. Leaders who declare ignorance on these matters should understand a legal truth: “I didn’t know” is not a defense in the court of law. As a leader it is your job to know. Failure to do so not only can harm the church as a whole but there are individual consequences for the leader(s) as determined by state law. Below are the legal documents required to form and maintain a church.

Each ministry needs to review their documents regularly to ensure they comply with their state’s laws and that the documents they do have are being followed. Include a review to ensure the church is protected regarding hot button Note on a calendar each year those items that must be accomplished to stay in compliance so that nothing is missed. Failure to follow state laws or your own established guidelines can place a ministry in legal jeopardy. This link will take you to a comprehensive list of all Secretary of State offices in the United States where you will be able to locate the exact requirements (including yearly requirements), forms, statutes, and contact information you may need: http://www.e-secretaryofstate.com/

Name Reservation or Search

If you are starting a new work, you will need to do a search in your state to see if the name you wish to use is already taken. The official name may be different than the one used. For example, there are many First Baptist Church’s listed. Their official name, however, may be First Baptist Church of Podunk Holler, First Baptist Church of Big City, or First Baptist Church at the Beach. Officially their names are different. In their local community they may simply be known as First Baptist. There is no perfect name to a church. Consider, however, to choose a name that reflects the vision and the community. Ensure that a name you choose does not exist within a 30 to 50-mile radius. This will help avoid confusion or misunderstanding. Your Secretary of State’s office will be able to assist in this search and name reservation if you so desire.

Articles of Incorporation

This is the first required document for a ministry by the government. Articles of Incorporation may vary from state to state so be sure to locate what is needed for your state. Most churches will need to incorporate as a non-profit corporation; each state has its own definition of what qualifies as a non-profit. The decision of whether to have members or no members varies from state to state; wording is key. Please check with an attorney to determine what is best for your state and situation. Follow your state’s sample form of Articles of Incorporation and have it reviewed by an attorney before submitting.

The Constitution (Statement of Faith and Bylaws)

The Constitution is the foundation by which the church will govern itself. Each state has specific requirements and topics that must be included to satisfy state law. Consult with an attorney to ensure that your documents comply. All corporations (secular and non-profit) may make their own rules and guidelines, however, they are required to follow them. In the event of legal action taken against the organization there will be a discovery process to determine if the organization has followed their own rules and guidelines. Failure to do so consistently can adversely affect the outcome for the organization. A church is unique in that not only does the Constitution lay out how it will conduct itself in organizing but also establishes through the Statement of Faith what it believes. While the Bylaws (organizational guidelines) may be changed, the Statement of Faith should not be changed except to provide additional protection or clarification of doctrine and beliefs. If a church finds the need to amend their Bylaws, they must do so without violating their Statement of Faith and must follow the procedure laid out in their Bylaws. Although the Constitution and Bylaws are not always required to be submitted to the Secretary of State’s office, we do recommend that it is submitted as an additional layer of protection of the document. Anytime the Bylaws section of the document is amended and ratified, the new document should be submitted to supersede the previous. (The Constitution and the items making up the Constitution are explained in detail in The Business of Ministry written by Daniel & Melissa Woltmann.)

Employer Identification Number (EIN)

All organizations, whether they will have employees or not, must file for an Employer Identification Number. This number identifies you to the IRS and to the state. This is NOT the same number as your tax-exempt number. Do not apply for your EIN until your organization is completely formed. Follow this link to learn more about the EIN application process: https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/employer-identification-number

IRS – 501c3 Status

You will need to file for a 501c3 tax exemption if you receive donations (tithes and offerings). You must have a 501c3 status in order for your church to provide tax receipts to those who give to your church. The IRS has many helpful links to assist you in proper filing. As stated on the IRS website: “State law governs nonprofit status, which is determined by an organization’s articles of incorporation or trust documents. Federal law governs tax-exempt status. The Internal Revenue Code specifically refers to exemption from federal income tax.” Follow this link to find all the information you will need to file the appropriate forms to apply for your 501c3 status: https://www.irs.gov/charities-and-nonprofits

Bank Accounts

Banks require an organization’s Articles of Incorporation and EIN in order to open a bank account. You will need to establish a business bank account in order to do business and to receive donations primarily to ensure financial oversight. Be sure to follow your church’s guidelines on who should be check signers and hold debit and credit cards. This is an area where oversight by multiple people is a must.

Church Minutes

As your organization conducts business and grows, it is required by law that minutes of business meetings are kept. These minutes include all deacon and trustee meetings, all church business meetings, and any special meetings called to conduct the business and ministry of the church. Your Minister of Records must ensure that these documents are dutifully filed on the church property and kept in order and up to date. This serves as a protection to the leaders as well as to the members and provides a clear picture of the church’s business and ministry practices and decisions. Without them, decisions made and actions taken could be declared null and void. Failure to hold the required meetings by state law and those designated in the Bylaws of the church could result in the potential loss of the church’s 501c3 status; this is due to statutes in the US Tax Code. These minutes are considered public record. The church may limit viewing to church members (unless during litigation). The process for requesting to see these documents should be described in the Bylaws of the Constitution.

Church Membership

Church membership records are also legal documents. In some states a baptism record may be used as part of proof of identity. It is important that the church explains in detail its membership guidelines and places protections in them for the sake of the church and the individual. Often churches do not “purge the rolls” as indicated in their Bylaws. This negligence could be detrimental. Establish your guidelines for joining, maintaining membership as well as for removal of a member then follow them equally for everyone. Always keep your records current.

Financial Records

The church’s financial records are considered public records as well. The Constitution and Bylaws should outline how the church’s budget is determined. The Bylaws should also reflect who, how, and when these documents may be reviewed. Ensure that your Bylaws protect records of those giving to the church; those items may not be requested. The Bylaws should include guidelines for reporting the budget and financial reporting to the membership. This reporting may be annually, biannually, quarterly or monthly. Whatever is decided by the church and written in the Bylaws must be followed. Your state may indicate how often financial records are reported for nonprofits. Include those requirements as a minimum. Further reporting may be added. Regardless, whatever the Bylaws state for financial reporting must be followed. Failure to do so may violate state laws and possibly the IRS Tax Code.

These are the items necessary to legally begin and then maintain a church. While a church can biblically exist without these items, without them, there is no legal protection for the people of the church. Without them, members and non-members may not use donations, tithes, and offerings as deductions on their taxes. Without them, owning properties, conducting business, and organizing additional ministries may be greatly hindered.

We cannot stress the importance of the maintenance and upkeep of these documents. Seek legal counsel to safeguard that your documents follow your state laws and the US Tax Code. Review them annually. Faithfully follow the guidelines set forth in your documents to ensure the protection of the church.

Understand, we are commanded in Scripture to be subject to the laws of the land provided they do not ask us to violate Scripture. Currently, none of these legal requirements violate any biblical principles. However, failure to follow the laws of the land by a church and its members will not only violate those laws but also Scripture, thus harming the testimony (and possible continuation) of the church in its community.

For a printable version of this article click on the download provided below.

*For detailed descriptions and explanations of the items listed as well as other helpful information regarding the business side of ministry, please consider our book The Business of Ministry by Daniel & Melissa Woltmann which can be purchased on Amazon.

Constitutions & By Laws

One of the most important legal aspects of organizing a church is that of forming the Constitution and By Laws. In decades past, most churches simply had a one or two page Statement of Faith which might also include how many deacons there were going to be and for how long they would serve with a few other items such as following Robert’s Rules of Order for all business meetings. Today, those types of documents will not suffice as protection for the church corporation, its ministries, or its members.

One of the most important legal aspects of organizing a church is that of forming the Constitution and By Laws. In decades past, most churches simply had a one or two page Statement of Faith which might also include how many deacons there were going to be and for how long they would serve with a few other items such as following Robert’s Rules of Order for all business meetings. Today, those types of documents will not suffice as protection for the church corporation, its ministries, or its members.

We have already begun to see churches find themselves in legal jeopardy from not having well written and culturally up to date Constitution and By Laws. We have also seen churches lose legal cases because they were not faithfully practicing and upholding their own rules and regulations. If it is in your Constitution and By Laws then you must follow the written document. If your church culture and practices have changed or needs to change due to growth or decline, then your documents must be amended to reflect those changes.

Wise leaders will include protections regarding doctrinal beliefs and other potential subjective religious beliefs that could affect the church in coming decades. As society continues to fall away from traditional values, the church must also include in detail their beliefs on such cultural hot topics as marriage, homosexuality, transgenderism, abortion, euthanasia, etc. While this may not provide complete protection from persecution and/or legal action against the church, it may help in any potential litigation. The church’s biblical beliefs on doctrine, religious topics, and cultural issues should all be contained in the Statement of Faith section. This section should not be able to be amended except to add further clarification and protection for the church, not to diminish the beliefs found within.

We fully understand that each church may have its own way of doing things, how things are worded, and varying beliefs on doctrine, and religious and cultural issues. The documents provided are simply a sample and not a dictate for churches to follow. However, the documents may be used as your Constitution and By Laws if you wish. Feel free to contact us for any assistance you may need in making the documents your own or to answer any questions that arise.

To aid those in either evaluating their current documents or those who are planting churches, we have provided a Sample Constitution and By Laws in its entirety to give a comprehensive overview of what to include and how to organize a church Constitution and By Laws. Yes, the document provided is lengthy and includes the verses written out rather than simply providing references.

We also have provided the same Sample Constitution and By Laws in an editable format in certain places to take into consideration that different churches call positions or boards by different names as well as may desire different requirements or time frames for accomplishing certain items.

A third Sample Constitution and By Laws is provided with notes explaining sections and the reasons for including those sections and protections in the document. We have found too often that many in leadership simply follow someone else’s work without fully understanding the “why” something is included or done. We do not want anyone to leave our website without full understanding of the importance of this document.

Download the documents you would like to view from the choices below. These documents are also available on our download page.

If you would like assistance in creating or reviewing your church’s Constitution and By Laws, feel free to contact us through the form below.

Introducing Ministry Rescue

Introducing Ministry Rescue

A new year often means a new focus, or more specifically, a re-newed focus. With the year being 2020, it is no wonder that many are using the term “focus” in their ministry visions and talk of the future. We are no different.

Hold Fast the Truth Ministries, Inc. was formally founded in 2002. This parent corporation includes many facets of ministry. Churchhelps.org was our original “baby” by providing links to many topics relating to church needs. As pastors called seeking counsel for situations they were facing, we expanded to include other resources. Century Baptist Church is the church planting arm of the ministry which allows us to assist as needed in emergency situations when a church is going through a difficult time. Ministry Imprint was added in 2018 as our newest addition which allows us to utilize technology to even further help with ministry evaluations and consulting.

This year we are launching a “branding” change for much of the ministry. Introducing, Ministry Rescue. This new name quickly identifies where we have found ourselves ministering the most in the last number of years. Weekly we are made aware of more churches who are struggling with many issues. Some may seem to be superficial wounds while others are life threatening.

Cultural shifts all over country are clearly affecting the church. We are actively pursuing better ways to help these churches through their hurts. The word “revitalization” is a term being used more today in our church circles. Revitalization of a church is needed even if the issue seem to be superficial. Catching hurts early allows churches to refocus or revitalize. Waiting too long to deal with issues makes healing more difficult, if possible at all. When a church reaches the level of life threatening a move to re-plant may be the only answer.

Our renewed focus will help churches to regroup, rebuild, and replant. We will walk churches through the steps of making changes that never violates any biblical principle while finding the best practical way of being a healthy church. If you would like more information, please feel free to contact us through this link: Contact Us

Merging Churches? Can We Really Do That?

What does the unchurched in the community think when they see churches fight and split, only to start or join another church around the corner? What do they think when they see another decaying church building because it closed its doors? The usual discussion turns to opinions of what someone else did that was wrong leading to what that person would have done differently to solve all the problems. The reality I have known in nearly three decades of ministry is that the root issue is the same everywhere and the solution to all the problems is still found in scripture. What happens is that people fail to see the root issue and, therefore, never find the solution in scripture.

This question seems to be the reaction I receive every time I bring up the idea of churches merging. I do not hear the same reaction when I bring up the subject of churches splitting or closing their doors. What does the unchurched in the community think when they see churches fight and split, only to start or join another church around the corner? What do they think when they see another decaying church building because it closed its doors? The usual discussion turns to opinions of what someone else did that was wrong leading to what that person would have done differently to solve all the problems. The reality I have known in nearly three decades of ministry is that the root issue is the same everywhere and the solution to all the problems is still found in scripture. What happens is that people fail to see the root issue and, therefore, never find the solution in scripture.  

The extent of no churches in your area or churches on every other corner is often determined based on where you live in the country. Areas of our country that lack churches in their towns and cities can trace back to whether there ever was a church there or if the church or churches died long ago. For those of us who have lived most of our lives in the “Bible Belt,” we do not always comprehend that there are towns and cities here in the United States that have no churches. Most churches I know have little to no money designated to plant churches here in the USA. Truth be told, they refuse to bring on “missionaries” who stay in the states. They make statements like “missions is for other countries” or “we don’t need any more churches here in the USA.” Yet, these same people become angry at their church, leave, and start a new church around the corner so they can have church their way.

Through years of ministry, I have uncovered a phenomenon of church growth and decline. I have learned that the community of churches in an area goes through growth and decline in a cyclical fashion. While one church is in decline another church in the same area sees numerical growth. Over time, these churches seem to flip roles. These ebbs and flows show a consistent, curious statistic. If we look at the total number attending all the churches in the area going back 30 years, 20 years, 10 years, and the total number now, we note a net loss of church members. We found that every time there was a “church split” there was a net loss of members for the overall community. We all know churches have lived and grown off the back of other church’s members. The old pew hopping routine was in full swing. Many walk away from church altogether. Now, we have multiple churches near each other who are struggling to stay alive. Why, then, not merge?

I want to help us see God’s vision of the church. Churches say they want a New Testament church like the early church. They have even ensured the church name is connected to the early church to represent themselves as a true biblical, New Testament church. When we look at the early church, we see that almost nothing of what we are today looks like the early church. The Jews had synagogues that the early church availed themselves for use as a meeting place when possible, but they did not have a place of their own. Instead of buying or building a large meeting place, the early church met in houses. This is not to say that having a building today and not meeting in houses is unbiblical. It simply means that the early church had no concept or, in many cases, ability to have such a place.

The Bible describes the early church as “the church of Jerusalem,” “the church of Antioch,” “the church of….” Although they met in different houses, what we learn is that all believers in a local area were considered all one church. They always saw themselves as one church meeting in many houses. We do not need to duplicate this model. They had no choice; we do. We meet today in what some call “the house of God” or “house of worship.” Could it not still be said that all those who live in proximity, who hold to the truth of the scriptures on salvation are not all in the same local church but meeting in different houses? (At this time, I am prepared for the loud and long critics to wax eloquent on the reasons this is not true.)

“The church on the other side of the street doesn’t agree with us on important issues like which hymn book to use or, worse yet, they do not use a hymn book.” “The church on the other corner doesn’t even have a Sunday night service.” “The church on the next block doesn’t have Sunday school they have…life classes.” How could we ever fellowship with those places when they are obviously wrong in Bible teaching?

The truth is that if a person is biblically saved, is meeting with others in a local body or church who are biblically saved and is reaching others with the true Bible salvation message, then they are a part of the body of Christ. Therefore, the early church would have considered them a part of the entire local body or church. Over the last 2000 years there are those who call themselves churches but have completely turned from the truth of scripture and are not the true church. I am not speaking of them but of those who at least claim to believe the exact same truth of the gospel.

What has separated us is preferences of practice (methods) not principles of pure doctrine. The cause of most “church splits” is over preferences, not principles. If we then have two churches near each other to say they believe the same truth of scripture and both are struggling to keep the doors open, then why have they not merged? Usually because the members, including pastors, want to continue doing what they have always been doing expecting to change the results.

Often members of a congregation have established leaders, practices, and traditions that, in their words, cannot change. “This is our church. We will never move.” “They don’t do things the way we do.” “I know those people over at that other church. You should hear what I know.” “They are going liberal over there.” “They are strict to the point of legalism.” “I don’t like their music.” “I left there years ago because I didn’t like the way the pastor was leading the church.” These statements go on and on.

The bottom line is that churches do not merge because of pride. (Read that again.)

Churches are splitting. Churches are closing. The lost are dying and going to hell while we keep our four tiny churches on each corner alive on life support. As Bible believers and born-again followers of Christ, we need to take a serious look at what is happening around us.

Do we truly believe what we say we believe? In any community I can find two or more churches whose doctrinal statements, though phrasing may be different, are completely identical in beliefs. Yet, somehow, these churches cannot fellowship or work together. Too often they are churches with a history of beginning after splitting with the other church. They did not split on doctrine as their statements show they believe the exact same thing. They split over preferences that more than likely do not even pertain to today.

Some suppose that it may not be God’s will for churches to merge. It is God who established the church and called it a body. In 1 Corinthians 12 we see that God put the body together complete with all the parts desiring no part be missing. It is never God’s will for a section of the body to act independently from the entire body expecting to do the task of a whole body. Churches are limping on one leg, or trying to serve with no arms, or asking questions but unable to hear because there are no ears. Unfortunately, many church bodies are being kept alive by artificial means hoping no one pulls the plug. It is absolutely God’s will for churches to merge if for no other reason than that they are already biblically supposed to be a part of the whole local church body God intended it to be. We have parts of bodies spread-out all over town. We need the Great Physician to perform grafting surgery to heal the body.

Instead of letting another church die or splitting another church, I propose that churches consider regrouping, rebuilding, then replanting.

What happens when you close one church location to join another church? Don’t you lose ground on reaching the area where the first church was? Assuming you are not talking about churches that are across the street from one another, this is a legitimate question. This is why churches must regroup, rebuild, then replant. The ultimate goal is to replant. If the church doesn’t regroup and rebuild, it will die; thus, the potential for a replant is next to zero.

Churches need to regroup. Again, this is not grouping up with those who do not believe in the fundamental doctrines of scripture, but with those who state clearly that they believe just as we do. Regrouping is illustrated from a military view as shoring up the battle lines. There is no doubt we are in spiritual warfare. What we continue to do is go into the battle with armor off and half the body gone. I believe there comes a point where some church groups are no longer engaged in the battle but are merely meeting weekly because that is what they have always done. When you have multiple groups in an area doing the same thing, the enemy wins. Church members and, even pastors, need to recognize this, put away pride, and seek to regroup.

Regrouping is probably the most difficult of the three steps. Regrouping takes the churches down a long road to merging. After nearly 30 years in ministry, we have developed a process to help churches do just that. I commonly refer to it as the long steps to reach the spot where you ask the 1000 questions to be answered to bring two churches together. The first step is recognizing it is God’s will to do so. Then, they (leaders and congregation alike) must lay aside pride and seek wisdom on God’s leading in leadership responsibility. The pastor of a church is the one who will stand before God and answer for what the church has done. No one else in the church will ever stand before God and answer for the church, except for defying the God-given authority of the man of God holding that role.

If more than one pastor is involved, who will be the pastor? If we look back at the early church as our model of God’s plan, we find that there were multiple Elders or Pastors in a local body. If you will, we do the same today, we just don’t recognize it as such. There are churches all over your town who believe exactly as you do, and they all have a Pastor/Elder. The local church has a plurality of elders. How then is it, unlike the early church that worked together and had all things in common, that today we do not work together? Why is it today that two local groups struggling to stay alive cannot come together to regroup under one roof instead of struggling under two roofs? Step one is to regroup.

Step two is to rebuild. I do not mean rebuild a building or buildings. I do not mean join large numbers to build bigger buildings. Rebuilding does mean that the people will need to choose one location in which to meet. The realization of this choice usually brings about the result of not doing step one of regrouping. If the churches will allow the process to work in step one this will not be an issue in step two. Too many churches have spent more time building the local church with more classes, more programs, and more buildings and failed to train and send. Hoarding members, building bigger ministries leads to the death of a church.

I propose rebuilding the lives of the members thus strengthening and rebuilding a healthy body. Two dying congregations coming together is vital to the health of the whole body. It is the assembling of the body that allows for edification/encouragement. At this step there must be an extensive amount of time emphasizing the spiritual health of the people. Rebuilding the foundations of doctrine provides the foundational truths for stability of the congregation.

Healing is needed as the leadership and members have exhausted themselves holding a church together. Merging is not a quick fix to all problems. Taking the time to heal during the rebuilding process cannot be passed over. Status quo cannot be the play of the day. Long standing programs and schedules need to be paused. Spiritual help and growth of the people is the priority. How long this takes is unknown based upon many things. Regardless of how long it takes, rebuilding the people cannot be overlooked.

Once there is a strong foundation of the body, the church can begin to rebuild and restore broken relationships and fellowships over past wrongs. The church must make right the wrongs of the past and rebuild relationships with those who left church completely. Identify those who have been hurt by the near death of the churches to help bring them back to the flock. Avoid and guard against rebuilding this newly merged church through emptying the pews of another; this is what started this near death to begin with.

As the church rebuilds its own spiritual walks and rebuilds the broken pieces from the past, it will need to rebuild its outreach. The church needs to emphasize reaching the lost and the unchurched. During the rebuilding process the church is creating disciples who will fulfill the commission to go. Classes, services, programs, and activities should all be geared to training members to be prepared to go. But not everyone can go. There is a biblical principle of financial giving so that others can go which is where most churches end in their sending. However, if a church sends no one from their own church family then that church is failing to follow the commission of God and eventually leads to the death of the church. The rebuilding of the church is for only one purpose and that is to go or to replant.

Replanting, the third and final step, can be a way in which a called-out group can go back into the neighborhood of one of the previous churches to become a new work reaching the lost and unchurched of that area, assuming again the original church was not across the street. The focus is that a growing church sends out of its congregation to reach out to “Jerusalem,” “Judea,” “Samaria,” and the uttermost part of the earth. Failure to do this causes the death of the church.

Imagine, instead of churches dying in your community or churches splitting, churches began regrouping, rebuilding, and replanting. Imagine a community where the local church body is united for the cause of Christ. Imagine, if with this church unity in the community, the ongoing church hopping became a thing of the past. What if we were able to strengthen our “Jerusalem” and send disciples to all the other areas?

Merging churches not only can be done, it should be done. Merging churches should begin before another church closes or splits.

When Death Comes to the Church

It is never easy to watch a church fall towards death. Fear begins to grip the remnant as they wonder what will become of them, of the church’s legacy, of the community it is a part of. There are many reasons for a church dying, some are of their own doing, others are because of the damage of others. Regardless of the actual cause, it is always because of sin.

September has been a tough month. A high school friend passed away suddenly. A dear college and ministry friend died after a yearlong battle with brain cancer. Amid all of this was the 18th anniversary of 9/11. The idea of death has been a constant thought for the past few weeks. If you have never experienced the death of a loved one, then you may not understand that with the loss of that person is also other deaths. There is the death of dreams. The death of traditions. The death of hope for some when they can’t see how they could possibly go on. The end of stability and routine. Eventually these things will return, though changed, as time passes, and others come into their lives.

Death, however, does not only come to people. We have seen far too many churches die. The death of a church is rarely sudden. It is more along the lines of a cancer that eats away the life of the church. People slowly leave as they begin to see the inevitability. Often there is only a remnant of people that stay until the end.

The process of death is the same. Once a church has been diagnosed as dying there is often denial, an inability to accept reality. “We just have to have faith.” Once all the activities and “doing” and those doing all the “things” have been exhausted in order to “save the church” some of the faithful remnant begin the slow leave. The slow leave is when they stop serving like they used to. They don’t come as often. They are out of town more. Ailments flare up more often. Being at church is more painful than not being there. It is difficult to watch what you love die.  

Many times, people from the outside begin contacting the pastor with their concerns. Some will be encouragers and say to keep fighting. While this is a nice sentiment, it is tantamount to a doctor prescribing chemo or radiation for a patient on life support. An exhausted, discouraged church people cannot continue without seeing some glimmer of hope. Those who truly want to help will be completely honest with the pastor and the remnant. They may be gentle in their advice at first. However, if the advice falls on deaf ears, they may resort to being blunt. Their suggestions will then be this: merge or close. In other words, join with others in a life-giving move (a blood transfusion) or pull the plug.

We use the example of a roller coaster hill when illustrating the downward decline. Not many pastors or church members recognize the beginning of the downward fall. Once that downward turn begins there are steps to take to prevent the crash to the bottom. A complete review of how the church ministers, and more importantly the “why” everything is done, is necessary for a successful revitalization. Through the process, although brutal to complete, a plan of action can be determined to set the church on a new path of growth and life.

However, once the church is on that downward fall, it takes great effort and radical change to reverse course. Unfortunately, many churches refuse to take those necessary steps. Instead, they throw as much time and money as they have until all is spent. Or they do nothing and are satisfied to remain where and how they are if they can meet the bills. They are ineffective in any aspect. They eventually become a burden to the church community. Most sadly, once their doors do close, they are a poor testimony to the community at large. Churches do not die well. They certainly do not glorify our Lord and Savior when they do.

It is never easy to watch a church fall towards death. Fear begins to grip the remnant as they wonder what will become of them, of the church’s legacy, of the community it is a part of. There are many reasons for a church dying, some are of their own doing, others are because of the damage of others. Regardless of the actual cause, it is always because of sin. Until the sin is dealt with biblically, the church may not recover at all. God cannot bless His church when there is sin present. He didn’t bless the children of Israel whenever there was sin present in the camp. Why would we think He would bless a modern church if sin rules?

Rather than close their doors churches do have the option of merging with other believers of like faith. For many this is a scary prospect. But from death comes life. When a Christian dies we know that they have gone on to eternal life. When a seed is planted in the ground, it must die before life of a new plant can begin. Life can also come when two or more churches die to themselves and merge together.

In some cases, a struggling church merges with a stable church. This can happen in many ways. The struggling church simply joins with the stable church with the dying church’s assets sold or absorbed by the stable church. A stable church could also send their own members to the struggling church (especially if some distance away) to oversee it and grow a separate strong church in hope that one day the new church could once again become autonomous.

In other cases, several struggling churches could choose to merge together to grow a strong one. This is a bit more complicated as there is usually the issue of who is going to be the pastor. For these situations, someone (whether an evangelist or a seasoned pastor as interim) is usually needed to oversee the merger and to aid in the search for a pastor for the newly formed church.

In the case of mergers there is death also. Death of previous names. Death of some ministries. Death of traditions. Most importantly, however, there needs to be death of self of every member of each church. As this new church forms everyone must be willing to lay on the altar all those things that they want, they desire. It is only when this occurs that a church merger will become successful.

Death is never easy. But for the Christian, death is not the end. For a church, death does not have to be the end either. Death brings change but it also brings life. If your church is on the brink of death, consider what can be done to let it die and at the same time bring new life.

Photo by sergio souza on Unsplash

Idea Day Night

Come join us!

Join us Tuesday, August 20, 2019 for Idea Day Night from 6:30 to 9:00 pm. Come enjoy fellowship with other local ministry leaders. Round-table discussions will help to provide cultural context for your local church and community. Each host site chooses two topics for their event. The LaGrange, GA event will include video presentations by Thom Rainer on 7 Ideas for Church Revitalization and Josh Teis on 6 Ideas for Long-term Spiritual Health. Following each presentation the site host will moderate a time of discussion with all attendees. This is a great time of encouragement, ministry evaluation, and ministry help to aid the local church in reaching their community more effectively. The average time for the event is approximately 2.5 hours.

This Idea Night event is an outreach to provide a way in which more ministry leaders who might not be able to attend an Idea Day conference may be encouraged and uplifted in their ministries.

What is the Idea Day Network? It is a place for ministry leaders to share fresh ideas, resource information, and much more. The Idea Day Network also hosts Idea Days, an Idea Summit, and is now organizing ministry mentoring and coaching.