Whether you were born in the South or feel a draw to the slower pace southern living has to offer, no one can deny the impact religion has in this part of the country. Churches are a staple in southern states. Generations of families attend services at the same church and often find themselves drawn to priests and pastors their parents grew up following. This is simply part of the tradition that is life in the South.
As we all know, southern hospitality plays a big role in religion in the southern region. Church members gather for special occasions to have a barbecue or picnic and find themselves stepping through the church doors every Sunday. If you’re feeling a calling, and know your path is to plant a church of your own, these four tips will help you start your church in the South and reap the benefits of this hospitable and open area of the country.
1. Having a solid plan is your first step.
Wanting to start a church in the South takes a bit of planning. With so many things involved in the process, it’s important to stay well organized. Keep a checklist to help you stay on top of what you’ve done and what you haven’t. This will not only ensure you’ve kept to your plan but will help you stay aware of the things you may have forgotten along the way.
Deciding on basic ideas like which tenets your church will follow, a name for your church, which church supplies you’ll need, and where you would like to be located must come first. Once you have a few of these ideas sorted, then you can begin the process of speaking with lenders and a real estate agent about the property you’re interested in. Fundraising and donations will go a long way when it comes to the costs included in first time buying of your church’s new home. Be prepared to work, meet new people, and drink a lot of sweet tea during this process.
2. If you’re new to life in the South, you’ll need a home of your own.
Unfortunately, you can’t live in your church, so buying your own home will be part of the process as well. Taking a look at a few tips for moving to the south will help you learn about the area. Having an idea on issues such as property taxes, income ratio, and all the important aspects of home ownership in the area will give you an advantage and allow you to ask the right questions when it comes time to speak with home lenders as a part of the home buying process.
Having a checklist for first-home buyers will make this entire process easier. You can discuss an affordable mortgage payment with your mortgage lender, ask about homeowners insurance, haggle the purchase price, and eventually, settle yourself into the perfect home for you and your family. In the end, being prepared when you step through the door of the real estate agent’s office is the best move you can make in the home buying process.
3. Every church needs proper supplies to flourish.
When all the property dealings and homeowner issues are handled, your attention must also focus on getting your church ready for the congregation. You will want to be part of the famous southern hospitality by making your church welcoming while offering a touch of style. According to the denomination of your church, you may be in need of church confirmation supplies, first communion needs, and holy water pots. Bibles and hymnals are also a needed part of any church. Taking the time to choose a reliable company for your church supply needs will ensure you have everything on hand and ready the minute you open the church doors.
4. Greeting your members with open arms is the last step in completing your church.
No church is complete without the congregation. When the time comes to begin services, show your own specific brand of southern hospitality. Open your arms wide to churchgoers who step through the doors. Newcomers may be nervous about visiting your church, which leaves you with the job of making them feel welcome. By being open to the masses, accepting all members, and offering the teachings you’ve been preparing your church will soon flourish.
These four tips are a great guideline to starting a church in the South. Yes, the process may be long and grinding, but if planting a church is your true calling, you’ll find yourself on the right path easily. When things fall into place, simply open your arms to your congregation and let the pace of life in the South take over.