Association of Clergy International CHURCH PLANTING GUIDE

Congratulations on your decision to partner with Christ in order to plant a church! The foundation of the Gospel is in reaching the lost for Christ and this is what church planting is all about. Winning the Lost for Christ is truly what the mission of planting a church is at the core of this much needed ministry within the body of Christ. With years of knowledge in church planting the Association of Clergy International would like to provide this guide at no cost to you. We want to be honest and upfront with you to let you know that this is among the most difficult missions in ministry. The enemy of our soul (Satan) does not want you to plant a church. Satan will do all he can to stop, discourage, or place a road block in your church plant mission. Church planting is very difficult and requires much prayer, patience, faith, trust in God but the rewards are heavenly. Because of this intense spiritual warfare, many ministers abandon their initial call of God and “settle” for anything else. We stand behind you as an intercessor for your church plant ministry.
Below are essential steps to planting your church. This guide is not intended to be exhaustive in the subject of church planting. It is intended to be a starting (basic) guide. This guide will give you fundamentally a start to church planting but it is the responsibility of each church planter to pray, seek, improve, and invest in their vision. No one can give you the desire and perseverance for your work. Each of us is accountable to God for our own efforts and will reap according to what we sow (invest) into this ministry. May the Lord bless you richly as you pursue your church planting ministry and may it grow abundantly for the glory of God!
Fundamental Principles for Church Planting
1. YOU MUST LIVE A RIGHTEOUS LIFE BEFORE THE LORD AND BECOME A PRAYER WARRIOR – God is NOT looking for the most talented or knowledgeable person. The LORDs requirements are always on personal integrity and spiritual life instead of someone who has many extrinsic values. He is not looking for PH.D’s but the LORD is looking at your heart. Therefore it is essential that the church planter live a holy life before the Lord. The church planter also needs to become a prayer warrior. No church plant will ever flourish without sowing the seeds of prayer. God first starts with the leader of this mission. If the leader is misplaced, then so will the rest of the people be. Guard your personal devotional life and always place your relationship with Christ as supreme to all other endeavors without sacrificing all the other as well.
2. HAVE AN INTERCESORY TEAM JOIN YOU TO PRAY FOR THIS WORK – It is important that you have prayer warriors who will stand with you in prayer. Church planting will be one of the biggest warfare’s you will engage in and the enemy will not be happy with your vision. The intercessory team you select will be critical in order to disarm the powers and principalities coming against you. Pick godly people who are living a righteous life.

3. IT IS IMPORTANT TO BE RECORGNIZED AND ACCOUNTABLE BEFORE MAN AND GOD – Many church planters go at it alone without any spiritual covering. This is not only wrong but unscriptural. We need to be correctly installed with credentials from biblically solid ministries. It is the Lords will that we have proper and legal credentials to be classified as ministers. It is vitally important to hold credentials in order to be considered a legal minister. Minister with credentials can officially and legally officiate marriage ceremonies, funerals, baptisms, etc. We understand that it is God who calls you first but ministers must also hold legal credentials to be recognized as a minister. The AOCI also offers legal and valid credentials (Ministerial Worker, Licensed Minister, and Ordained Minister).  Many of our members secure the AOCI credential as a double credential since they love the AOCI and are loyal to the ministry.  For more information click on the "Credential Link' on the top of the main page.  Being a member of A.O.C.I. and securing a second credential through AOCI compliments your existing credentials and enhances your standing as a minister. We also made it very affordable for you to secure. 
4. ESTABLISH YOUR PROFESSIONALISM AND MARKETING SOURCE WITH A WEBSITE AND WITH A BUSINESS CARD - In today’s advanced technological world, we must use the tools given to us for the advancement of the kingdom of God. A web site gives people a chance to review your vision and provide them with general information about your vision. A ministry business card does the same. You should use these tools to direct people to in order to make people aware of what you are doing. Websites have a plethora of features and tools you can use in order to attract potential members (both Christians and non-Christians). In today’s ministry life it is almost a requirement.
5. GET INVOLVED IN COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES – This builds credibility through your servant leadership. Identify what the networks are in your community in order to build relationships. These networks include both Christian and Non Christian (within reason). No church plant will ever grow without community involvement. Jesus himself sat and ate with sinners and His ministry was successful.
6. SELECT A PLACE TO HOLD BIBLE STUDIES WHICH IS COST EFFECTIVE – We don’t recommend you go out and rent a place right away. Hold bible studies in your home, apartment club house, etc. When the bible study grows and you outgrow the place you are holding your bible studies, it is then time to find another neutral place to meet like a store front, etc.
7. A CHURCH PLANT MUST ALWAYS EVANGELIZE THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST – Share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with whoever and where ever you go. Follow up and invite people to your bible study. Pick three couples and commit to pray for them. You can start your bible study with just a few people who understand and support your vision.
8. COMMIT TO ON-GOING IMPROVEMENT THROUGH EDUCATION AND CONNECTION WITH OTHER CLERGYMEN AND WOMEN – No minister will ever grow by themselves. Commit to self study is important for personal development. In addition, it is highly recommended that you connect with other ministers who will provide opportunities for learning, growth, support, encouragement, and challenge. We need each other in the LORD and your connection is to fellow ministers is vital.

9. DETERMINE HOW YOU WOULD LIKE TO SET UP YOUR MINISTRY – Within the church there is debate regarding obtaining a 501c3 status/incorporating or not. You will need to research these aspects. If incorporating is the avenue you want to pursue, the AOCI has ministries that can do this. If you need additional information on running a church without incorporating you can go to
10. TRUST GOD FOR FUNDING BUT NEVER MANIPULATE OR COARSE PEOPLE OR ORGANIZATIONS TO GIVE FINANCIALLY- The church planter must be willing to fund as much as necessary in order to get a solid foundation going. Yes, tithing is a biblical doctrine and we believe should be preached, but never preach this with a hidden agenda to get people to give. The church planter must be willing to do what it takes to fund their own ministry. In the beginning stages, you should be willing to pay for all ministry expenses such as Bibles, teaching print outs, etc. As your church grows and the people embrace your vision, the funds will come. Remember that it is God who causes the growth and you only water your vision. God will reward you according to your own efforts (labor). (1 Cor. 3:6-8)
Below are a few helpful links and helpful resources as you start to plant your church. May the LORD of the harvest bring multiple millions of souls into the kingdom because of your efforts and His Grace!

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Church Welcome Folders
Church Direct offers distinctive designs at affordable prices.
Evangelism That Works
See how other churches are Sharing Christ. Free video
Find Church Jobs Today
Our unique tools match churches & ministers with success every day!
Church Outreach Tips
Expert marketing advice on using postcards to attract new visitors.
Sermons & Sermon Outlines
Free Sermon Outlines and sermon study aids. Sermon Course Book
Interim Pastor Training
We train, mentor & certify pastors to lead churches in transition.






Dr. Henry Vazquez, B.B.S, M.Div, Th.D
President of the Association of Clergy International

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Comment by Margaret Wright on January 12, 2014 at 6:14am

Thank you Bro. Henry for this information so precisely spelled out.

I heard the Spirit of God say audibly to me on one occasion when singing the hymn 149 where it says regarding Jesus - He shall reap the harvest He has sown.... saying, "you shall surely reap the harvest you have sown!"  Praise God for He is at work and He shall be glorified and His kingdom extended, for this is Kingdom work - bringing souls from darkness to Light and teaching them to love HIM, follow HIM faithfully until we meet HIM face to face!

HALLELUJAH!  What a privilege is ours to know HIM, love HIM and serve HIM, each in our own settings!!

God continue to bless you abundantly, your family and your ministry

Margaret Wright

Comment by Evangelist Santhosh Chellappan on November 29, 2013 at 11:26pm

Dear brother Henry,

I praise God for you and thank you for this wonderful teaching on Church Planting as we are in the Church planting mission in India. I am praying for God to give you more wisdom and word to bring out such teaching on many other subjects. If you have got some teachings on Discipleship, please send to me at my email address 

Please pray for our ministry, Gospel India Mission.

God bless you,

In His services,

Santhosh Chellappan,


Comment by Dr. Henry, President of the AOCI on November 23, 2013 at 10:24pm
Amen brother Andrew. Our Jewish roots is something beautiful for us to explore. We will continue to pray for you. Blessings to you, your family and your ministry.
Comment by Andrew Workman on November 23, 2013 at 8:54pm

Thank you Dr. Henry for posting this information!  It will come in handy when God opens the door on my ministry. 

I have felt His leading to focus my ministry on learning about our Jewish roots in Christianity and have even considered starting a Messianic gentile chapel/church with the purpose of doing our part in fulfilling the Great Commission of Christ by learning, accepting and observing some of the Jewish customs that Our Lord Yeshua observed as well as Bringing the Gospel to 'All nations', including the Jewish people.  

Thank you again for this and for your prayers and support!  God Bless You!

Comment by Dr. Henry, President of the AOCI on February 13, 2010 at 3:31pm
Amen Rev. Butler. I am so blessed that this information is helpful to you. We are praying for you and now we can include your church plant in our prayers also. Thank you for what you do to advance the Kingdom of God. God bless you, your family, and your ministry.
Comment by Charles Butler on February 13, 2010 at 3:12pm
Hi Dr Henry, Thank you for posting this church planting guide in such a clear, concise manner. We are planning a church plant soon and this is very helpful. God Bless you and your ministry!
Comment by Dr. Henry, President of the AOCI on February 12, 2010 at 9:57pm
Dr. Liz, I am blessed that you found the information helpful. God bless you for all that you do for Jesus! God bless you, your family, and your ministry.

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The AOCI exists as a fellowship of Spirit-filled Evangelical and Jewish Clergy for the purpose of: 1) Exalting God 2) Fellowshiping and 3) Divine Networking.

We do NOT advise, nor do we seek, to bring members out of their current denomination or ministerial association. We seek to have a platform to UNITE the Clergy of the world in ways that can benefit not only the Kingdom of God, but also the men and women who faithfully serve their communities, one another, and God.

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