Planting a Church
Several years ago, I planted a church. From the adventure of meeting new people and being used by God to introduce them to a relationship with Jesus to studying God’s Word and preparing and delivering messages that would grab the hearts of spiritual seekers – I absolutely loved discipleship and helping people get started in their faith journey.
What I absolutely couldn’t stand and viewed as a huge thorn in my flesh was dealing with formation paperwork with the IRS.
What they didn't teach you in Bible College or Graduate School is that there's more to planting a church than outreach. You have to get legit in the eyes of the law, which my passion for church planting didn't include. I felt completely lost in a pile of paperwork when it came to the EIN, Articles of Incorporation, Entity Reports, and 501(c)3 submissions. In fact, every time I received a letter from the IRS a huge weight of discouragement would come upon me even before I opened it – I just knew that it was going to be yet another notice of something else I did wrong when I filled out whatever paperwork or application.
Thankfully, God led me to meet my wife Andrea.
When I first met Andrea, I discovered that she had helped some non-profits fill out and get started with formation paperwork and absolutely loved it! She had an unbelievable understanding on the formation side of church planting and a passion to learn more. When I had shared my personal journey with formation, we both felt the nudge of the Holy Spirit to combine our experiences and provide help and expertise to aspiring church planters and non-profit ministry leaders.
Though I met Andrea after my own church planting formation struggles, God clearly had a plan in mind to use our experiences and gifts to make sure other ministries didn't have to walk through this process alone.
Our Mission — Serving Ministries that Follow Jesus
Our hope was and has always been to take some administrative duties off the plates of new ministry leaders and let them focus on what they are wired and passionate about doing – introducing people to a life-changing relationship with Jesus and helping them to grow in that relationship.
We have always considered our partner ministries as family. We formed as a ministry and have always operated as a ministry by understanding their needs to provide them with services that won't break their budget. It also means we can provide waivers for many ministries that are extremely limited in their current ability to afford services.
Because we do this, many of these ministries come back to us when they are on their feet financially desiring to invest in us so that we can invest into other new ministries who may need our help. Other ministries have come along side of us and actually give more for our services knowing that it will help us to invest more into newer ministries and pastors in need. This has also allowed for us to have a pastoral benevolence fund that enables us to help some hurting pastors with unexpected expenses and events.
We truly see ourselves as missionaries who are helping advance the kingdom of God by coming alongside pastors and ministries to help them to do less office and more outreach.
Our Ministry Today
Since those early days when it was just my wife and I with our laptops at the kitchen table, we now have a staff of nine employees who specialize in several different areas. We have worked with many major church planting networks and several denominations in most every state. We have been exhibitors at several main church planting conferences and networks and denominational meetings. Our services have expanded greatly to help new ministries with just about every administrative need they would have to get started and down the road with their new ministry. Some of those services include articles of incorporation, EIN, entity reports, 501c3 application, polices, employee files, web design, social media presence, payroll and bookkeeping, copyright, etc.
We appreciate all of the love and support of our Luke 9:23 Family, and we would love to partner with you and your ministry!
Matt Harris is the Founder and Behavioral Consultant at Luke 9:23 Ministries. He also serves as the Spiritual Formations Pastor at Crossview Church in Grabill, IN.
If you have any questions or requests, feel free to reach out to us by using our contact form.