Skip to Content

How Much Does It Cost to Start a Church?

According to insightful reports from the United Methodist Church, you have to invest “around $300,000 and $500,000 in denominational subsidy per new church plant, depending on the region and availability of funds”.

While this might be a viable spectrum to work with, keep in mind that the exact amount will vary depending on certain very important factors. Church planting without doubt plays a very vital role in spreading the message of faith and building strong communities.

Howbeit, you will have to understand that aside from the call to service or to do good, starting a new church can be really capital intensive, requiring extensive planning, dedicated individuals, and financial support.

Keep in mind that church participation is currently going down, particularly among populations that are younger, more affluent, or more educated. One thing to understand is that it takes years of experience to develop the sort of financial commitments that earlier generations were known to have even from the very beginning of their church participation.

Nevertheless, don’t forget that the cost of starting a church will still include donations by members and participants, sponsoring churches, as well as friends of the church.

Factors That Determine the Cost of Opening a Church

  1. Upfront cost

The amount of capital needed will depend on the amount you put upfront into planting the church. You have to understand that the initial cost of acquiring property encompasses the sales price of the property, or the total cost of construction if you’re buying vacant land.

A good part of your budget will go into things like a down payment for the property, deposit money, and closing fees. You will also want to take into consideration the costs that come with making your church legal and securing permits.

  1. Interest rate

Owing to the rate at which this factor has terribly dealt with religious and nonprofit organizations, it is necessary to consider it when looking to start a church. If you intend to leverage a mortgage to finance your new church building, don’t forget to consider the fact that interest rates will add to the total cost of the purchase.

  1. Renovations and repairs

If you intend to purchase a piece of property that was utilized for non-worship or non-religious activities, you might want to take into account the expenses that come with remodeling or renovating the building. It is imperative that you start with a property that is visibly suitable for a congregation’s activities.

If you intend to remodel or renovate; although these properties come at lower prices owing to their poor condition, have it in mind that the capital you invest might shoot up in the long run once the price of repairs and replacements is added into the equation.

  1. Operation and maintenance

Right from the very beginning, you will want to create a budget for the operation and maintenance of your church. This will include expenses for repairs, cleaning, insurance, security, pest control, landscaping, snow removal, trash disposal, and so on.

One critical thing to note is that the long-term costs of operating a building are what make ownership very daunting. Nevertheless, with dynamic leadership, accounting, budgeting, and faithful giving, you can establish and sustain a church.

  1. Staffing costs

A good portion of your capital will have to go to staffing. You have to determine the role you would like to fill, the number of employees to recruit, and the exact amount you have to pay them because they will also determine your monthly budget.

To help save on your capital and keep your staff small, consider getting volunteers from church members for casual, temporary, seasonal, or project-based roles.

  1. Utilities

You need to factor in this particular segment of the expense when evaluating how much you need to start and manage a church. For instance, what would it cost to keep your church building warm in the winter and adequately ventilated during the summer?

What is your budget for monthly water consumption? By finding answers to these questions, you will better understand how much you need to put your business in place. The exact amount will vary from one state to another.

  1. Taxes

Do not make the mistake of neglecting this factor when considering the capital necessary to start a church. It is always recommended that you reach out to a tax consultant to understand if any of your activities, collaborations, fundraisers, or space-sharing arrangements might be subject to business income, and as such, taxation.

Don’t forget to ask your attorney ways you can safeguard your congregation’s tax-exempt status when making available church space for lease to non-religious or business entities.


Church planting without doubt plays a very vital role in spreading the message of faith and building strong communities.

With the appropriate resources and finance, you can build a church that has impactful programs, supports its staff, as well as contributes to the general development of its communities. The exact amount will vary depending on certain very important factors, just as it was noted above.