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Resources for church planters.

These resources are designed to provide you with samples and information that you will need to complete to become and move forward as a Vineyard church.

This is not a substitute for legal advice, and we are not rendering legal advice. Rather, we are providing you with information and samples that we have seen work in certain circumstances.

It is important that you review laws that apply in your state, and ensure that the final documents you use comply with applicable law. The documents we are providing are not intended to be used “as-is” and may require substantive changes.

We’re also including information about a few services and softwares that might be of interest to you. These are not endorsements, simply a starting point for you to research what might be a good fit for your church. 

Questions?
Don’t hesitate to reach out. 

Documents & Samples

Articles of Incorporation

The Articles of Incorporation, as they are commonly known, are required in most states. This document is usually the first step in forming your legal entity with the state in which your church operates.
DOC

Clergy Advantage Resources

Clergy Advantage provides tax consulting and preparation, retirement planning and housing allowance services for pastors. For more information on Clergy Advantage, visit their website.

Basic Agreement 2015 (PDF)

Plus Plan Agreement (PDF)

Support Package (PDF)

Tax Plans (PDF)

LINKS

Bylaws

Bylaws are the operational rules for the corporation. These are not usually submitted to the state, but instead are maintained in the corporation’s minute book.
DOC

Church Planter Insurance Information

This list can help you choose the best insurance for your plant.
PDF

Two Year Plan

This packet is created for church planters within the Vineyard Movement to begin developing their 2-year plan for a future church plant.
PDF

Legal & Copyright

Tax ID Number (EIN)

After the Articles of Incorporation are filed, you may need a federal tax ID number, often known as an EIN. You may file for an EIN on the IRS website.
LINK

Copyright Info for churches (Fair Use)

Many religious organizations struggle with understanding how Fair Use works in the context of videos, images, music, and other copyrights.
VIDEO

Copyright Info for churches (Copyright)

This video is part one of a ten-part video series for pastors, media directors, worship leaders, songwriters, worship art departments and anyone else who needs to learn about copyright in the church context.
VIDEOS

Basic Legal Issues

This video tutorial is designed for Vineyard USA church planters to provide them with basic information about the legal issues in planting a church.
VIDEO

StartChurch

StartCHURCH resources planters on the administrative and legal establishment of their churches. StartCHURCH offers StartRIGHT, a service that helps planters with incorporation, FEIN, bylaws, policies, tax exempt status, and ordination all using powerful web-based software tools.
LINK

Tax Exempt Status (Federal)

Churches are typically automatically exempt from taxes and are not required to file any paperwork to confirm their tax exempt status. However, there are many reasons why a church may wish to confirm its tax-exempt status by securing specific exemption through the IRS. Historically, this was a very expensive and time-consuming process. Unfortunately, the 1023-EZ form does not qualify for churches due to additional attached paperwork that is required for churches. Multiply Vineyard is unable to provide legal counsel. Please connect with another church in your area or your church’s legal advisor.
LINK

Tax Exempt Status (State)

State tax exempt status is typically processed through the applicable state franchise tax board or equivalent. Many states offer two methods to secure tax-exempt status: (a) a formal application prior to receipt of a federal tax exempt status determination letter; or (b) a simple application/process after receipt of a federal tax exempt status determination letter. Because the process is more simple after receipt of the federal tax-exempt status determination letter, many churches opt to wait for such letter prior to requesting tax-exempt status through the state. In California, for example, the form and process is described on the Franchise Tax Board website. You should research your state requirements for tax-exempt status and complete the necessary application according to the instructions provided.
LINK

Kim Fisher - Non-Profit Strategist

You may want to hire someone to help you establish your non-profit, set up your financial structure, and create a fundraising plan.
LINK

Software & Technology

Gloo

Gloo uses cutting edge technology to provide church planters with data analytics that can improve the success of new church plants by helping you find the audience you're wanting to reach. For instance, a church can use Gloo’s services to determine which new residents in a geographical area are likely to visit a church and drastically improve targeted outreach strategies.
link

FaithStreet's Congregation App

FaithStreet's congregation app (for iOS and Android) is a new platform that allows people to connect through prayer, reflection, teaching, generosity, in-person fellowship and church communications throughout the week. It helps your team do the work of formation and discipleship, in addition to church communications. Interested leaders can apply for early access at faithstreet.com/community.
APP

GoDev’s Website Package Deals

GoDev Technologies offers budget-friendly template websites that allows churches to expand their reach opportunities online. Featuring Basic, Mid, and Premium packages that are customized for your church, you can begin with a basic informational presence or create additional opportunities for more engagement with your congregation via online sermons, event calendars, and tithing integration.
WEBSITE

Cutting Edge Archive

Cutting Edge Archive

Cutting Edge was the Vineyard's quarterly church planting magazine that ran from 1996 to 2011. This archive includes all available issues of the magazine.
PDF