Are you thinking of starting a church in Nigeria? Do you believe you are called by God? You want to start your own church and you do not know how you can register your church under the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and the other process involved? Read our article to the end for everything you need to know.
Starting a church in Nigeria is just about printing flyers and having a place you do service. There are legal processes involved. There are questions as to if capital is needed to start a church in Nigeria. You do not need capital to start a church in Nigeria. All you need is to have a registered name. If your church name is registered you can even start in your room or compound till your population growth is good and you can rent or acquire land.
How to Start a Church in Nigeria
Here is the step-by-step guide on how to register and start a church in Nigeria.
1. Attend a Pastoral School
The first step to starting a church in Nigeria after being called is to get trained formally and you can only do this by attending a pastoral school. There are many of these schools in different states in Nigeria. Some are free and some are paid. You can attend these schools within 3 – 6 months and get certified to be a minister of a church. As a pastor, you can either start your own church or work hand-in-hand with another pastor to manage his church.
2. Register Church Name Under CAC
This second step to starting a church in Nigeria involves lots of processes even though churches are not regarded as commercial entities. However, you can do it yourself. Here are the steps below.
A. Choose a Name for the Church
The first step to registering your church under the CAC is to choose a name for your proposed church. You need a primary name and two other optional names in case the primary name is already chosen.
B. Create your Board of Trustees
Despite the fact that you want to be the full owner of your church you need a board of trustees as required by the CAC. It is this board of trustees that will govern and manage your church just like you have shareholders in incorporated companies. The board of trustees is responsible for filing any returns.
C. Publish a Notification to Start a Church
Once you have your church name approved and your board of trustees sorted out, you need to publish a notification of starting a church to the public. This notification needs to be done in at least 2 newspapers, one of which is widely known in the locality. This notification is to inform the community about the church.
D. Complete and Submit your Application Form
The application form requires simple information like the name of your proposed church, registered address of the church, aims and objectives of the church, and personal details of the trustees (their names, gender, nationality, permanent residential address, occupation, and more).
Your completed application form must be submitted with other documents like your application letter, the original newspaper publications, minutes of the meeting in which trustees were appointed, and 2 passports of each trustee member.
E. Documents are reviewed
All the documents will be reviewed and your church will be duly registered if there are no pending issues.
3. Engage in Evangelism
After registering your church under the CAC you should go ahead to engage in massive evangelism to attract and convert people to your church. You can engage in online evangelism using digital marketing. For offline advertising, you can use the services of a graphic designer to design a flyer and use a printing press to print the flyers. After this, you should give your members the to share these flyers at bus stops and on buses.
4. Generate Revenue
When members start attending your church your revenue will begin to increase gradually. Offerings, seeds, and tithes can be used to develop the church – providing fuel, microphones, speakers, and others. It is very important to increase your membership all the time because when your membership increases your church revenue will also increase.
As time goes by you will need to create a church account (current account). One account is good at the beginning but as time goes by you will need to have a separate account for offering and tithe.
5. Acquire a Land and Build Structure
All churches need to have their own land (a permanent site). As a church owner, this should be your first goal so that you can stop paying rent as soon as possible. The most difficult part is the acquisition of the land as land is now expensive. Especially the ones close to the main roads. The moment you are able to buy land it will be easier to build your church.
This is where your board of trustees also comes in. They will invite their family and friends to become members of your church and convince them to donate money for the building of the church.
Starting a church in Nigeria is easy, however, it is not easy to retain members as there are so many distractions caused by other churches. You must be able to give back to stand out and make your members comfortable at all times. Let them feel at home anytime they come to church. It is also good to note that in as much as your church is yours because you founded it; your board of trustees has the power to vote you out as the general overseer of the church or take control of your finances – paying you salary.
This is why you need to listen and pay attention to your board of trustees so that they do not go against you. Are there any questions for me as regards this topic? Feel free to drop them in the comments below.