General Info

+ What is the Matching Fund?

CMN and the AGTrust financially partner with church planters through the Matching Fund to maximize the launch of new churches.

When a church planter receives matching funds, they’re committing to be a part of a national church planting movement. Each dollar replenished into the Matching Fund is immediately turned around and used to fund another church plant. Matching Fund recipients are not simply receiving a one-time gift. They become part of something that God is doing across the country that is helping to reach unchurched and dechurched people.

+ How do I become a Matching Fund Church?

Every Assemblies of God church planting project can apply for matching funds during their pre-launch phase. Each church planter has an opportunity for CMN to match funds they have raised, at the discretion of CMN, up to a maximum of $50,000, which the planter agrees to replenish back into the Matching Fund.

The total amount matched is determined by several factors that are evaluated by the CMN funding team.

+ What factors determine the amount of funding I receive?

The amount awarded is based on the following factors:

• The church's need for additional funding

• Whether the church is being planted in a top 25 city as identified by CMN

• Environment of the planting location

• Quality of the ministry plan

• Results of the church planter assessment

• Strength of the parent church

• Availability of funds

+ What is a Champion Church?

Once a Matching Fund Church replenishes the funds that they were awarded from the Matching Fund, they become a Champion Church. Champion Churches continue to give 1% of their church's income to CMN to further the cause of seeing a healthy church in every community. Our Champion Churches are our most valued partners. They are those who have risen to the challenge of planting a healthy church and committed their time, energy, and income to seeing the Kingdom of God grow in the United States.

+ What is the success rate of Matching Fund Churches?

Matching Fund Churches have a planting success rate of 90%

+ Does CMN offer funding for churches that have already launched?

An additional $20,000 is available for property-related expenses to churches that have already received Matching Funds and are still in their first year of operation.

Applicants for post-launch funding must be AG Trust Matching Fund recipients. The amount awarded is added to the church’s current Matching Fund balance to be replenished. To receive post-launch funding, a written request is required. Contact our Matching Fund Coordinator for more information.

 

Initial Funding Questions

+ Are Matching Funds a type of loan or grant?

Matching Funds are not considered a grant because the ongoing efforts of the Fund depend on the replenishment of the money awarded to you. Matching Funds are also not a loan. Your monthly financial replenishments have no interest attached and are based on the monthly income of your church. To qualify for Matching Funds, you commit to give 10 percent of your undesignated tithes and offerings each month. The money given is paid forward into the Church Multiplication Network (CMN) Matching Fund. The money you’ve paid forward will be used to invest in future church plants.

+ If I receive Matching Funds, will I have to follow certain rules when planting my church?

The purpose of CMN is to equip, fund, and network church planters — not tell you how to do church ministry. However, if you are awarded Matching Funds, you will be asked to respond to a survey each month on the status of your church plant. Additionally, any other requirements for your church plant would come from your AG District and/or parent church.

+ We filed a New Church Open form, but haven't launched yet. Are we still eligible for Matching Funds?

Possibly. In order to qualify for Matching Funds, we require that each church plant submit a New Church Open form or Parent-Affiliated Church (PAC) Charter form. A church is classified as open once their district has filed these forms with the General Secretary’s office. Because the purpose of the Matching Funds are for the pre-launch phase of a church plant, you will not be eligible for funds if you’ve already had a public launch service. If you have a New Church Open form on file and it is classified as open, this is not necessarily equivalent to a public launch. Because we do not fund churches after they launch, it is important to submit your application a minimum of 12 weeks prior to your launch.

+ Do I have to pay back the Matching Funds?

By receiving these funds, the planted church agrees to give ten percent (10%) to the Church Multiplication Network from the undesignated income received by the new church every month.

For example, if your income in January is $5,000, you are agreeing to give $500 toward the Matching Fund. If your income in January is $10,000, you are agreeing to give $1,000 toward the Matching Fund. Therefore, the amount you give to the Matching Fund is dependent upon the amount of undesignated income received by the church every month. This agreement will continue until the amount that you have replenished (paid forward) into the CMN Matching Fund is equal to the original investment that CMN awarded you. When this is complete, an additional commitment to give a minimum of one percent (1%) of all undesignated income every month to CMN applies.

+ How do I obtain the documentation to affiliate my new church plant with the Assemblies of God?

Your first step should be to contact your AG District office. They can help you understand the differences between the three types of affiliation — General Council Affiliated, District Council Affiliated, or Parent Affiliated Church (PAC). If you still have questions, please contact the CMN office for assistance.

+ When I submit my application for Matching Funds, how long should I expect it to take before I find out if I am approved or not?

CMN strives to keep the turnaround time on all applications as short as possible. We ask that you submit your application to our office as early as possible, but no later than 12 weeks prior to the public launch of your church plant. In order to help speed up the process, please make sure that your application is completed in full along with the additional information requested. These funds are awarded if you qualify and the funds are available. Therefore, these funds are not a guarantee and you should not make financial commitments based on funds that may be awarded.

+ If I am approved to receive Matching Funds, will the entire amount be mailed to me directly?

If you are approved, all funds will be mailed to your Primary Partner as designated on your application. The Primary Partner will then be responsible for distributing the funds to you in a manner that maximizes the momentum of the public launch of the new church.

+ How soon can I receive funding for a new church?

The soonest CMN will fund a new church is ninety (90) days prior to your public launch. The timeline for each application is based upon when an application is received and completed, when the approval process is completed, and when funding is available.

+ After I finish replenishing the Matching Funds, what’s next?

When the Matching Fund amount is paid forward in full, the planted church agrees to continue to give a minimum of one percent (1%) of all undesignated income every month to CMN to support the planting of new churches through CMN resources. The one percent (1%) commitment will remain in effect in perpetuity. Churches that give the one percent are called CMN Champion Churches.

 

Funding Requirements

+ Do I have to hold my ministerial credentials with the Assemblies of God in order to apply for Matching Funds?

Yes.

+ Do I need to completed a background check and/or credit report to apply for CMN Matching Funds?

CMN requires a background check and credit report on each Matching Fund applicant. These will be waived if either of the following has occurred within the last two years:

• The applicant was granted Assemblies of God credentials.

• The applicant was granted a higher level of Assemblies of God credential (i.e. moved from Certified to License OR License to Ordained)

+ Do multisite locations and/or satellite campuses qualify for Matching Funds?

Possibly. To qualify for Matching Funds, whoever is designated, as the campus pastor for this venue must hold ministerial credentials with the Assemblies of God. Additionally, the campus pastor must be different from the Primary Partner contact.

+ What are the assessment requirements to receive funding?

An assessment is the process of discerning whether a potential church planter is called to plant a church and whether the person is right for a specific new work. In order to qualify for Matching Funds, you will need to complete the Profile Assessment System (PAS/Ridley) with a nationally certifed assessor or a district process that has been nationally approved. We encourage you to begin by contacting your AG District office and speaking with the individual responsible for church planting within your district.

+ What are you looking for in a ministry plan?

Please refer to the CMN Ministry Plan Guide. A CMN Ministry Plan will give a clear picture of your community and our church to people who may not know you, your community, or church. The CMN Ministry Plan Checklist describes the elements expected in a ministry plan.

+ What is CMN Launch? And do I have to attend to qualify for Matching Funds?

CMN Launch is a three-day process that provides strategic planning to prepare people to start new churches. During Launch, church planters will review all aspects of the planting process under the leadership of a team of facilitators and coaches with real world experience. CMN strongly suggests that everyone interested in starting a new church attend a Launch event. To qualify for Matching Funds, CMN requires that you complete CMN Launch or a district training that has been nationally approved.

+ Do I have to have more than one partner to receive Matching Funds?

We believe it is in the best interest of the planter to have more than one partner. In some cases, one partner can suffice but there are many cases where CMN will require additional partners. Because there are so many unique situations that we encounter, please contact our office if you have any questions.

+ If I am applying for a similar program with a different organization, am I still eligible for CMN Matching Funds?

No. If you receive funds from another church planting organization, you are no longer eligible to receive CMN Matching Funds.

 

Primary Partners

+ What is a Primary/Secondary Partner and who qualifies as a partner?

A Primary/Secondary Partner commits to stand with the church planter and church-planting project in prayer and support. They will provide stewardship of the Matching Funds in partnership with the planter, and will agree to replenish the funds if the church plant is not able to do so. The Matching Fund check will be sent to the Primary Partner, and it is their responsibility to ensure that the funds are used by the planter in a manner that maximizes the launch of the church plant. The Planter and the Partner(s) cannot be the same person.

+ Do I need to have a Primary Partner?

Yes. Every Matching Fund Church must have a Primary Partner. Most churches also have additional Secondary Partners.

+ Why do I need a partner?

Part of the application process ensures that every Matching Fund Church has a foundation of relationships for a healthy launch. Partners provide spiritual, emotional, and practical support for a church planter. They are people who understand the vision of this new church and are willing to help it come to fruition. Without this foundation of relationships, CMN could not help so many churches launch well.

+ What is a Primary Partner contractually agreeing to?

See the agreement below:

I/We, the undersigned, commit to stand with this planter and church-planting project in prayer and support. I/We will provide stewardship of the Matching Funds in partnership with this planter. I/We understand that the Church Multiplication Network (CMN) will distribute the awarded funds to the primary partner. As the Primary Partner, I/We will ensure the funds are disbursed in a manner that maximizes the momentum of the public launch of the new church. I/We agree that if for any reason the church plant is unable to replenish the funds received from CMN, I/We will ensure that the funds will be replaced at a pace equal to or exceeding the average monthly amount being replaced at the time the church plant ceases to make replenishment payments.

I/We understand, in the event there are multiple partners, one individual/organization must be designated as the Primary Partner. The Primary Partner would become responsible for managing the relationship among all other partners (a.k.a. Secondary Partner(s)). Ultimately, the Primary Partner is responsible for ensuring the Matching Funds are replenished in the event the church plant is unable to do so. I/We have read and understand the qualifications; I/We have read and approve of the Ministry Plan provided by the church planter; and I/We verify that the planter has met the standards of qualification for receiving the Matching Funds.

qualifications to Receive Matching Funds

New church plants are eligible to apply for the Matching Funds during the start-up phase of the church planting project. This means approval for Matching Fund disbursement must be obtained prior to the date of the launch of public services.

We require that you submit your application a minimum of twelve (12) weeks prior to the public launch date of your church plant. This will ensure that CMN has ample time to process your application.

CMN’s ability to award Matching Funds is dependent upon several factors: 

(1) The lead planter must submit a completed application with all corresponding documents.

(2) The lead planter must fulfill all qualifications to receive funding.

(3) CMN will review your application and give preliminary approval.

(4) The AG Executive Leadership Team gives final approval for Matching Funds to be awarded.

Note: In the event that funds are not available at the time of your approval, your application will be placed on a waiting list. If funds become available between the time you are notified of your final approval and your first public launch service, you will be awarded Matching Funds. Because Matching Funds are intended to be used for the purposes of maximizing your launch, you will no longer be eligible for funds after your first public launch service. If you feel the success of your launch is strongly dependent upon the receipt of Matching Funds, you can postpone the launch of your church plant in order to wait for funds to become available. However, your approved application will only be kept on the waiting list for a period of sixty (60) days after final approval is awarded from the AG Executive Leadership Team. Following the 60 day waiting period, you can re-apply for Matching Funds if desired.

+ General Qualifications

• Lead planter has Assemblies of God credentials in good standing.

• The lead planter must complete a background check and submit a credit report to CMN. This requirement will be waived if either of the following has occurred within the last two (2) years: 1) The Lead planter was newly granted Assemblies of God credentials, or 2) The Lead planter advanced to the next level of credentials (i.e. moved from Certified to Licensed or Licensed to Ordained).

• Lead planter and/or planting team has developed a partnership with a district, parent church, or collaborative group of churches.

• The church plant must result in a church as defined by the General Council of the Assemblies of God. A completed application must include the date in which the New Church Open form or Parent Affiliated Church Charter form was submitted by the District to the General Council.

• Lead planter has been assessed by a nationally certified assessor using the Profile Assessment System (PAS/Ridley) or a district process that has been nationally approved.

• Lead planter (and spouse, if applicable) has completed CMN Launch or a district training that has been approved by CMN.

• The lead planter and/or planting team will present a ministry plan describing their strategy for starting the new church. Please refer to the CMN Ministry Plan Guide, which describes the elements expected in a ministry plan.

+ Disbursement Requirements

• At least 50% of the donor funds to be matched must be actual cash. The other 50% may be signed pledges for a maximum period of 12 months. You must submit bank statements and, if needed, donor pledge information, verifying the amounts raised and requested.

• Donor funds to be matched must include finances raised directly by the planter utilizing his or her own personal network.

• If you are receiving funds from another church planting organization, you are not eligible to receive CMN Matching Funds.

+ Replenishment

• The new church is expected to give 10% monthly on the total income from undesignated tithes and offerings to replenish the Matching Funds received. The replenishment process will be administered by CMN.

• The partner(s) and planting team must sign an agreement that, in the event the church is unable to replenish the Matching Funds, the partner(s) will be responsible to replenish the balance of the Matching Fund amount. In the event there are multiple partners, one individual/organization must be designated as the Primary Partner. The Primary Partner would become responsible for managing the relationship among all other partners (a.k.a. Secondary Partner(s)). Ultimately, the Primary Partner is responsible for ensuring the Matching Funds are replenished in the event the church plant is unable to do so.

• Once the original investment has been replenished in the Matching Fund, the newly planted church will agree to continue to invest one percent (1%) of their annual income in perpetuity to the CMN General Fund.

+ PAC Qualifications

• A Parent-Affiliated Church (PAC) applying for Matching Funds must submit a copy of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) that clearly outlines the relationship and expectations between the Parent Church and the Parent-Affiliated Church. Please see our PAC resource page under "church planting resources" for a sample MOU.

+ Leadership Development Commitments

• The lead planter will agree to participate in regular coaching/mentoring sessions with a partner approved coach/mentor.


The four entities involved in the Matching Fund process

Lead planter: This refers to the church plant team leader and/or Campus Pastor. The Lead planter will be specifically named on the Matching Fund application. Other team members do not need to be named at this time.

Donor: This refers to a person or organization that contributes to the Lead planters funding. This can be given as cash-on-hand or as a faith promise to be given in the next 12 months.

Partner: This refers to a person or organization that agrees to replenish the Matching Funds in the event the Lead planter is unable to complete the replenishment. The Lead planter and the Partner(s) cannot be the same person.

The Church Multiplication Network: This refers to the organization that is providing the Matching Funds.


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Sample Replenishment Plans

$15,000 Matching Fund replenishment over five years

$30,000 Matching Fund replenishment over five years

 

$45,000 Matching Fund replenishment over five years

 

Note: Hover over chart data points for specific totals