The most important concept of starting a ministry is to understand what exactly you are creating. You must first ask yourself…will Jesus Christ become the head of your Fellowship/Church and guide you OR will the State/Government become in charge of it?
Most pastors start off dead in the water because they think they need to form a 501c3 church and that is completely false. It’s the biggest mistake you can make. Creating a 501c3 church means that you are owned completely by the state and/or government. This idea that you have to register a 501c3 form for your church or ministry is heavily pushed by accountants, lawyers,CPA personnel and sometimes banks.
What is a 501c3 contract?
It’s basically a tool or contract to give or recognize a church as “tax exempt”…BUT, The truth is that ministries or churches are already tax exempt!
Senator Lyndon B. Johnson, a ruthless politician, was no ally of the church. As part of his political agenda, Johnson had it in mind to silence the church and eliminate the significant influence the church had always had on shaping “public policy.”
Although Johnson proffered this as a “favor” to churches, the favor also came with strings attached (more like shackles). One need not look far to see the devastating effects 501c3 acceptance has had to the church, and the consequent restrictions placed upon any 501c3 church. 501c3 churches are prohibited from addressing, in any tangible way, the vital issues of the day.
For a 501c3 church to openly speak out, or organize in opposition to, anything that the government declares “legal,” even if it is immoral (e.g. abortion, homosexuality, etc.), that church will jeopardize its tax exempt status. The 501c3 has had a “chilling effect” upon the free speech rights of the church. LBJ was a shrewd and cunning politician who seemed to well-appreciate how easily many of the clergy would sell out.
Did the church ever need to seek permission from the government to be exempt from taxes? Were churches prior to 1954 taxable? No, churches have never been taxable. To be taxable a church would first need to be under the jurisdiction, and therefore under the taxing authority, of the government. The First Amendment clearly places the church outside the jurisdiction of the civil government: “Congress shall make NO LAW respecting an establishment of religion, nor prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
Religion cannot be free if you have to pay the government, through taxation, to exercise it. Since churches aren’t taxable in the first place, why do so many of them go to the IRS and seek permission to be tax-exempt? It occurs out of:
- Ignorance (“We didn’t know any better”)
- Bandwagon logic (“Everyone else is doing it”)
- Professional advice (many attorneys and CPAs recommend it)
For more information on how or why a 501c3 church is a more of a demonic contract you can go here: 501c3 Church Contract
At this point if you are a true Pastor and follower of Jesus Christ, then you should choose to become a NON 501c3 Ministry or Church. You would then still be tax exempt and have Jesus as the head of your church.