i’m posting this for any other church planters who realize they don’t know how to do this stuff. i spent the day trying to get an ein so that tapestry can start the process of getting a checking account. about half this morning was spent going through the online process for acquiring a number. the problem with this was that it requires a physical address. tapestry doesn’t have a physical address – part of the reason for this is because we don’t want the burden and focus removing aspects of a building. the online version requires a physical address. know that we’re not the first church to ever do this i knew there had to be a way so i searched all over the website. i found nothing.
so the second line of attack was to try my bank. i love the workers at our bank (associated bank). they are always very helpful. a fellow kiwanis is the manager of our local bank and i thought she might could help. she said she new exactly what to do because they did the all the time for local small businesses. we hit the same problem. after an hour and a half of trying we all decided to try again later.
the third line of attack was to call the ein phone number. i prefer to do things online whenever possible. i usually find that calling a government bureaucracy just ends up with me being lead through the same website info by someone who doesn’t care. i was wrong with the ein phone line. the representative i spoke with was nice and extremely helpful. 13 minutes and 53 seconds after the i initiated the phone call tapestry had its ein/tax id number.
who would have thought that i would be singing the praises of the irs?
wonder of wonders!
anyhow if you are planting a church, especially one without a physical address, just call the irs phone line for ein’s (1-800-829-4933) and skip the website.
i love what i am doing. i love getting to be a part of GOD planting tapestry and doing some cool things with and through it. i especially love the way we started and where we are headed as a church.
- we started around a series of tables – tables at emy j’s coffee shop and the terrell family dinner table are where all the initial connections of tapestry where made and strengthened. tables, and the conversations that they engender, are significant to us.
- we are moving more and more toward our worship gatherings more accurately reflecting in a large group setting what happened and continues to happens at these tables.
what i don’t love is some of the organizational details that i am now having to work through. these are not things within tapestry but rather the workings of the governmental and business bureaucratic mess of creating a legal entity. i’ve found a few helpful written guides but i don’t really have anyone to walk me through these things. that’s actually why i am keeping a list of the things i wish i had known in planting tapestry. on of our goals in tapestry is to plant another church in 5 years. as a group we believe that GOD wants to grow us and keep us small at the same time. the way this will be done is by constantly planting other churches when we hit certain levels. so that’s the plan. when we hit around 150 we try to plant a new church (not another site).
anyhow, here are a few of bureaucratic things that i am trying to discover how to do:
obtain a tax id/ein number for tapestry – not even sure if these things are the same or if we need both or not or if we have to be incorporated or not to have one. all i know is that i have to have one to get a checking account for tapestry and it would be nice to have a checking account for tapestry so i’m not having to pay for everything out of our own account and then wait for a month or two to be reimbursed. COMPLETED 2/9/2009
- open a business checking account with multiple signers – which requires the tax id number
- obtain non-profit status – i think this actually happens with the completion of one of the other things on this list. all i know is that if people want credit for their gifts to tapestry this is a good thing to have.
- start the process of incorporating
- get all the insurance we need – this i actually think i will have a leg up on because of my previous insurance experience. of course, i can’t really start until the above stuff happens and thankfully we are covered by our sponsoring church.
there are other things that also have to be done but i won’t bore you with the details. if any of you are experts in the nature of doing this in wisconsin you are more than welcome to email me. i’m open to all sorts of help and if you don’t turn out to be very helpful i’ll still thank you and pretend like you are. 😉
all of this is really pretty sad because my undergraduate degree is in general business management. i’m sure that at one time in my life i could have told you what was necessary for all these things. that’s just not true now. also, since we are planting tapestry thought relational means i try to let conversations last as long as they possibly can and still be good. this means everything takes a lot of time. not a bad thing, in fact it is a good thing. of course, it often means that by the time i leave a business office i have already forgotten the information that i was hoping to learn, but i can tell you about the person i was talking with.