Church on the Cheap

October 6, 2008 by

Times are tough. You need to go no further than the front page of your favorite news site to see that. So what’s a church to do?

First things first, head back to the article Lessons in Not Sucking: Cheap Marketing Ideas for Church Planters. You might be thinking, “I’m not a church planter! We’ve been around for forever!” Well, money is tight, so maybe it’s time to act like you just started with your church. And here are a few other rules to keep your ship going straight as the financial water stir:

Just because you do it now doesn’t mean you have to keep doing it.
Sure, you’ve been printing bulletins every single week since forever. And you’ve always bought coffee for 2,000 people (just to be safe) when your attendance is 500. But just because you offer an event, service or product doesn’t mean you have to keep offering it. Re-evaluate where your money is going and your return on investment.

Go digital.
If you can offer it online, do it. There are no printing costs and no materials costs. Obviously, you can’t do everything online, but this might be the time to push your church a little harder to embrace technologies that are closer to free. And the things you’ve been giving away free, you might not be able to do anymore. Think fresh about your costs and price structure. Is it really essential you offer that resource for free instead of at minimal cost? Do you even need to offer it?

Think outside of the tithing box.
Some Americans are giving up their house to keep tithing. But let’s be honest, 5% of adults tithe, and a small percentage of those would give up their house before their tithe. So you’re going to need to find new revenue streams. Selling resources and innovative fundraisers are just the tip of the iceberg.

Communicate, communicate, communicate.
So many people think the church is all about money. Let people know the sacrifices your staff is making, and remind them that you aren’t doing this to get rich. Make your financial information available and accessible, and be honest with everyone about funding your mission.

Church should be as cheap as possible without feeling cheap. The organizations who strike the perfect balance will be able to weather the current financial woes.

Post By:

Joshua Cody

Josh Cody served as our associate editor for several years before moving on to bigger things. Like Texas. These days he lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife, and you can find him online or on Twitter when he's not wrestling code.
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