Church on the Cheap

Awesome post from an awesome blog:
Let’s face it - Churchin’ aint easy, and it ain’t cheap either. Especially if you are a young start up where the only reality you know is “bootstrap” (not sure we should ever loose that kind of creativity and dependence). We want to do Church on the Cheap. We are finding that limited resources = Higher Innovation!

Cheap, however, does not mean Low Quality. It means Low Cost in every sense of the word. In other words - How do we do the Absolute Best we can with the seemingly little we have.

Here are a few things that we have found or done along the way to keep Soul City Church a Church on the Cheap:

1) Ask God to give you stuff

I know this seems like the right thing to say when talking about church, but I can’t tell you how few times in the 14 years I’ve spent in established churches NOT asking God to provide. We just sorta knew it would be there one way or the other. Those days are done and we ask God for the things he already knows we need By Name and To The Penny.

2) Ask People to give you stuff

This is sometimes harder than asking God, mostly because people can look you in the face and say “no”. They might, but they also may say “yes”. We’ve asked for Videos, Graphic Design, a Blog, Photography, Adobe Creative Suite, a Warehouse, people’s time, people’s help, and people’s prayers. We have been amazed at people’s generosity and willingness to give to God (not us). Don’t be afraid or ashamed to ask people to partner with what God is doing through your church. If you believe in the vision of what God’s doing, you shouldn’t hesitate to ask.

3) Do what only you can do best, outsource the rest

We have been amazed at how many resources there are out there to accomplish huge tasks simply, professionally, and cheaply! Here’s a few of the things / places we outsource

PS20 – ALL (and I mean all) of our accounting is done though PS20 (a business set up to do this FOR churches at an incredible rate). Instead of us paying “someone” a full time salary to do our books, we pay PS20. We’re not that good at math (which is why we use PS20) and they are passionate about partnering with churches to be their accounting department.

Wordpress Blog – This blog is our most active and effective source of communication about the church. More people have heard about the church through this blog than any ad or announcement or mailer ever could and it cost us $0.00.

Clover Sites – Instead of paying $4000 for a website that you don’t know how to work, Clover sets people up with a beautiful website that is incredibly easy to use and is only getting better later this year all for $1000 (+ $20 month).

Free Web Services such as Mail Chimp, Jotform, and Picnik have saved us $1000’s in software and have changed the way a Start Up can get a Leg Up. I can’t say enough about how much we use them and how much we love them.

4) Staff Creatively

Big Dreams don’t always require Big Teams. We’re exploring ways to Staff ONLY the positions that demand full time work. The rest comes from a combination of Part Time, Contract, and Volunteer. We’re exploring ways we ask companies we know to hire out members of our team on a contract or part time basis. We’re exploring creative ways to cover the high cost of Health Insurance. We are encouraging some of our staff to work Part Time in the community and Part Time for Soul City – this way we are engaged in the day to day life of the neighborhood.

5) Say NO

This is an everyday battle. Some of our best ideas we’ve had to push back or shut down simply because they did not have the absolute highest ROI (Return on Investment). This demands of us clear Vision, great Wisdom, and deep Dependence on God that he will lead us through sifting out all of our Cool Ideas for the very Best Ideas.

These are just a few of our thoughts and some of things we’re working on right now. We’d love to hear what you’re learning or doing to keep you church a Church on the Cheap.

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