If you run a kids ministry or Sunday School, you know that managing your budget can be challenging. With games and activities that make Sunday School lessons extra fun and engaging, you can easily spend all the money you have for the whole year. That’s why we have come up with a few ideas that can help you make the most of and increase your kids’ ministry budget.
1. Get Creative
Materials for games or arts & crafts activities during your kids’ ministry can be costly. While you could use your budget to buy all materials necessary, you could also modify the activities based on what you already have available. This way, you may be able to achieve the same objective for only a fraction of the cost.
Other ideas for saving expenses include making your own, instead of buying: become crafty and get busy with DIY materials, and if you don’t have time to do it yourself, get some volunteers to help you out. Christmas play costumes can be expensive, but you can also make these yourself by purchasing fabric and asking the seamstresses in your church for help.
Additionally, you can accept donations of second-hand clothes and use them to create the costumes. Other things you can make yourself: create a maraca music instrument by placing rice in a water bottle for worship songs, and use dried peas, beans, and lentils for mosaic art projects – the possibilities are endless.
2. Reuse and Recycle
Not everything you need has to be bought. Instead, take inventory of what your church already has by going through supply closets and making a thorough list of materials available and materials needed.
Then, update this list regularly and distribute it to all of the teachers in your ministry. You’ll find that, often, you may be spending money on items that aren’t even used and just sit in a cabinet collecting dust because you’ve forgotten that you’ve bought them.
Additionally, make sure to reuse materials whenever you can. For example, if your church repeats its children’s ministry curriculum every couple of years after a group of kids has graduated, make sure to keep materials as well as your kids’ ministry curriculum neatly organized in a filing cabinet. By saving supplies from previous years, including jars, water bottles, cereal boxes, and other common materials, you will already have art materials on hand when a new group of kids starts their kids’ ministry.
Other recycling ideas you can make use of are: asking a local print shop to donate stacks of unwanted paper, asking carpet stores for carpet remnants for children to sit on, and always saving recyclable items from previous arts and crafts projects.
3. Network and Collect Donations From Church Members
Many people have supplies they don’t need at home, so you can ask them to donate materials. Go through your lesson plans and make a thorough list of what you need for the upcoming year. Distribute this list to the church congregation, identify a drop-off area somewhere in a central location in the church, and indicate a timeframe when church members can leave their donations.
Not only will people be able to get rid of unused items at home and free up space, but you’ll also get free supplies for your kids’ ministry that you would have otherwise spent money on. Finally, organize all donations properly and think of a nice way to thank the congregation for their help.
The internet is incredibly useful for efficiently reaching many people. Publish posts on your social media accounts, in forums, and through blogs and request feedback, cost-saving ideas, or donations. People are usually very generous when it comes to charitable causes and are happy to declutter their homes and give to the church. You may even get recycled supplies from local art teachers or schools and snacks from restaurants or food industry employees. Bottom line: network to find out what resources may be available to you for free.
4. Thrifty and Free
Stay on top of great deals online and in stores. Regularly check local consignment stores, garage and yard sales, Goodwill, and eBay – you never know what great toys, books, and useful materials you may come across for cheap. Also, save coupons for craft supply stores to save on materials you have to buy. Finally, nothing beats free: the internet offers many free Bible lesson plans, art projects, game ideas, recipes, parenting articles, puppet skits, and more — you just have to make use of it.
5. Host Fundraisers
Fundraisers are great to increase your kids’ ministry budget. You can host as many as you have time for throughout the year. Some fundraiser ideas include: selling Christian wear such as T-shirts and sweaters imprinted with your church name or logo, holding an annual children’s ministry garage sale where you sell church members’ unwanted donated items, and sponsoring a weekly church dinner if your church has one. Have your children’s ministry team members bring several casseroles and side dishes and use all the money from your sale as profit to increase your budget. You could also explore local businesses and find out whether they would match funds to your fundraisers as part of their CSR programs.
Offering a great kids ministry is doable, even on a tight budget. By making use of all our cost-effective tips and tricks, you can provide quality programming without having to worry about your kids ministry budget.