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At the end of the month my family tends to be adventurous with meals. We try hard to stay in budget, as well as not waste food in our pantry and refrigerator. As the main chef I’ll make up games, like my own version of Iron Chef and see what I can do with chickpeas as the main dish. Then there are times I’ll become MacGyver and create an incredible meal out of baking soda, ketchup and flat cherry soda (nothing really). I’m confident enough in my cooking ability where I know I can make something out of the little we might have.
When it comes to youth ministry we need to have the same mentality because, as the economy continues to tighten, so will our budgets. Many of us are facing difficult decisions to cut this and no longer do that. It’s painful, it’s humbling and it can even be preoccupying. Even if you aren’t impacted by the economy, it’s always important to recognize that you can still do more with less. For example you don’t need a lot of money for:
It really doesn’t take a lot of money to build a teen’s relationship with Christ, what it does take are:
- Caring Adults – You just need people who are going to pour into teens and give their time. Teens are looking to connect to something or someone, a caring adult can connect them to God.
- A Place To Meet – It can be the church, or any regular burger joint, all you need is an environment where teens can feel comfortable. Whether you host at your home or have it at the church make sure your space is clean, because it’s a component of an irresistible environment.
- A Little Wisdom – If you work in a church you should have a Bible. While there are free, high quality resources, all you need is His word. Even if you spend just one day a week reading the Bible with a teen you can still change their life.
There is nothing wrong with having money; however, we need to make sure we aren’t being wasteful. Being wise with what you have is being a good steward and when we embrace this in our ministries it speaks volumes. A ministry that exemplifies wise stewardship will influence how:
- Teens Manage Their Money – When teens see you using money wisely, they’ll begin to do the same. When teens see that a relationship with money affects their relationships with God, they’ll take it seriously. It can be easy to spoil teens with what we have; however, we should spoil them with what we know.
- Ministers Will Step Up – If your church budget is tight share the burden with your ministers. It’s not about begging or coercing them to give; however, let them know your limits. They might have the resources you need or the creativity to think outside the box.
- Others Invest In Your Programs – Luke 16:10 says “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much” If others see how wise you are with money and resources they’ll see that you can be trusted. If you want your programs to grow you need people to invest in your ministry. Give them a reason to invest in you.
On top of being wise with money you are being creative and open to allowing God to work through your ministry. Next time you feel as if you have nothing, just take a moment to ask God to show you what you do have. After all if you can be wise with less, imagine what will happen when you are given more.
What money saving tips do you have for other ministers?