When Ministry Budgets Are Tight, Free Actions Make an Impact

Chances are your ministry is experiencing a tight budget. We seek to be faithful stewards with all that we have been given, but the church is often like a MASH unit – not enough time, space, or money. We can always use more of each. We know that God is the great provider, so we need not worry, but it may not hurt to be reminded that there are things you can do right now that don’t cost any money.

If you are in such a season, remember this:

  • God will handle it.
  • Praying is one of the best things we can do.
  • Constraints can bring about creative innovations.

In the meantime, remember the free actions that make an impact – and do them well.

Build Volunteer Leaders

Your church has people who can lead and would love to use their gifts to help make ministry happen. The church is designed for each person to use their gifts. You can grow deeper, stronger, and wider without more paid positions.

Add Value Without Expense

Remind yourself and your paid staff leaders that you can add value without spending a dime. The money already being invested in your salaries can motivate you to be creative in adding value to the ministry of the church.

Teach About Money

When we teach about money from the standpoint of need, it can give the church a (typical) bad reputation. But teaching on money on a regular basis is welcomed when your focus is on the heart of the individual and the power of generosity. Jesus didn’t hesitate to talk about money. Instead of saving it for a dreaded once-a-year message, speak on it now.

Reach Out To People

One amazing call to the church was to go. We need to be reminded of this on a regular basis. Without going, the message isn’t shared or heard. What are ways you and your church can go to where people are?

Appreciate Volunteers

Appreciating your team, your boards and committees, and your key leaders is a powerful way to keep people connected to the vision. People appreciate being noticed for good work. They may not want to be recognized, but they want to know that you know that they’ve been a part of it. I’ve heard it said that people don’t leave institutions, they leave people. This often comes from not being noticed. Take time to give specific thanks to people, and pass on secondhand compliments. Let others overhear you sharing the good things your people have done.

Clarify Vision And Dreams

Sharing the vision brings clarity to why people are serving, why people are engaged in ministry, and why they are working together in this region for the sake of Christ – and it doesn’t cost a thing.

Do Many Small Things Well

Small things create momentum. Make sure you welcome guests with gusto. Avoid making too many last-minute changes in plans. Work hard to create great worship times, good flow, great music, and solid messages. It may seem counterintuitive, but focusing on worship times is an important part of helping to rally the church with the reminder that we are here to worship.

Clean Up

Making your building more presentable is a great thing to do. Volunteers enjoy this sort of one-time project with simple instructions. Lots of people in your church can deep clean, paint, remove clutter, and clean up the building inside and out. Curb appeal gives the church a sense of pride. Seeing people working outside your building can stir up interest and excitement. Find a way to rally your church to serve together in this way.


When you celebrate the great things happening in ministry, you are affirming what you want people to repeat as you build waves of momentum. Keep celebrating – through your words, in your writing, in special notes, and in meetings and conversations.

Have Fun

You have the benefit of being with these people right here and now. Have fun knowing them and being known. Have fun spending time in the community. Enjoy being in ministry. Thank the Lord for the opportunity to serve right here and now.


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