14 Ways to Make Your Ministry Shine on a Budget


Is it possible to generate kids’ enthusiasm when you’re operating on a shoestring budget? The answer is yes, absolutely!


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Summer break, vacation Bible school, summer vacation, family camp — you’ve had a busy summer! Why, it feels like just yesterday you were selecting VBS and checking volunteers’ vacation schedules, and now the new school year is beginning.

When you think of your ministry dreams this year, are there things on your “wish list” you’d love to include that just aren’t possible with your budget realities? A nice new playground, puppets, or a TV, and DVD player would be wonderful additions — but if your budget is so tight it squeaks, you know you’ll have to pick and choose how you spend those precious funds.

When budgets are thin, you have to deal with the reality that what you’d like may not match what you can actually do. You may wonder if it’s possible to generate kids’ enthusiasm and provide the needed resources when you’re operating on a shoestring budget. The answer is yes, absolutely! Take a look at some pocketbook-friendly possibilities.

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You can stock your supply closets and brighten your classrooms for less than you think. Check out these penny-pinching possibilities.

  1. Cost-Conscious Crafts Fall is prime time to stock up on your craft supplies. Check out the savings on staples such as construction paper, chenille wire, crayons, glue, and more at S&S Worldwide. Check with local craft supply, office supply, and membership warehouse stores to see whether they’ll give your ministry a discount.
  2. Supply Savings Send invitations to your congregation members inviting them to a Supply Party. Ask each person or family to bring a needed supply from a list of items. Include time for attendees to make decorations for your classrooms and offer simple refreshments, music, and great conversation in exchange.
  3. Dollar-Wise Decorating Decorating doesn’t have to be costly. Ask families to provide pictures of their children and then cover a door, or use clothesline and clothespins to hang pictures of children along a wall. (As new children attend, add their pictures.) Ask kids to create posters of their favorite Bible lessons, and decorate your classroom with their artwork. Contact missionary families for pictures of their family, a map of where they serve, and simple items you could hang in your room to help your kids learn about them. Include a space to write missionaries’ prayer requests along with answers to prayer.
  4. Penny-Pinch Puppets Add new puppets to your ministry with the help of creative teenagers. Enlist older kids’ help in making fun and unique puppets for your children’s ministry. Check out easy-to-make puppet ideas on Pinterest for ideas for creating your own puppets. Simply provide popcorn, music, and puppet-making supplies, and set your teenagers loose!

14 Ways to Make Your Ministry Shine on a Budget
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Children's Ministry Magazine

Children's Ministry Magazine is the most read magazine for people who minister to children from birth through sixth grade. We're partnering with you to make Jesus irresistible to kids.

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