If you’ve ever thought, “I wish there was more money to do more ministry,” you’re not alone.
Many pastors have a vision to do ministry that they are not sure how to fund. In these moments, we need to think in terms of good stewardship. How can I use what God has given me to cultivate more ministry? I want to challenge you to think outside the box and dream up ways that your ministry can generate more opportunities to follow the call and vision God has placed in your heart.
Here are a few ideas you might consider to increase your revenue and expand your reach.
1. Lease out your building.
a) God calls us to be stewards of what He has given us. One way we can practice this is by leveraging our building for ministry. Many churches only use their building a few hours each week. There are so many opportunities to use your building to create more revenue.
b) Lease your building to another church in your area that does not have a building. Many times other ministries are willing to offer evening services, and some congregations are even willing to meet in the evenings during the week.
c) Consider leasing office space to businesses or other non-profits. This does not take much space and usually occurs Monday through Friday.
d) Find a daycare or home childcare business that would consider expanding their business and leasing your building. Rather than trying to start a church daycare (which can be costly), find someone who is already running their own daycare and see if they would like to move into your building. (Be sure to research this idea in advance, since there may be modifications required for your building to accommodate it.)
e) Provide and market event space for rent. This can include weddings, receptions, banquets, concerts, local school events, basketball leagues (if you have a gym), and so on. Determine what your building can offer the community and market that space for a rental fee.
2. Consider a giving initiative or capital campaign.
Capital campaigns used to be a huge means of raising money for a new church building. While the method still exists, the focus has changed over time. Today, capital campaigns and giving initiatives may focus on purchasing a new property, or they also might challenge people to increase their giving to fund the vision of the church. Perhaps it’s time to consider a giving initiative around funding mission work or growing your youth and kids ministry. A giving initiative allows you to dream big, then ask your congregation to give above their tithes and offerings to help accomplish the vision.
Two areas that don’t motivate people well are raising funds for debt reduction and/or staffing costs. Avoid these goals for giving initiatives. Instead, consider other exciting endeavors that your people will want to pursue. If you need help, ministries like Generis can help.
3. Invest church savings to gain interest.
We always encourage our churches to have a healthy cash reserve set aside for unforeseen expenses. However, too many churches have large sums of money sitting in a local bank and earning absolutely no interest. Churches need to find accounts where they can park these funds and make their money work for them. Ministries like CEP offer these kinds of accounts, but you can also consider CDs or endowment funds that will earn a much higher rate of return.
For example, let’s say your church has $50,000 in the bank as a reserve account that you don’t want to touch. You could invest those funds with CEP where you could earn a great percentage on your savings with our attractive rates. Visit https://www.cepnet.com/investments/current-rates/ to see our current interest rates.
4. Restructure/Consolidate debt and renegotiate contracts.
In addition to looking for additional revenue sources to create more ministry funds, you should also consider opportunities to reduce expenses. This would allow your church to free up cash flow and contribute more money to ministry.
Ways your church can reduce expenses:
a) Consider refinancing your church mortgage to fund a lower interest rate. This will extend the years of your pay-off and lower your monthly payment, allowing you to devote more income to ministry endeavors.
b) Consolidate outside debt. Start by paying off interest-bearing credit cards or financing your debt at a lower interest rate. Restructure current loans and miscellaneous debt at reduced interest rates to assure minimal monthly payments.
c) Renegotiate contracts. Many churches have copy machines, computer equipment, landscaping services, cleaning services, and many other expenses that can be negotiated. Try to reduce these costs by searching for better deals and terms.
5. Look for outside grants and donations.
If your church runs a food pantry, a feeding ministry, a thrift store, support ministries for addicts, counseling services, or any ministry that is seen as actively engaging the community, there are often businesses and foundations that are willing to contribute to your work. Research in your local area to find who is contributing to causes that you may already be funding out of the general church budget. Even people outside of your church will appreciate the efforts you are making to better the community, so don’t be afraid to ask who will partner with you and help fund these efforts.