No Budget? No Problem!

In these challenging economic times, children’s ministry budgets often get cut… sometimes eliminated. I read often online, even in the forums about ideas for fund raising and saving money.

I’d like to take a different approach on this topic – while I AM sympathetic to leaders facing budget cuts and the challenges of ministering with less money, I’d like to pose a sincere question you are welcome to answer in the comments below –  my question is simply,

“What do you need money FOR?”

I think this is an important question. Because I’ve been in a children’s ministry where I had a $30,000 annual budget, a $6000 annual budget and a ZERO annual budget and honestly, my ministry was equally effective in ALL THREE. Honestly. No different.

The  more  money I had to spend never increased the number of kids I could reach!

My fear, is that in challenging times, leaders will devote more time to fund raising and get distracted from ministry.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m on all for money and creatively investing in ministry! It angers me too when pastors and churches slash kidmin budgets first in tough times. It is WRONG in when they cut the kids first, however – God works through these hard times to refine us and teach us things. And there are thriving ministries on the mission field around the world that have NO money, and they do fine. And the Church existed for years before all the goodies that we enjoy now. I think sometimes that we’ve gotten to a point that we now think we “need” more than we truly do.

I believe much of what we think we need – are not truly “needs” but blessings. IF we can get them, they are GREAT and we SHOULD use them – I’m not against most anything that can be used to reach kids. But there is little that I think we truly need, other than strategic curriculum. (And there are good ones available for free.)

If there is anything on that I’ve written/created that someone needs and truly can’t afford (especially downloadable) I’ll give it for free, just contact me. I never let lack of resources keep my resources away from anyone.

So I honestly ask, what do you need? If you have a need – and there ARE REAL NEEDS – post those needs here in comments, or at your church, and people will meet them. I’ve seen it.

But money is almost never a real need.

I am not speaking out of judgement, but out of experience from running a children’s ministry in the inner city when no one knew who “Karl Bastian” was and I had no website – I just had a children’s ministry to run and I had no budget.

It can be done. It just takes identifying real needs and then making them known and being creative. You must choose to focus on the basics of reaching and teaching kids instead of focusing on the money you lost.

If you list your real basic needs, I think you will find that you don’t need as much money as you think. And what you do actually need is much more attainable than you think.

Remember, Jesus’ ministry had no budget!

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  1. This is a very timely post. I don’t think I’ve ever had a real budget in kidmin. I just make do, and am still blessed beyond what we “need”. Jesus is all we need! Really!!!

  2. “If there is anything on that I’ve written/created that someone needs and truly can’t afford (especially downloadable) I’ll give it for free, just contact me. I never let lack of resources keep my resources away from anyone.”

    I have always loved your amount of true generosity. Karl you are such a blessing to so many, I always enjoy hearing of how you come up with ways to encourage and equip those ministering to kids.

  3. Yes, yes, and yes! Especially in today’s world there is so much available for free.
    I wrote a post about this topic a while back and also Jamie Doyle has a great post about using stuff you already have laying around

  4. There are also resources out there for FREE. Here’s some resources I recently open sourced: Over 100 weeks of teaching ideas and slides. Free. Just download them and use them. I don’t need your name, your church name, anything. You can use them, change them, and share them for FREE. If it weirds you out, message me and I’ll help.

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