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Growing Your Church in Tough Economic Times
by Greg Baker
10/09/2010 / Church Life
In even stable economic times, we are all looking to save money. Our churches are no different. We are charged with being good stewards of all that God has given to us, but we are also tasked with the responsibility of reaching our community with not only the Gospel, but to be a beacon of hope in a dark hour.
Self-supporting ministries are necessary for any church. But the problem with some such ministries is that they become cost prohibitive to those who wish to take advantage of the services you offer. Charging even overhead costs will keep some people away when you want to draw them in. So how do you develop such a ministry and keep it free to those who you are trying to reach? There is a way.
What we did was to partner with local businesses to sponsor our particular ministry. We publish 10,000 eight page newspapers quarterlythat's 40,000 papers a yearthat are designed to reach the community with Christian values.
Called The Christian Family Quarterly, our paper has become a staple of our church outreach. In our first two issues we have had scores of visitors, scores of phone calls, and have generated a tremendous amount of excitement in our church.
It has cost us nothing monetarily.
We partner with local businesses. For their donation, we give them an ad space in our paper. Since it is distributed to 10,000 people each quarter they benefit as well as feeling like they are contributing to a worthy cause. In fact, for us, we usually profit around a $1,000 each issue.
We pass the papers out for free by canvassing neighborhoods, placing them in libraries, offices, and any place where there is a waiting room or traffic. And people read them! This is not a fundraiser for usalthough it does raise fundsbut it is an outreach program! It has the added luxury of supporting other ministries and activities as well.
If you would like to see or downloads some of our issues to better understand our ministry, you can go to http://www.glbcgreeley.com/quarterly.html
Businesses often want to invest in their community. Most of our advertisers don't expect much from these adsthough almost all have benefited in some way from itbut they like the concept of contributions that gives them something in return. We don't ask them to give thousands of dollars. Instead we sell the ad space for reasonable prices. If you sell 15 ads at $100 an ad, you will make over $500 on your paper.
There is an outfit out of Tucson Arizona that specializes in producing these types of newspapers. MakeMyNewspaper.com can produce a newspaper for your church at less than the cost of most flyers and newsletters. Check them out: http://www.makemynewspaper.com
This concept of partnering with local businesses that promotes their businesses yet funds your outreach program can probably be adopted in a variety of ways for a variety of ministries. A little thought and leg work will go a long way!
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Read more articles by Greg Baker
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