Editor's Note: As a follow up to our posts, "What's a Congregation Worth?" and "Church Giving on the Rebound?" we came across this article by Dave Staal on our sister site, BuildingChurchLeaders.com (Dave also played an integral role in the development of our Reducing the Risk resource). It's a timely read as the back-to-school season arrives:
Our local newspaper ran a front page story that examined a local church's financial turmoil. Faced with a steep drop in giving that began years ago, the article detailed how leadership made changes to cope with this crisis in order to keep the doors open and serve those who attend.
One of their changes deserves more than glancing consideration. Specifically, the church has eliminated staff positions and covers important tasks with volunteers. Not a groundbreaking strategy, I know. But cut and paste this situation outside the church walls and you'll see a timely opportunity to make a difference in others' lives—an idea worth a second look for any church.
To start, consider this prediction: Your state has cut the K-12 education budget and further cuts appear in the budget currently under consideration. Like the church in the news, local administration will need to make changes to cope with these steep drops while keeping doors open and serving the children who attend school.
I make no claims to understand the particulars of state and local education budgets. But I do claim to care about the impact on children.
More safe predictions: As your local schools deal with budget cuts, services will begin to dwindle and disappear. Support staff positions will face elimination. Class sizes will increase. Programs will go away. Activities will stop—especially as the number of adults serving children decreases.
Can you see the opportunity?
Your church can provide much-needed, sure-to-be-appreciated volunteer assistance to a school. Imagine the impact of a school, and the community it serves, recognizing your church as a solution to problems. The greatest resource a church can share with a community is love, as delivered through the active involvement of those who attend.
"Do people really notice?" you ask.
Click here to continue reading "One Solution to Education Cutbacks" on BuildingChurchLeaders.com.