S-T-R-E-T-C-H Your Ministry Dollars

S-T-R-E-T-C-H Your Ministry Dollars

People all across America waited in long lines this past Thursday and Friday to snatch up good deals for Black Friday. And today, Cyber Monday is in full effect. The bottom line is that we are looking for great deals to stretch our ministry dollars a little further.

This is nothing new for those of us in Children’s Ministry. It really doesn’t matter how big or small our churches are…Children’s Ministry leaders want to get the most bang for our limited bucks.

Here are a few tips for stretching your ministry dollars in three of the biggest expense areas: curriculum, snacks and crafts.


  • Order enough materials for children who attend 75 percent of the time, plus two or three more.
  • Better yet, consider switching over to digital curriculum. While you will spend time printing and purchasing paper, this will help reduce overall costs for take home pages and in-class activity sheets.
  • Search for free lessons online. Check out Ministry-to-Children to get started.
  • Invest in reproducible books.


  • Have your congregation or parents donate frequently used items, such as napkins/paper towels, cups, crackers and O-shaped cereal.
  • Serve water instead of juice.
  • Buy in bulk from a membership warehouse.
  • Find people who love to bake and ask them to bake cupcakes, cookies, brownies, etc.
  • Purchase generic brand snacks.

Crafts/Craft Supplies

  • Shop end-of-season and post-holiday sales for seasonal items.
  • Alert your church of needed items and allow them the privilege of donating.
  • Shop early enough to avoid rushed or overnight shipping costs.
  • Buy crayons, glue sticks and scissors before the school year starts (when school supplies are dirt cheap).
  • Again, reproducible craft books are a good investment.

General Money-Saving Tips

  • Use email, your website and social media for publicity.
  • Swap items with another church.
  • Save money on DVDs by borrowing them from your local library.
  • Ask professionals in your church to teach their specialty to your children, parents and volunteers.
  • Maintain your resources. For example, keep caps on craft supplies and properly wrap food.
  • Print your own brochures, handbooks, business cards, flyers, etc.
  • Make black and white copies instead of color.
  • Use white paper instead of colored.
  • When photocopying, use both sides of the paper if you can.
  • Consider using 1/2 sheets of paper to get your message out. That way, you get two-for-one sheets of paper!

How do you stretch your ministry dollars? Share your ideas below!

This article originally appeared here.

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Kathie Phillips felt called to children’s ministry at the age of 13. She is the Director of Children’s Ministry at Central Presbyterian Church in Baltimore, Maryland. In addition to overseeing Route 45 (Preteen Ministry for 4th & 5th graders), she also oversees The Treehouse (for 1st – 3rd graders). Married to Lance and mom to Daniel and Kennedy, Kathie shares practical tips and inspiration for kidmin leaders each week on her blog, KidMinspiration.com.