Twenty Strange Purchases Made by Churches

church budget WENTY STRANGE PURCHASES MADE BY CHURCHES

During one of our podcasts, we talked about church budgets and church purchases. That conversation led to a Twitter poll where we asked church leaders and members to name some strange purchases made by their churches. The responses were numerous and, yes, really strange.

We could have provided a list of 100 but, for the sake of blog post brevity, the list is only 20 in number. The order is mostly random.

  1. XL Depends for live sheep for a sermon illustration. I guess if you have large sheep, you have to have large Depends. Question: Did they really need them? Answer: It Depends.
  2. Squirrel cage for the sanctuary. I need clarity. Was it to catch the squirrel? House the squirrel? A contingency to let the squirrel out in the event the services got too boring?
  3. Ketchup bottle costumes to demonstrate the need to “catch-up” the budget. First step for helping your budget: Get a refund for the costumes.
  4. Giant inflatable black cat. I wonder if it was used for the welcome ministry or the music ministry.
  5. Giant inflatable raccoon. My guess is the church was trying to compete with another church that purchased a giant inflatable black cat.
  6. Giant inflatable polar bears. Now the Presbyterians are trying to compete with the Baptists.
  7. Hoes. That’s what the response said. I’m sure there’s a good explanation.
  8. Animal testicles. I’ll leave this one alone.
  9. Cow tongue. I’m beginning to feel sorry for the animals.
  10. Snow blower. Submitted by a church in Tennessee.
  11. Black dry ice that caused two asthma attacks in the orchestra pit. First, I’m sorry for the asthma attacks. Second, our audience is so informative. I didn’t know black dry ice caused asthmatic attacks.
  12. Live camels. Of course, every church needs to purchase camels for their annual Christmas production. Be careful with your camel, though. See this video.
  13. Live donkeys. I like the live camels better.
  14. Mechanical bull. Now I’m really disappointed. The other churches had live animals.
  15. Red solo cups to replace the communion cups. Did the church use wine or grape juice? If they used wine, there could have been a problem.
  16. Coffee maker that cost $2,500 that didn’t fit the cabinets and that no one could learn to use. But once you get it working, you will have a very attentive congregation.
  17. Confetti cannon. Used at the discretion of the deacons when the pastor made a good point in his sermon.
  18. Giant Pokemon costume. But of course. How else will you catch ’em all?
  19. Radar speed gun. You gotta stop those people from running down the aisles.
  20. A single purchase of tennis balls, pantyhose, super glue, string and toilet plungers. I bet the treasurer had fun with that receipt.

There were so many more good submissions. Let me hear from you. I bet you can add to this list!

This article originally appeared here.

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Thom Rainer
Thom S. Rainer is the president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources (LifeWay.com). Among his greatest joys are his family: his wife Nellie Jo; three sons, Sam, Art, and Jess; and six grandchildren. He was founding dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism, and Church Growth at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. His many books include Surprising Insights from the Unchurched, The Unexpected Journey, and Breakout Churches.

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