As the temperatures dip and schools open their doors again for a new year, we have many opportunities to serve teachers, students, and parents in our communities. This time of year can feel hectic for some, so it’s a great season to offer practical support and care. If you’d like to figure out ways to effectively reach the families and educators in your church and in your community as a whole, here are a few ways to engage with them in the weeks ahead.
1. School Supply Drive
Families in your area may be wondering how they’ll be able to afford school supplies for the year ahead. To meet this need in a practical way, host a backpack drive or have families in your church drop off essential school supplies. You can even schedule a “packing party,” a night for your church to gather together and pack backpacks with everything students will need for the year ahead. This is a great way to serve your city, practice generosity as a community, and build community within your church!
2. Clear an Amazon Wishlist
Did you know that many teachers spend their own money to stock their classrooms for the year? If you have teachers in your congregation, ask them to build a wishlist on Amazon so that your church family can help them clear their list and serve their classrooms effectively. You can even set up a special offering for this in your online giving software, allowing people to give as they’re able and then clearing the wishlist items with those funds.
3. Parents’ Night Out
After beginning a new rhythm of school drop-offs, sports practices, and other extracurricular activities, lots of parents are tired. Host a fun event for the kids in your church community by giving the parents a night away from parenting! Allow them to drop their kids off for a fun night of games and pizza, and let them go out to a nice, quiet meal for an hour or two. This may seem like quite an undertaking, but with Church Base’s Community module, planning and executing an event like this is simple. You can schedule volunteers, check kids in seamlessly, and print name tags or check-in stickers to keep things simple for drop-off and pick-up. The parents in your church will thank you!
4. Tutoring or After-School Care
Want to provide practical support in your community? After the school doors close, open yours. You can provide one-on-one tutoring with volunteers, or you can simply offer a space for students to study or play while their parents are still at work, eliminating the financial burden of daycare for working caregivers.
5. Coffee + Care Packages for Teachers
We love to offer support for families — and we want to do the same for educators! Offer a Saturday morning coffee stop with light breakfast and small care packages for teachers in your surrounding area, whether they attend your church or not. It’s a great way to bless them and let them know their local church cares about them. It’s also a great way to connect with teachers who may not be believers yet, or who are new to the area and looking for a new church to call home.
6. Family Movie Night
If you want to throw a party that’s fun for the entire family, how about a movie night? With the Community module on Church Base, you can easily gather RSVPs and make a plan. Choose a movie that’s fun for all ages, stock up on pizzas, and enjoy a night that’s truly fun for parents and kids alike. Back-to-school is a great time to offer a night like this — your children and youth leaders can join in serving, connecting with new families and inviting them to the next event or small group for their child or teen’s age group.
7. Adopt a Teacher
To make a lasting impact in a teacher’s life, adopt them (and their classroom) for the entire school year. It’s never been easier to set this up than with the Connection module on Church Base! With targeted push notifications, an interactive prayer wall, and public and private chat rooms, you’ll be able to connect with teachers throughout the year, keeping up-to-date on their practical and prayer needs. Imagine the impact you could make if every Sunday School class or small group in your church adopted a teacher for the year — you could potentially serve an entire school, offering Christ’s love and support in a meaningful way from August to May.
Church Base makes it easy to plan events, engage with your church, and serve your community — along with so much more!
Sign up for Church Base today (it’s FREE!) and make this the best back-to-school season yet.
There’s no denying that financial ebb and flow is a part of life for every church. Ministries need monetary resources in order to grow and serve effectively, but when the economy takes a dip, some churches are left in a tight squeeze. How can we become leaders with the wisdom to oversee our church finances wisely, no matter what season lies ahead?
In addition to prayer and wise stewardship, there are some practical tips we can employ to boost our financial stability, no matter what cultural moment the economy finds itself in. If you want to “recession-proof” your church, these five methods will lead you into a more secure financial future.
1. Review your budget regularly.
An annual budget meeting is a great place to begin when it comes to financial planning, but it should never be the sum total of any church’s accounting review. We recommend monthly or quarterly check-ins — the more frequent, the better. Every annual budget is created with a certain amount of educated guesswork, and a regular review can help you see which areas may need to be adjusted. Some line items may be eating up their allotted budget more quickly than they should, while others end up being more financially expedient than expected.
Keeping track of what’s over budget and what’s under it will help you make wise choices about your church’s finances in real time, as well as informing you about changes to make for future annual budgets. These regular reviews can also save you from an unexpected deficit at the end of the year.
2. Don’t forget about savings.
Outreach, facilities, and staffing make up a large portion of every church budget — as they should! Paying your employees well, keeping your facilities up-to-date, and serving your community effectively all make for a healthy ministry model overall. However, it’s important to account for unexpected changes in your financial model by allotting a percentage of your budget to a general savings line item. This may seem like an obvious recommendation, but it really matters!
When every dollar is allocated to a specific ministry, you’re left with no room to cover expenses you never saw coming, from costly building maintenance to personnel changes. A cash reserve, even if it’s only a tiny fraction of your overall budget, can give you some needed breathing room for any unforeseen financial shifts.
3. Bring in accounting experts.
Depending on the size of your church, your accounting and financial management set-up can vary widely. Whether you have an entire financial department on staff, or you have a single accountant in your congregation who keeps your books, it’s important to have oversight from someone with financial expertise.
While pastoral oversight is crucial for every church budget, it’s also true that many pastors are overworked — and under-resourced when it comes to managing a large ministry budget. By allowing financial experts in your church congregation, on your board, or on your staff to bring their wisdom to the table, you’re setting yourself up for wise money management.
4. Mention giving often.
Church cash flow is often dependent on giving from congregants — and for a ministry to be able to budget and serve effectively, consistent tithing is an important piece of the puzzle. While occasional offerings and gifts are always welcome, regular giving is most helpful, and the members of your church would benefit from knowing that!
Discussing giving organically can feel challenging at first, but it doesn’t have to be uncomfortable. Instead, incorporate it into your weekly announcements, or spend a few moments discussing it in a sermon based on a passage that mentions money or stewardship.
It’s also incredibly helpful to invite your church congregation into the financial conversation. Offering meaningful numbers and insights from your budget provides transparency, which gives them confidence in your financial management as a church. Additionally, make sure you’re providing giving updates to your church leaders, so that they can discuss things with their own teams in a way that feels natural.
5. Make giving easy.
Most people in your church want to contribute. It invites them into your ministry, making them a stakeholder in what God is doing in and through your church. Today, online giving is the simplest and most effective way to engage your congregation in financial stewardship. In fact, recent studies have shown that tithes and offerings increase by 32% annually when this technology is used!
Church Base makes giving easier than ever with our Contributions digital giving module. With this software, your church can accept donations through your website or app, on a giving kiosk in your building, or by text, giving members a number of stress-free, simple options to engage with this spiritual practice. With no monthly fee for churches and some of the lowest transaction fees around, we designed this tool to help you recession-proof your church for the long haul.
Want an easy and affordable way to offer online giving for your church?
Get started with Church Base today for FREE and see how the Contributions module can help!