Giving Ideas – Volunteering and More

The following is from a church secretary who, after reading the Giving Ideas page of the website, sent me in some ideas from her own life.

When our church went into financial problems the first thing I did was resign as a “paid secretary” and resumed doing the job as a “volunteer”. This act saved the church a couple thousand a year, plus allowed the money to go elsewhere where it was greatly needed instead.

I feel that with some churches there are too many “paid positions” that could be done by volunteers. When I first joined the Free Methodist family I was put in as a substitute church secretary…which then turned into a full-time volunteer secretary for 12 years. Every position in our church, except the pastor, was a volunteer position. When we built an addition, our new pastor felt that we needed “outside” clerical workers instead of using our very own volunteers. That began the process of of hiring people…we now have a hired custodian and bookkeeper, which in the past was all done by volunteers! When I resigned as “paid secretary” and resumed as volunteer, I had hoped this would set a precedent for others, but unfortunately, with all our church’s financial struggles, we are still currently paying for our bookkeeper and custodian!

I am also the church’s decorator…so to save money decorating this very large church, I often wait until the end of the season to purchase flower arrangements or decorations at approximately 70% off, this way I will have something new for next year.

Once a craft store in our area was closing, so I managed to talk the owner down on her sale price by purchasing everything she had in stock. I even managed to pick up greeting cards to use for those in our congregation who are ill, grieving, or celebrating something in their lives. These cards normally sold for $3.00 a piece, but because I bought the whole set…I only got them for .50¢ each. I also re-create greeting cards from used cards to use as well. Many in our church congregation have commented on the “lovely pieces of art” they have received from one of my recycled cards.