How to Stretch Your KidMIn Dollars
In this season of economic upheaval, you’re more than likely asking yourself how you can stretch your ministry dollars further. Of course, you want to offer the best to the kids and families you serve, but if you’re like us, you’re growing more and more cautious about where to put funds compared to two years ago.
Perhaps it’s not even the economic mess that’s driving your budget. Maybe you have a small ministry budget, to begin with, and you question how you can offer anything substantial with what you’ve been given. You wish you could do more, but there’s just no way.
Here are a few alternatives to help you these days. Remember, you want to spend your ministry dollars on the most strategic resources for your kids. We hope these will give you new and inexpensive supplemental resources that will help make your ministry dollars go further.
A big shoutout to the churches and businesses suggested below who have a deep desire to help ministry leaders thrive! You are rock stars!
Here are some great websites with a plethora of free or inexpensive curriculum options or creative teaching tools:
LifeKids is the children’s ministry of Life.Church (yes, the one that brought us the beloved Bible App). They create fun, age-appropriate videos, Christ-centered activities, small group connections, and family resources to partner with parents to lead children to become fully devoted followers of Christ. There are a ton of FREE curriculum series and activities to choose from.
After you register a free account >>> HERE, you’ll get unlimited access to coloring sheets, VBS, music videos, kids’ lessons, worship songs, art and graphics, and the entire two-year Bible App for Kids Curriculum package.
- NEWSPRING NETWORK
Sign up for a free account >>> HERE to get immediate access to fantastic preschool and elementary series. Each 4- or 5-week series is supported by graphics, videos, music, lesson, outlines, and… adaptation ideas for special needs students!
Check out these websites that offer a variety of Bible resources including curriculum, videos, music, and training materials for use through children’s ministry, sports, or creative ministry.
- DEEPER KIDMIN
This Christian version of Teachers Pay Teachers offers a variety of individual lessons, series, games, activities, leadership resources, and more at a minimal cost. These are all written by ministry leaders like you who are in the field, all desiring kids to grow deeper in their faith. >>> START HERE
Max7 is a worldwide partnership that freely serves the work of evangelism, helping children and young people live life to the MAX, 7 days a week—the abundant life described in John 10:10.
Here are just some of the types of resources you can find there: videos and animations, illustrations and photos, presentations, music, puzzles, visual aids, camp programs, small group programs, special events, sports events, and many more. Don’t take my word for it. Find out what they have to offer >>> HERE.
I’m pretty sure you already know about us, but just in case. 😊 Check our >>> BLOG and >>> SHOP pages to see tied and tested tools and best practices for volunteer attraction and retention. Real-life case studies, appreciation strategies, volunteer improvement workshops, recruitment campaigns—it’s all there!
- CHILDRENSMINISTRY.COM by GROUP
In my experience, this website offers the largest free library of articles about all things children’s ministry. I love their practical ideas for building your volunteer team and treating them as family. Simply >>> CLICK HERE and see all the results that came up after I typed “volunteer” in the search bar. You’ll quickly see why I love this website.
IMAGES & VIDEOS
- FREE BIBLE IMAGES
The team at Free Bible Images is on a mission to create a visually accurate journey through the Bible as a resource for teaching all ages—available for free download by anyone, anywhere, at any time. They have a huge assortment of photo images and illustrations.
Navigation through their website is a breeze. You can search by the Bible book, character, or topic, and by contributor (wonderful people and organizations that freely share their work). One of my favorite features is that each download is accompanied by a StoryPlanner. The Story Planner file shows what is happening in each scene (so you don’t have to guess). All you’ll need to do is read the account from the Bible and then plan how you will tell the story.
I like to incorporate these images into my storytelling and use them in review games where I divide children into teams and give each team a picture sequence based on the Bible story we just learned. Their job is to line up the posters in the correct order and later tell the part of the story that corresponds to each poster. >>> CLICK HERE to start your visual journey.
- JESUS FILM PROJECT
The Jesus film is based on the Gospel of Luke from where most of the film’s dialogues were taken. This is a straightforward Gospel account with minimum special effects and zero deviations from the storyline. Wherever I take our children through the life of Jesus, I often insert short clips from the Jesus film to visually transport them into the times of Jesus.
Short clips from the movie can be found >>> HERE. The full film and many other amazing productions can be found and downloaded >>> HERE. (Be sure to check out My Last Day, a moving anime depiction of Jesus’ last hours on the earth and His life-changing interaction with the thief on the cross.) All the Jesus Film Project films can be shown to as many people as you like as long as you do not charge admission to view them.
- CHRIST TO ALL
I’ve had the privilege of partnering with this organization on more than one occasion and their dedication to the success and thriving of children’s ministry leaders is undeniable. If you’re looking for new Events and Celebrations, >>> GO HERE to see all the unique events they are offering. (Many are free!)
I am especially excited about their ADVANTAGE PROGRAM that gives you access to all their digital downloads, leadership podcasts, free shipping on every order, exclusive discounts (including a 25% discount to RaiseUpFaith.com digital curriculum), and product samples delivered to your door twice a year! Talk about stretching your ministry dollars. >>> CLICK HERE and download a free starter pack to see if The Advantage program is a good fit for you.
- SWAP & SELL FACEBOOK GROUP
Are you looking for a particular resource but don’t want to pay full price for it? Do you have a physical resource in good condition that could bless someone else? If so, check out >>> THIS FACEBOOK GROUP created for people who want to swap or sell their resources.
PRIZES AND DONATIONS
You do not have because you do not ask. Ask and you shall receive.
This burger chain offers FREE Jr. Frosty coupons. Ask for 10 or 200. They are very generous! Go to your nearest Wendy’s location and ask how you can get some.
- SONIC DRIVE-IN
This fast-food chain offers FREE coupons for kids. Ask at your nearest Sonic location.
- CARNIVAL SOURCE
This online store is much like Oriental Trading but less expensive. Click >>> HERE to see.
- LOCAL STORES
Many local stores will give donations or gift cards if you explain what you are doing and why. Most require a letter on church letterhead so be sure to take one with you just in case. (Examples: Grocery stores often will provide food for events. Walmart will give gift cards or money for events, helping local schools, and more. Small businesses love to offer discounts to families just to help get them in their stores.)
- TOYS & GAMES
Every parent wants to get rid of toys and games in their house! Post a request on social media and give a date and drop-off location and collect toys and games for your kids’ ministry.