Does your church have a bigger vision than budget? Giving from parishioners isn't keeping up with expenses? You've come to the right blog. Jill and I have spent at least 30 minutes working on solutions for you. And we're not even going to cover the boring, traditional sources (renting out the facility for weddings/memorials). Here are some solutions by category.
1. Staff services.
If your pastor has been around for more than a year, he or she has astounding listening skills. Maybe he or she has a few moments to spare where that gift can be used? Monetize it! I'd guess that 10 hours per week of counseling some depressed well-offers could cover about half the salary.
We're fortunate to live in a town with a large university that has a number of international students. We also have some staff (pastors and others) that have marketable editing skills. Let's get together and make some money editing those papers
2. Sunday services.
Yes, of course your church has Sunday morning services. But do you have car detailing or oil changing services while you worship? How about coffee or tea delivered to your pew? Maybe we could arrange house cleaning while your soul is purified.
3. Phone apps.
A lot of people at our church use their phones as Bibles as well as note taking devices. Let's make an app where you could take notes. The app could be a game based on the sermon. Maybe if you finish the game, you get a sponsored prize or coupon.
Speaking of sponsorhips, how about "Today's communion is brought to you by County Market"? The church would never change it's name, but the name of the building is available for the right price. We have a weekly bulletin. That thing is begging to be stuffed with flyers and coupons. How about 15% off your entree at a local restaurant following the service?
Did you like the pastor's tie? His sweater? We'll have links and QR barcodes in the bulletin and on our screens for his entire outfit. This is even better if you your pastor is a woman.
How can churches with male pastors reach the women? Our host/emcee is a woman! While she's giving announcements (brought to you by Wolfram Alpha) about upcoming events, we'll zoom in on her shoes and provide a link on our big screens.
5. Remote events
Our church is special in that a large number of students have attended and moved away. Many of them have been in Chicago, made good money, and don't have a good channels for giving back to our church. Following the political fund-raising approach, we can have fancy dinners that that cost considerably more than usual. Former pastors could give a brief devotional and share some fond memories of the good old days, reminding everyone that the good times can continue (when sufficient funds are available) today. Did you know a bunch of university athletes have attended our church? I'm sure they'd be willing to stop by and shake a few hands.
6. On the controversial side
Recall in the book of Acts where hankees held by apostles could heal people. We don't guarantee that level of service, but perhaps a pastor could pray that a tissue would bless you. Maybe you could ensure that your request is lifted up first during pastoral prayer meetings.
May your church prosper!