3 Ways to Put a Little Money Toward a Lot of Service

Service in your own community doesn’t always take money… but sometimes it does! And when it does, you’ll want to consider a few important things with how you’ll get, spend and keep track of money for a service projects. These are three simple ways you can make the most of your opportunity to invest money wisely in service projects back home.

1. Do Your Research

First, identify what you really need for your project. Think through whether you need to purchase all new supplies or if there are items you can borrow from your church, members of the congregation or other places in town.

Once you have your shopping list, think through what store will give you the best bang for your buck. Compare prices. Also, consider how much you need of everything. It is easier and cheaper to buy more later than it is to return items.

Lastly, your church might be registered with the state to allow it to be exempt from sales tax on purchases. This could save you quite a bit of money. A church staff member should be able to provide you with this information and help you with the process.

“For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count cost, whether he has enough to finish it?” –Luke 14:28

2. Ask for Donations

It is great to be able to serve your community through your project. Many people in your community probably wish to have that same opportunity, but don’t know how to serve! Asking for donations is a great way to share the gift of service with others in your community.

Donations do not have to be cash. Someone can donate supplies, give you a discount at their store or donate their time and skills. Think through what supplies and professional skills are needed for your project and if there are people you know who could serve alongside you through donations.

If someone does donate to your project, be sure to thank them properly! Sending them a thank you note with an update of how their gift was used for the project is a great gesture.

“In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” –Acts 20:35

3. Keep Track of Your Expenses

Keep a thorough record of what you are spending money on, where you are spending it and how much you spent. Keep all receipts in a safe place so you have a record of how the money was used, plus you’ll need them to make any returns.  Keeping a detailed record of your finances has two big benefits. First, it helps you to make wise decisions with your money – by keeping track of your expenses, you will be able to know if you have enough money to finish your project and prevent overspending. It will also give you a benchmark for how much certain supplies cost, so that you know if new purchases are a good deal or not.  Finally, keeping a good record of expenses is a way to be above reproach. Having documentation and receipts of how you used your money shows others that you have used it honestly and understand the money is not yours, but God’s.  As you dive into your project, be aware that the money you have is a gift that you can invest wisely in what God is doing in and through you and the people around you.

“For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach.” – Titus 1:7