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Weigh In: Volume 22 – Relational Ministry and Hospitality

 —  July 3, 2012 — 3 Comments


We love being able to throw a question out to the MTDB community and this one comes from Chris Hansen from First Presbyterian Church in Lincoln Nebraska.

Chris asks:

I have been discussing with my leadership team about increasing the amount of relational ministry we do with students. Specifically we have been talking about increasing our time spent taking students for meals and coffee. One on one time is powerful and there is something so incredible about breaking bread with them over a meal. The problem is that we don’t necessarily have the funds available to cover these costs. 

So have have you been able to find alternative sources of funding for hospitality besides the Church putting in your budget? 



Geoff Stewart


3 responses to Weigh In: Volume 22 – Relational Ministry and Hospitality

  1. I do a couple of things, one is hosting small groups of students at one time; while one on one time is invaluable sometimes small group times can be great.

    A second idea is you don’t need to go out for a whole meal: I live in the area where most of my students live, so sometimes I will ask one student to go for a walk to Safeway grocery store and we will walk there get donuts from the bulk bin and a can of pop or something (costs $1.50 per person) This ends up costing us less than one persons meal.

    I know it isn’t easy, because most people have a very tight budget, a couple other ideas I have had or been suggested before are:
    have the students pay for themselves (if that is the issue)
    if the cost is the youth leader being able to go out- approach some families in the church who may be financially able to help. (some parents will pay for you to take out their students)

    I hope you are able to make these things work, it is an awesome time.

  2. I think that’s a great idea and sorta a “hello, McFly!” moment for youth pastors who maybe are missing the obvious ways to “reach out”. I think what Kyle said about approaching families that have enough to do that is a great way to come up with funds that you haven’t budgeted for.

    The long term answer is, of course, to budget for that!
    – Are there line items in your budget you can do without or reduce?
    – Can you add / beef up this part of your budget? You may need to just ask for more for this purpose.

    And overall, I agree that you don’t need to spring for a whole meal, just a snack. Strategically schedule before or after meal times.

    I would hope the church would realize the importance of one-on-one relational ministry. If they are cool with you dropping $$ on big programming elements, they should be fine with $ spent like this.

  3. I agree with Ben. It shouldn’t be something that gets tacked on, but goes in as a line item on your budget. If it’s priority, you have to find the dollars for it. That said, money doesn’t always just appear out of the sky… actually never. But the point being, as Kyle said, keep it simple and cheap. Don’t mess around with a full meal where a coke will do. And if possible, just have students over. It ends up being cheaper in the long run to throw a bunch of burgers on the table, than to kick out for a meal out.

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