Friday, September 18, 2009
pay it around as part of community development
As a church we offer programmes for youth and children five nights in seven, attracting various age groups. While we used to provide these for free, we find that participants ended up quite disrespectful and demanding. So we have to tried to move toward a gold coin donation, as a way communicating value. However, because we live in a lower socio-economic community, this is a struggle.
As a result, we are going to trial the following in the next few weeks:
Aim: children who attend our local community ministries, and who are struggling to pay the “gold coin” donation, will be offered a chance to work with us, blessing community (in our annual Spring Clean, it will be our 6th this year) in contrast to working for us. In return the church will pay the costs of children participating in a set number of sessions.
Ethos: this will encourage a pay it forward in generosity and participation. Church blesses community, so that community can bless community.
Process: The week before, the children at the programmes will be offered a “voucher”, which explains the process and which kids take home to parents (this is so that parents know clearly what is going on). It invites those who might want financial assistance to join us on our annual community Spring Clean day.
On the actual day, kids and/or parents report to someone at church. After their task/time is completed, the children and/or parents have the “voucher” signed, allowing them “free” nights at the programme.
When the kids then turn up at the programme in the coming weeks, with their voucher (which children’s leader has copy of, in case kids forget), the voucher is “stamped.” The ministry leaders give the stamped and signed voucher to the Church Treasurer, who repays the childrens ministry out of Community Ministry Budget.