Yep, I said it. I think pastors and churches are cheap. Now, I am not saying all are, I know there are some churches that embrace change, lean into tough decisions and spend money when appropriate. But most pastors & churches are cheap. Did that offend you? Well let’s test it. How much did your church spend on the design of your website? Did it cost more than your lunch? More than a month worth of lunches? I doubt it. What causes this? Why are churches afraid to open up their spending for a meaningful tool that can impact people to call or visit on a Sunday? A tool that can be used for teaching. A tool that will allow pastors to connect to their congregation, or even better, let their congregation connect to them.
The poverty mentality.
I get it, pastors typically don’t make very much. Heck I have been there, I was making $500 a month as a youth pastor. Some pastors for years work two jobs just to keep their head above water. This mentality of pinching every penny has a trickle down effect to the church. Every area of ministry is under constant watch. Youth pastors have to dip into their own pockets for supplies. Look, I get it. Times are tough. But why not invest in something that could help bring more people into your church? Your website is an investment. It is a tool that can help spread God’s word and bring people into your church.
Let’s make a deal!
Let’s not. I get this question all the time from pastors and it goes something like this: “Hey love your work!” (It’s always good to butter someone up before asking them to take a pay cut apparently.) “I know your websites start at $XXXX, but I was wondering if you could fit our website in for $XXX?” This is a nice passive (it’s always an email) way for a pastor to ask me to take a pay cut on my next design. Whah? Really?
I would never ask my pastor to do a funeral or wedding at half his cost. I know that money goes and feeds his family. It pays the bills, he tithes on it, and he puts it back in the economy. So why is it OK for a pastor to ask me to cut my rate? Does this money not do the same thing? It pays my bills, it feeds my family, and I tithe.
Get the volunteer to do it.
Yes, everyone should be involved with their church. We should get involved and pursue the things God has called us to do. But when did God call the us to be used by the church to save money? I have been a part of churches (and sat in meetings) that have called people to serve their church, uncover their talents, and use their talents for the benefit of the church, until that person is burnt out or quits. This is not good.
When it comes to church websites this is really bad. Most often when I take on a church project, I am taking on combining content and systems from the last 3 “volunteer” website guys. Sometimes it just better to pay someone to do it right the first time.
So where do we go from here?
I’m not sure yet. I wanted to get you to think about the motives of why you are being cheap. Is it out of necessity? Or is it just because you’re cheap?