The Equipper Newsletter
October 1, 2009
Churches Equipping Saints for Service

 Ministry Fair: Getting Connected
by Karen Kogler

In 1998, Tom Scott and his wife were looking for a church home. "We visited Immanuel [Lutheran church in Batavia, Illinois] first," Tom explains. "As we shook hands with Pastor Weidler after the service, he said, 'We just so happen to have a ministry fair going on in our fellowship hall today.' So we went down there."

"A woman, Sara Harms*, introduced herself, started talking to us and led us around the room. I'm interested in evangelism, so I talked to people at the evangelism table. This is exactly what I was looking for. We joined the church a few months later. And I'm still attending a Wednesday Bible study that I also got connected to at that first ministry fair."

Ministry fairs are not the first thing you think of for bringing in new members, but the connections they create can be as powerful for visitors as for long time members. A ministry fair is a collection of manned tables, each featuring a ministry of the church. It's meant to connect people with ministry opportunities, and the goal is reached by connecting people.

Immanuel has had ministry fairs "off and on for many years," says Lori St. Vincent. Lori leads the ministry fair planning team and has learned a lot about creating an effective ministry fair.  Read more.
Continue this story, including Lori's tips and the perspective of a ministry leader.
 Giving Time instead of Money
Brenda, a reader, sent me a link to "Thou Shalt Be Debt Free," in which a columnist who gives advice on ethical living answered a woman's question on whether she should reduce or eliminate her tithe in order to more quickly pay off her large credit-card debt.

The question itself, though interesting and very relative to our times, is beyond the purpose of The Equipper website. But at the end of this article, the columnist gives this suggestion:

"Third, consider substituting your monetary tithing with 'time tithing' . . . . Tithe your time by volunteering at your church. While 10 percent of your week (16.8 hours) may seem hefty, 10 percent of waking nonworking hours may be more manageable (approximately 7.2 hours)."

The quote brought to mind a comment I've heard more than once: "I can't give money [to a particular need or project] so I'm giving my time."

Most would agree that the general idea is that we give both our financial resources and our time and abilities. God has given us everything, and we are to manage it as his stewards. But both comments above still raise some interesting questions:

  • Does one type of giving (money or time) come before the other? Does the amount we give in one area affect the other?
  • If you weren't able to give the amount of money you'd like, would you increase the amount of time you're giving? Or if you can't give as much time as you'd like, would you increase the amount of money you're giving?
  • Is it easier to give money? or time?
  • Christians often give a percentage of their income, but we don't generally talk about giving a percentage of our time. Imagine tithing 10% of one's waking, nonworking hours, about 7 hours a week. Is that a good idea?

What do you think? Respond here.

 The Blog is Back
I'm back to blogging about some of my personal experiences and observations in the adventure of helping people serve Jesus. But a conversation is much more interesting than a monologue. Visit my blog and add your comments. Most recently posted blogs: "Retreating" and "Almost missed out."

Subscribe here if you received this from a friend. To unsubscribe, use "Manage your subscription," below.
In this issue:


The Equipper Newsletter published monthly by
Karen Kogler, Equipper Church Volunteerism Resources