“Spend however much you want! You have an unlimited budget.” If you’re a youth pastor and have heard that, I’m almost certain you were dreaming.

One of the challenges of ministry is being a good steward of the money entrusted to us as leaders. Some of you are probably tired of being trusted with little money and are ready to be shown trustworthy with bigger finances. Until that time comes, here are some valuable resources and ideas for youth ministry on a budget.

1. Fiverr.com ($5)

Having a media person or graphic designer on staff is a luxury for most churches and a dream for small ministries. Fiverr is a website where you can purchase custom made logos, t-shirt designs, videos, voiceovers and much more. The concept is that you pay someone $5, and they get done what you need.

2. Amazon Prime ($10.99/month)

The Amazon Prime service from Amazon.com provides two-day shipping and music and video streaming. The music streaming capability is helpful for groups that don’t have a worship leader or band.

Create a worship playlist and enable the lyrics to scroll as the song plays. No need for presentation software, just a connection from your computer to a television or video projector. This can be done from your computer or phone using the free app.

3. DownloadYouthMinistry.com ($19.99/month)

DownloadYouthMinistry.com is an excellent resource for PowerPoint or Keynote games as well as many other youth ministry resources. I have had great experiences with their games, audio and administrative forms. The cost is $19.99 a month, but there are scholarships available with an application.

4. FunNinja.org (Free)

FunNinja.org is an essential site for finding games and icebreakers. Whether you are looking for a simple up-front game or a large group game for a big event, FunNinja should be your first stop.

5. YPulse.com (Free)

YPulse.com can help you stay informed on cultural trends. It’s not a celebrity gossip driven site. Instead, it focuses on how to market to teens and young adults. You can subscribe to their daily e-newsletter to receive updates on cultural trends and how marketers are responding to the changing culture.

6. Pinterest.com (Free)

I can hear your eyes rolling right now but bear with me. Pinterest has more than just recipes and decorating ideas. Pinterest has resources for games, affirmations, and office productivity ideas. I have pinned ideas for interactive prayer events as well as ways to encourage leaders and students.

This obviously is not an exhaustive list, and I want your input. Send me an email at [email protected] and tell me your ideas for youth ministries on a budget. For more information on speaking arrangements and stand-up comedy, visit www.GarlandOwensby.com.

The book “Youth Ministry on a Shoestring” by Lars Rood is also full of practical ways to do effective ministry without spending a lot of money.

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