Maybe there was a storm. Maybe your House of God has been standing roughly since before the Old Testament was penned. (The church is usually the oldest building standing in town after all). Maybe someone who had a little too much liquid courage crashed into the portable baptismal pool.
For whatever the reason, your church is looking a little peaked, and you and your congregation have been tasked with renovating both the outside and the church furniture. Prayer has always been a major part of your life, and God knows you’ve never prayed harder than for an answer on how to pay for it all. You’ve trolled church steeple pictures on craigslist (and wondered who in the world would post church steeple pictures on craigslist to begin with). You had an afternoon where you used aforementioned church steeple pictures to come up with your own church steeple design–then remembered there’s only one carpenter mentioned habitually on Sundays, and he sure isn’t you. You even considered bringing back the concept of pew renting just to muster a little bit more income for the project; this idea did not go over well with Gladys Wesleydale who has had a formal claim on the front fifth section for the last 50 years.
So what to do? Well, we’re here to tell you that you’re on the right track, you just need a little more temporal finesse. Rather than hawking pews to the highest bidder, we recommend holding a fundraiser while the weather is still good. As far as what form this fundraiser might take, we encourage you to draw on your main and invaluable resource: your congregation. Many parishes for example have had success with craft fairs simply because of the side activities, such as knitting or whittling, of their members. And speaking of whittling, while it’s true that you should probably seek the advice of an experienced church repair outfit, there’s no reason you can’t offset the cost of their expertise by asking for volunteers for some of the unskilled labor involved, such as hauling and debris removal.
Finally, your instinct to search craigslist for used church pieces was a good one; the internet ad boards just might not be the most reputable venue. Believe it or not, many warehouses, thrift stores, and small Christian enterprises specialize in outfitting churches just like yours with used furnishings and outer pieces that won’t upset the space’s antique aesthetic. The best way to go about finding these outfits? Well, fellow Christians of course! Use your network of brothers and sisters in Christ to seek out reputable businesses that won’t try to bleed your modest fundraising gains dry and will do the work God intended for your worshiping space. And please–pay the good recommendations forward in the comments section!