How do you handle this issue? You want to provide help for those in need, but you also don’t want women to just expect to attend “free” each time you offer an event, meal, or Bible study that requires costs for materials and childcare. So what do you do?
When I served on a church staff, we included in advertising the opportunity for women to provide scholarships for those who needed them. That way we made it clear that we had a need. We knew many women could afford to provide funds for others to attend and we knew that they would be blessed by doing it. But they had to even know there was a need. At the same time it allowed information for those who needed help. At least they knew the scholarships were possibly available.
Normally we would ask them if they could afford to pay something, anything. That gave them a responsibility as well as commitment to the ministry. Of course, there are always those who cannot afford even partial cost so we wanted to cover those. Often women would offer an anonymous scholarship to someone in need. What a blessing it was to be able to give this woman the gift for that donor!
There is one event that we cover all costs for the attendees and that is our December event for single moms, The Gift. We provide home cooked lunch, inspirational speaker, and pampering breakouts (manicures, pedicures, haircuts and massages). For this our women donate time, gifts and talents as well as the home cooked food to bless these precious moms. (We even began a single moms small group on Sunday mornings as a result of this event!)
How do you handle this need in your church?