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How do you handle situations when parents can't/won't pay for trips when you feel they're being irresponsible financially? - MinistryQuestions.com | Ministry questions, answers, advice, and input from other ministry workers :: Answer
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I also encourage kids not to let money be an obstacle, but we use a few safeguards to help regulate. We stipulate how many scholarship are available per event based on group size. If the student has a scholarship, we've talked 1on1, met with the parents, and the student is doing a special comm. service in exchange. This way they value what they've received. (Sometimes we even do 1/2 scholarships to help more ppl). 2.We hold major fundraisers (bakesales, car washes) for our expensive events. Students that help get priority on the $ raised. This way the student is controlling their ability to go (financially). 3. We have "Friends go 1/2 price" so kids can bring unchurched friends at a reasonable price.

Just to add, it's tough to see students suffer because of their parent's financial choices. But it's a great opportunity for you to step in and teach them they can take control. Set up guidlines to avoid abuse of the scholarships, and create opportunities for students to pay their own way. My senior pastor has always taught me that if it's a priority, ppl will find a way to afford it. Perhaps some parents need a gentle reminder that you need their help making youth a priority for their students.

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I would let it slide this year. Like you said, it's not our place to make judgements. I know people who spend money to keep up an appearance for their social circles but who are really struggling. If your going to have the policy of not letting money be the issue, you have to have it applicable to kids who look like they need it and those who don't. You want the kids there, it seems like your budget can afford it, so let it slide for now is what I'd say. But I would consider sending out a newsletter saying something to the effect of how blessed the ministry is to get to help so Many, but there was more of a demand than expected and some fall events may need to be reworked, so any donations would be appreciated.

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I also have a policy of "don't let money stop you from going" for events but I don't advertise it broadly. Instead if a student tells me, or hints, that they can't go to something b/c of money then I talk to them about it 1 on 1. I feel this helps minimize students or families who would simply take advantage of the church being willing to pay if they don't want to. So far I haven't had problems with this. Also for the mission trip have you considered having students send out support letters to try and raise some of the money? And/or does your church allow you to do fundraisers? These could be good options for a number of reasons: students are working for the trip, more people can get involved, and less comes from the church budget.

If the issue is fiscal irresponsibility then it is a lot bigger than what to do for this mission trip & camp, and it's one churches don't like to bring up - but it's important to do so. Have you talked to your Senior Pastor/ministry staff about it? Perhaps your church could offer some sort of financial course? Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University is a great one & there are a lot of others out there as well. The tricky part, though, would be encouraging those who really need it to attend.

Couldn't fit it all in. We've done 2 fund raisers this year. Never had probs w/ ppl not paying who could, but this year has been different. I've also gotten some anonymous private scholarships from people in the church. But it seems like this year people are being irresponsible with money. ONe fam, both kids have Droid phones, but they can't pay for camp. Parents have also been reluctant to tell me. Just turn in forms w no $ and force me to call them.