This idea comes from a former music director of the Ottumwa First Presbyterian Church, Gail Masinda.
In these days of tight budgets, being good stewards of our resources is more important than ever. My husband John and I are exhibiting/selling our photography at art shows (www.AsWeSeeNature.com), and apparently others in the area know about us. I received an e-mail from a local church asking if we would be interested in their craft fair. They open up their facilities (could be a fellowship hall, a gym, etc.) to crafters and home businesses (Avon, Scentsy, etc.) and ‘rent’ tables at $15 for an 8 ft. table (plus the area behind the table, about 4 ft. deep). The ‘show’ runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The ladies of the church serve lunch (as a fund raiser) to the public. There will be a bake sale as well. All proceeds from the food they sell and the table rental goes towards youth and mission projects. All proceeds from goods sold by each vendor goes to that vendor. Each vendor is asked (as an option) to donate an item for door prizes.
Another area church does a similar thing, but their fund raiser is an outdoor rummage sale. 10'x10' spaces are ‘rented’ on the church grounds and each person brings whatever rummage sale type items they want to sell. Again, the proceeds from the space rental goes toward church.
In both of these examples, the person renting the space is responsible for the setup, display, and tear down of their space. The costs to the church are minimal, since overhead has to be paid whether the facilities are being used or not. Advertising of the event is done by the hosting church. Spaces are available to church members and non-members.
The church raises dollars through space rental and food sales. They gain local recognition from their advertising. People who may have never been to the church before now know where it is. Greeters can be powerful witnesses to hospitality, openness and acceptance. All of this from using resources already owned by the church. Now that’s good stewardship!