Do something with your old resources

Every church I have served has had old resources. By old resources I’m referring to study and reference material and other things like that, not Mr and Mrs…..(you know you were thinking it). Some of these items aren’t used anymore for a reason. Still my question when I come across this stuff is, “What do I do with this, now?” So, since it’s most likely your church has these materials (trust me, you just haven't looked everywhere), here are a few things to do with your old material:

Keep material together. When you find something (whether you know what to do with it or not), assuming you came across it, keep it in a place where it can be easily accessed. This may be somewhat difficult in some facilities, but it can be done. This is helpful for a few of the other following points.

• Let’s face it, some of the material isn't as great as someone thought it was—even when it was bought. Couple that with a few decades worth of dust and new buzzwords and your church has got another mound of wasting paper. Sometimes it’s just time to part ways. Take some of your old material to a recycling center. I don’t think that’s sacrilegious, but that’s between you and your God.

• Some of the old material is just as useful today as it was initially. Give it a whirl again. Just because it’s there doesn’t mean everyone in church has already had an opportunity to make use of it. Even if they did, how many of them do you want to bet remember everything about it?

• This goes with the previous point; in older material illustrations and/or figures might be out of date. Find a way to update material for reuse. One could also tweak the information to fit new teaching models that members are familiar with. This might take some work, but is less expensive than purchasing new programs and the bulk of material is already prepared.

Give it away. If you’re still arguing with me about the second point, then don’t throw it away, give it away (don’t put it in the church garage sale because you’ll be disappointed in its stock). Let other churches know what resources you have. You might make someone’s day; or they might throw it away for you! The Kerrville District use to have a listing of material churches made available for sharing. Start a list or contribute to one. Remember, if you offer it to someone, you need to know what you have and where it is (see point one).

Conversely, your church might be short of good material. In that case don’t be shy to ask a larger church to lend some of theirs. We’re connectional, aren’t we? I’ll be doing this soon here for Oak Haven. Trust me, it doesn’t’ hurt your pride; it strengthens your church.

Stay blessed...john

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