4 Ways to Make Open Church Free Resources and Ideas Possible

Kent Shaffer —  June 9, 2011

Open Church 2011 Vision Blueprint

A month ago I blogged about Open Church, a new nonprofit I am helping launch that equips global Church leaders with free ministry resources to download and ideas from all cultures.

The response thus far is exciting.

  • Volunteers are signing up.
  • The site is being developed (launch date TBD).
  • And we have free downloadable resources from numerous organizations ranging from a large publisher to an influential megachurch to a young church plant.

It is clear that the challenge for Open Church is not finding ministers willing to contribute ideas and free church resources. The challenge is having the manpower and finances needed to scale the operations and site infrastructure to accommodate the high volume of opportunities we’re receiving to equip the global Church.

Currently, Open Church is supported by Church Relevance advertisements and Create Etc client work. This covers the basics. It allows me to focus on Open Church full-time and have the development team necessary to create and maintain the Open Church site. It also covers minimal operational costs such as government fees for establishing a nonprofit and some server costs.

Through Church Relevance’s relationships, Open Church is fortunate enough to receive thousands of dollars of professional services at no charge. Overhead is low, and volunteers will help keep it that way.

That alone is enough to make Open Church work well. Yet with more support, Open Church may very well become the world’s largest repository of free church resources.

Outside of Church Relevance and Create Etc, Open Church will only be funded by donations. We will not offer advertisements or try to sell products through Open Church because we believe those money-centered activities can at times hinder global collaboration or unintentionally steer an organization in the wrong direction.

4 Ways to Make Open Church Possible

  1. Donations
    Your generous one time or monthly gift will help put resources and ideas in the hands of ministers around the world. You can donate online at openchurch.donortools.com or email info [AT] openchurch.es for details on mailing a donation.
  2. Buy an Ad on Church Relevance
    I would love to help get the word out about what you do! When you advertise on Church Relevance, your money goes to basic operational costs for Open Church and to put food on the table for myself and Open Church’s site development team. For more information, please email kent [AT] churchrelevance.com.
  3. Hire Create Etc
    Need a website or a logo design? Create Etc can do that. We have been creating websites, social networks, blogs, and marketing strategy for ministries and businesses since 2004. Like Church Relevance ads, hiring Create Etc helps cover the basics for Open Church. The challenge with this is it pays the bills but also takes us away from working on Open Church. For more information, please email info [AT] createetc.com.
  4. Book Kent Shaffer to speak at your event for “free” or consult your church for “free”
    I will speak at your event for “free” or consult your church for “free” provided that you cover travel expenses and make a donation to Open Church. Of course, this is subject to availability. For more information, please email kent [AT] churchrelevance.com.

Your donations help make it possible to have servers to host terabytes of free downloadable resources, forge relationships with ministries worldwide, organize hundreds of volunteers, and make big-impact ministry ideas a reality.

Donate to Open Church

If you know churches, organizations, or individuals that may be interested in supporting Open Church, please send them the Open Church 2011 Vision brochure.

If you have questions about Open Church, please ask them in the comments section of this post.

Kent Shaffer

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I live in an RV with my wife and 2 kids and work with OpenChurch.com to help Christians collaborate and build a global Church library of free, open content.

4 responses to 4 Ways to Make Open Church Free Resources and Ideas Possible

  1. Is this going to be another graphic, motions media resource like open or creationswap? What makes this so different?

    -A

  2. Great question, Andrew!

    While Open Church is going to offer a wide variety of free downloads, we want to focus on resources that offer the greatest impact spiritually and/or organizationally. So curriculum and administrative tools are more valuable than sermon series graphics/materials.

    In order to prevent a massive clutter of resources that no one will use, Open Church will not accept all free resources. Open Church is focused on quality before quantity. We want to make as many quality free resources available as possible while being careful not to waste our users’ time by making them sift through “resources” that nobody will use.

    Open Church is a nonprofit and independent entity that actively seeks out organizations with quality resources and helps those organizations distribute those resources for free.

    To best understand how Open Church is different, please read the 2011 vision brochure:
    http://churchrelevance.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/open-church-2011-vision-web.pdf

  3. Cool, however if you’re not selling ads how are you going to pay for storage and bandwidth? better yet, who is paying for it?

  4. @Andrew

    Sorry for the delay in answering your second comment’s question. It slipped by me.

    Right now the advertisements on ChurchRelevance.com and the client work from CreateEtc.com pays for Open Church’s administrative needs and servers. However, just within the last month we’ve made some exciting connections that could distribute a tremendous amount of free resources through Open Church but would require more budget than Church Relevance and Create Etc can likely support.

    In order to reach its fullest potential, Open Church will only be possible with financial support from churches, organizations, and individuals who are passionate about its vision. We could try to make money via ads and products, but I’ve found that to some degree these are things that would ultimately be barriers to true global collaboration and empowerment of the global Church.

    Anyone interested in making a donation, may go to https://openchurch.donortools.com