Many churches use their Vacation Bible School materials one time and throw them away. As a new church plant, we did not have the money to purchase VBS materials. Our friends at First Baptist Church of Dunkerton, Iowa were happy to pass on their materials to us free of charge. We received all of their purchased materials as well as a truckload of decor! Once VBS was finished, we left many of the decorations up in the children's department as our decor theme for the year.
2) Ask churches to help with your audio/visual needs.
Some of the most expensive items to purchase for a new church plant are audio/visual equipment. While we would all love the opportunity to enjoy a shopping spree at the local A/V store, churches can be a great source of free or cheap used equipment. In my weekly newsletter update, I asked churches to assess their A/V equipment assets and let me know if they had anything they weren't using and would like to give to our church plant. Some readers gave money specifically for the purchase of equipment and Amazing Grace Baptist Church gave us a truckload of equipment, which they had received from another church but had not used!
3) Mobilize your troops to get things done.
When we signed the lease for the storefront property that would serve as our ministry/worship center, it needed a lot of work. We had to design and build walls and a stage, run wiring for sound and televisions, and paint every square foot of the property. That would have cost tens of thousands of dollars to be done by a contractor. Instead, we prayed for the Lord to send the right people to help us get the job done for the cost of materials only. He answered our prayers and the right people came forward from our core group and sponsor church to lead us through the renovation. The Baptist Convention of Iowa sent a group to help one Saturday and New Life Church, our sponsor, helped throughout the process. It took longer then if we hired a contractor and it became my full-time job for about a month, but we saved a bunch of money doing it ourselves.Our people also developed a sense of ownership and were strengthened as a core group through the work.