Whether you are a part of a very large church or a very small church it is a fact that church buildings get dirty, need repairs, and the landscaping needs constant attention. Larger churches have budgets (some very large) for a team of custodians that spend their days cleaning, repairing, painting, trimming, and mowing. Smaller churches often rely on one person to keep up with things or they recruit volunteers who take turns cleaning the rooms, carpets, and restrooms on a weekly basis. When my husband and I had a church of about 200+ people we used volunteers to keep things clean because we simply didn’t have any extra dollars in our budget to hire cleaners. It was a great system when it worked; i.e., when the volunteers actually showed up! There were many, many, many times that I got a call on a Sunday morning asking if the kids and I could come early and do some cleaning since those scheduled to come in the day before had forgotten. To be fair, no one deliberately failed to show up for their appointed cleaning day, they just simply forgot. The end result, either way, was the pastor and his family had to scramble to tidy things up before people arrived.
Other than the usual daily or weekly cleaning (emptying trashcans, moping, dusting, vacuuming) it is necessary to do deep cleaning at least four times a year. Does your church have a budget for that? Could your classrooms do with a bit of touching up with paint? Does your carpet need shampooing? Do you have cobwebs in hard to reach places? Are the light fixtures full of dirt and dust?
What about the church grounds? Does your church hire professionals to mow the lawn, trim the trees, and plant flowers and shrubs seasonally?
Would it seem too radical of an idea if I proposed that church members volunteer their time and skills four times a year or, at the very least, twice a year to spruce things up inside and out? Even if your church has a giant budget to do these things wouldn’t it be great if a portion of that money could go into a benevolence fund or mission fund a few times a year because church members took care of some of the upkeep on a Church Refresh Day rather than hiring professional landscapers, painters, carpet cleaners, etc.?
I’ve been a part of several church cleanup or refresh days at various churches over the years. They were a lot of fun! We all worked hard scrubbing and making needed repairs, and loved every minute of it. Why? Because we were building community. We were serving the church body by caring for the church buildings and grounds. We were getting to know one another on a different and deeper level by working side by side. Stories flowed, laughter ensued, friendships were made, and the body of Christ grew stronger.
Take a look around your church buildings and grounds this Sunday. Do you see areas that could use a little fixing up? Why not volunteer to organize a church refresh day this summer? Your pastor would love it as it would lighten his/her load and allow him/her to check off one more item on the church To Do list. You’ll enjoy yourself, as will all those who volunteer their time and skills, plus you’ll be making your church a more welcoming place. Scuffed walls, cobwebby corners, and chocolate chip-like stained carpets don’t make the best first impression on visitors. You can make a definite difference and be a huge blessing to your ministry leaders. So what are you waiting for?