Why I make youth ministry resources available for free

It seems odd to me that I find myself more and more having to defend why I give away all the youth ministry resources and services on this site for free. Wouldn’t you rather get something for free than have to pay for it? I’m a little tired of giving the same speech over and over, especially as I work with organizations toward the official launch of the Youth Ministry Mentorship Program (only a week or two away!) and work on another ebook. Free doesn’t mean it’s less valuable — free just means I have to be creative in finding other ways to cover my expenses. Here’s why I give everything away for free.

1. Free ideas travel faster and farther than non-free ideas.
None of my ideas or resources are really my own — they all belong to the Lord. He freely blessed me with them, so I have no problem freely sharing them with others. The best way for me to share the blessings He’s poured on me is to make the ideas, resources and services on this site available for free. They’ll go much further and bless more people if they’re not restricted by dollar signs.

2. I benefit from open source material all the time.
The very backbone of this website is powered by WordPress, free software made available by a team of developers. Much of what I do and create is made on open source software, web services, programs and ideas of others. I’ve been the recipient of so many free things that the least I can do is return the favor for others.

3. I already have a full-time job.
Some ministries have to charge for their products because they have families to feed and support. They should charge for their services because invest their lives into creating outstanding youth ministry materials to support youth workers. However, I’m in a different boat because I earn a living as a full-time youth pastor. The Lord has already supplied an income for me and my family, so I don’t need to charge you for anything.

4. I know what it’s like to have no money and no youth ministry budget.
Perhaps the biggest reason, though, is because I remember what it’s like to be the part-time youth worker with no ministry budget, a secular job to make ends meet, and a burning passion to reach teenagers for Christ. I remember seeing so many resources that could enhance my ministry, only to be disappointed by a price that neither I nor my ministry could afford. There are so many of you who volunteer your time and love God’s kids, with no finances to equip or train yourself. I remember what that struggle feels like and want to serve you however I can. One way I can serve you is to give you everything I can for free.

I pray I can freely bless you all for your investment into teenagers just as the Lord has so richly and freely blessed me. Keep up the great work!

Posted on August 20, 2008

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