Archives For Youth Ministry: When to Insource and When to Outsource


Some areas of caution when insourcing or outsourcing.

When insourcing be cautious of:

  • People who will make you feel guilty about using their services.  Use discernment in this because on one hand using someone in the congregation should be first on our mind but people in the church are still people.  Sometimes they do not have the best interests of the church in mind rather they are concerned about the dollar.  I once visited a church and a guy came up to me and gave me a business card and told me to call him.  That’s a red flag.  If they get mad at you because you used someone outside of the church then there are reasons to your concern.  Be careful.
  • Conflict of interest.  This is not a “thus sayeth” but sometimes doing things inside the church can create a conflict of interest.  There are many situations where this could apply but please use caution when there are ties to your eldership, deacons or board.

When outsourcing be cautious of:

  • Branding.  Sometimes the “brand” may offend some people in your church (right or wrong) and so you may need to be cautious about this.  One year we used some material form a particular company and I had a “concerned individual” who contact my elders because I was using material from another denomination.  I disagreed with his assessment but if I had consulted the elders first it would have helped.
  • Marketing Ploys.  Not everyone is interested in stewardship as sometime the bottom-line is what “rules the roost.”  Sometimes companies who use the umbrella of “Christianity” do not have Christian principles.  They just know they can sell their product to churches because Jesus sells.  Be cautious of these people and use discernment.

I hope this mini-series has helped.  Have a great week.

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You can read part 1 of this series by clicking here.  No fancy introduction….on with the meat.

When to Insource

  • When you have “capable” people who are gifted for what your particular ministry needs.
  • When you need something done but are crunched for money.
  • When you want to help someone in the congregation have ownership and leadership in the ministry.
  • When people in your leadership (elders, board or whoever) want you to use the talents and abilities in the congregation.
  • When you can’t do something yourself.

When to Outsource

  • When there is nobody in your church who can do what is required.
  • When a particular task becomes “too big” for those in-house.
  • A biggie…when you need something done that would not create a conflict of interest (more on this in the next post).
  • When the nature of what you are doing requires expertise from people who have 15+ years of experience in your field.
  • When the nature of what you are doing simply requires you to do so.

These are not amazing but simple suggestions.  Monday I hope to post about some areas of caution when it comes to insourcing and outsourcing.