Time-Charging for Church Work
Some of you know that I maintain the website for my church.
The issue of time-charging is something that I have been thinking about for quite a while. The principles are clear – when something is free, you do not really put much thought into it. However, when there is a need to pay for something, you will think carefully if this is what you really want/need.
Very simple example. When renovating your house, you will want the best, especially if the cost is the same. Everything also want, and the contractor “suffers”. However, when you need to pay, you start to think twice about what you really want, and whether it is worth the cost (or effort).
Unfortunately, it is less clear when the contractor is in fact providing a voluntary service. Would it be ethically correct to time-charge? Doesn’t that change the whole idea of serving? Well, taking it from another perspective, assuming the volunteer’s is multi-skilled, the time could be better spent doing something more valuable. The risk would be that everything then becomes so transactional…
So assuming we should time-charge, what should the rate be? Does it make it alright if the money is pumped back to Church? Should the Church “fund” it centrally, or should be cost be apportioned to the users? Many questions to be answered…
My current inclination? I think, at minimun, there should be some budgetary approval, so that the scope and effort required is at least rationalised and agreed. For a start, since the financial aspects are not so clean cut, this could be managed either centrally, or just dividing between church and kindergarten.