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.

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3 Responses

  1. Mei says:

    Ya I see your point. Makes sense.

  2. CG says:

    I don’t think it is the lack of recognition. Rather, there is a major gap in terms of media engagement strategy. It cannot be just 1 person or a group of people coming up with the strategy. This is something that cuts across all functions/department and needs to be top driven or at least endorsed (and enforced).

    I have passed the baton in a way – I have stopped updating content. You will notice that bulletins are instead uploaded as files for downloads. Someone else has decided to update the content (copy and paste from bulletin), but this cannot be the way.

    Inter-department charging is not a new thing. It is common in large organisations. Time-charging would definitely help clarify what functions are essential are what are not. It should improve efficiency by reducing frivolous requests and instill better financial discipline.

  3. Mei says:

    I wonder if in the first place your contribution is recognized and valued. I’m sure many will say it is but I believe certain things have not met your expectations. I can understand the frustration. Anyone who serves needs to see the purpose of which he is doing the work. If not most will just move on. I admire that you wish to stay on to resolve this issue, as passing on the baton will only be passing on the problem. Thanks for taking this seriously. Your suggestion should raise some awareness and hopefully find the root of the issue.

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