Heavy Machinery And Fiscal Responsibility: Lifting The Constraints Of A Tight Church Budget

When you think about the equipment that your church's worship ministry uses on a weekly basis, what comes to mind? Do you automatically think of things like microphones and speakers, or do some less obvious tools come to mind? If the lights are always working perfectly, and stage seems to be rearranged every few weeks, your media director either has muscles of steel or he or she is using some heavy machinery.

While the use of industrial machinery may be vital to the success of many of today's larger houses of worship, being able to afford purchasing this equipment is often a budget matter that falls by the wayside. Here is a look at two important pieces of equipment that every larger church should own, and how their purchase can actually improve your fiscal responsibility.

Scissor Lift

Have you ever looked up in the main auditorium and noticed that the light above your head was out? Did you wonder how in the world someone would ever be able to change it? This is what makes owning a scissor lift such a vital budget item. Many churches rent a scissor lift when a bulb burns out or they need to adjust a spotlight or speaker, but how often do they do this? If you are sitting in the dark for several weeks, they may only be budgeting for a daily or weekly rental, when the church really needs something more often. 

In fact, it may actually be more affordable to purchase a lift than to try renting one for a week every month. By the time you rent a scissor lift for $600 (including the delivery fee) once each month for a couple of years, you could have already purchased a brand new one. If you finance the purchase of a new lift over the course of the two years, your budget item may look about the same in the short-term and disappear completely after the equipment is paid off.


A forklift is an even more versatile piece of equipment. It allows your church's media staff to reset the stage with all of those cool props and different layouts, as well as move heavy objects such as speakers and racks of chairs throughout the building. This one piece of equipment can keep a large church running smoothly in ways that are often easy to overlook.

However, like a scissor lift, the use of a forklift is an item that you cannot afford to leave off of the church budget.  Purchasing a good-quality used forklift will generally cost you less than $20,000, but renting a similar machine for a month at a time will cost you between $400 and $1000 per month. Like a scissor lift, purchasing a forklift would pay for itself in just a couple of years.

If you are looking for ways to balance the church budget, these two pieces of equipment could help your media team to be better stewards of the congregation's money. They can also help your church's worship production to keep running smoothly.