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For you guys that mow churches, you'll love this story!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by CITY PARK CUTTER, Oct 4, 2012.

  1. Sprinkler Buddy

    Sprinkler Buddy LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 1,185

    I have been doing a Church in my small town for a # of years now. We have changed our membership to a different local Church due to the politics going on within our old Church. I took the lawn maintenance over because the volunteers were unreliable and did a horrible job in my opinion. I don't know why but I can't bring myself to charge the Church for my services, yes I have been doing it for free. I wish a Church member would step up and take my place. LoL
  2. PremierT&L

    PremierT&L LawnSite Member
    Messages: 224

    We do 1 large church and we have seen some funny things happen there, though we've never been low-balled or lost the account to a member there.

    It's a very large, beautiful property, and I take a lot of pride in it, even though it might be my least profitable account. Everyone in the community knows the church, and I think having that account has definetly helps us land other accounts.

    Most of our strange experiences there have been with random members that either volunteer on the grounds, or just want to talk with us for some reason. 1 old guy out there is constantly trying to give me terrible advice about what herbicides we should be spraying, or when we should be fertilizing. He's funny because he's always horribly mis-pronouncing chemical names trying to sound like he knows what he's talking about. Man if they ever listend to this guy they'd have acres of dirt where their lawns used to be lol...
  3. Sprinkler Buddy

    Sprinkler Buddy LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 1,185

    That old man is just lonely and wants to talk to someone. Watching and talking to you guys brings back some old memories I'm sure. Glad to see you take the time even if you don't take the advise. lol
  4. PremierT&L

    PremierT&L LawnSite Member
    Messages: 224

    Oh yeah I know. We service numerous retirement neighborhoods so I have plenty of senior friends.:) Some of the chemical names this guy comes up with are priceless and really make me chuckle.
  5. orangemower

    orangemower LawnSite Silver Member
    from pa
    Messages: 2,768

    Ummm, why would anyone want to take over when you're doing it for free? You are stuck my friend. NEVER work for free. You have set up everyone that attends the church. No one will want to do it now. How do you think it's possible to charge them now that they got a taste of "FREE" from you? If you stop cutting it tomorrow. The next guy will say I'll cut it for X amount. Then the church will say, the last guy did it for free!
  6. Sprinkler Buddy

    Sprinkler Buddy LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 1,185

    Lol, This I do know. I have no intention of ever charging them for my services. It's my way of giving back, even if it isn't any longer our Church of choice. It's still God's house.
  7. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    There are lots of interesting comments here regarding perspective on how a church manages their needs.

    Let's look at it from the other side. While some comments here speak of power by those on committees or groups. That has caused frustration on the part of an LCO trying to provide lawn services. Remember, there are those given the responsibility and authority to make decisions regarding the work on behalf of the church. These folks could be volunteers that are given the task on a rotating basis, they could be part of a staff hired by the church. In any case, they are given the task of getting the job done, either by hiring it out, or by managing a no-pay volunteer(s). Some here may call it power, and in some cases their actions may be an overzealous attitude. However, in most cases, they are merely doing the job they have been assigned. And, they are charged with being good stewards of the resources afforded them.

    I've been part of these matters on both sides. While some here are frustrated, perhaps you have not been part of a leadership team in which some choose NOT to exercise their power and authority to get tasks done. Yes, that is very frustrating on the other side. Also, I have donated my time and services to get the lawn services done. And, no, just because an individual donates these services does not mean they are immune from criticism on the quality of work.

    Many threads have been posted over the years on the customer base we have, whether it be residential owners, landlords, businesses, national chains, HOA managers, etc. The range of customers is very wide. Somewhere in that mix are churches. Thinking that a church should fit the mold of other customers is to not understand the nature of the client. Further, churches can be very different, from small ones with a single contact given full responsibility for decisions, to boards (e.g. Building & Grounds, Facilities), to Business Manager, to Facility Manager. One recent thread discussed the Pastor wanting to make the decision on a string trimmer purchase for the church (this one has much greater problems than lack of a string trimmer, ... another story). Unless the LCO understands the dynamic of this kind of client, then perhaps they should pass on the opportunities.

    CITY PARK CUTTER LawnSite Member
    Messages: 60

    This vent is more for the fans than me. I do understand how churches act and never surprised, don't worry your little head about that. But it amazes me still to some degree that a church, of all institutions, would act in such manner. Never surprised, just disappointed in what one would expect.
  9. bln

    bln LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 370

    Posted via Mobile Device

    CITY PARK CUTTER LawnSite Member
    Messages: 60

    You give the church way too much credit, believe me. Been there, done that. Been on a church board of properties and seen how the internal runs...and talked to other churches about their way of running a railroad, and more times than you'd like to believe, it ain't pretty. Doesn't matter to me if a church member volunteers or is paid, the work needs and demands to be done correctly. And in return, that church should not give away the work to somebody else on a wing and a prayer, thus penalizing the LCO that's doing a great job at a low price. Business ethics they call it. You'd be surprised how many people on volunteer boards DON'T KNOW BUSINESS or ethics. Good folks most of 'em but they don't know beans about how to run a real business, let alone maintain a property the size of the average church grounds.

    You must hold a higher standard if you are a church. In personal situations and business situations...or why distinguish yourself from the masses? If I should, according to your train of thought, accept that a church of so-called decent people would treat me worse than a band of athiests...that's a cause for concern. Churches should be better, should treat business interests BETTER than the average business out there. Just one man's opinion, mine. There's a reputation here that needs to be upgraded. And I hear this from many, many others that deal with churches on a larger scale from plumbing, electrical, roofing, etc. The same stories exist.

    And I hear in your tone that you downplay "power" in the church. If anybody on this board has ever been involved in church politics at any level, YOU HAVEN'T SEEN POWER PLAYS UNTIL YOU'VE BEEN ON THE INSIDE OF A CHURCH! Volunteers or no volunteers, there's more fights and struggles inside a church than anywhere else I've ever been involved with. That includes high level business. You step on somebody's toes on the Board of Elders, Church Board of Properties, Men's Ministry, etc...you're in for the fight of your life. So, please don't play the violin for church workers as only wanting "the job done right" because that isn't going to sell. People love power, wherever they can get it. All I want is for that church to keep their word, pay me on time, and get out of my way...I'll take care of the lawn thank you very much.

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