Budgeting is considered a necessary and sometimes frustrating process. Here is a plan to be more effective in creating the guardrails for your ministry.
Deborah Ike · May 31, 2015
Step #3: Align the budget to your goals
This is the fun part of budgeting (yes, fun and budgeting can be in the same sentence). Hopefully, you’ve already led your team through a goal / visioning session for the year ahead. Now you get to assign dollars to those goals.
Step #4: Save for the unexpected
Sometimes we get wonderful, unexpected surprises like an opportunity to buy adjoining property to expand your ministry. There’s also the possibility for events like needing to replace the roof or an expensive piece of equipment breaking down. It’s wise to plan for both occurrences, so having a church savings account and budgeting for it is key to being a good steward.
- What are the savings goals for the church?
- Are you saving up for a renovation?
- Do you put money aside in case tithes decrease for a month or two?
Step #5: Involve your leadership team in the budgeting process
Whether you’re the Senior Pastor, Executive Pastor, Church Administrator, or have a CFO-type role, you shouldn’t create the budget by yourself. For one, you’re not going to have all the information necessary (nor should you have to). Also, it’s best when your ministry area leaders are responsible for submitting their budgets and discussing their rationale with you. The process of creating a budget will get them thinking about exactly how to make their goals a reality.
Once your annual goals are ready, discuss the budgeting process with your leadership team.
- Ask them to draft and submit an initial budget for their respective areas.
- Give them a deadline and setup one-on-one meetings with each leader to review the draft.
- Once they’ve made any agreed upon adjustments, bring the full team together to discuss budgets. Quick tip: Use wisdom in how you represent salaries as a budget item. It’s usually best to budget for the number of employees and at what level (manager, etc.) instead of by dollar amount for this type of meeting.