7 Steps to Budgeting Success

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

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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. 

  • What will you need to invest in each ministry area to make its goals a reality?
  • Do you have new events planned for the next year?
  • Are you going to launch a new campus or ministry program?

  • 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.

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    Leadership · Management · Budget · Finance · Team Development · All Topics


    Deborah Ike
    Deborah Ike (formerly Wipf) is the President & Founder of Velocity Ministry Management; a company dedicated to vision implementation for church leaders. Over the last ten years, Deborah worked in the corporate arena to discover how to leverage business principles for ministry vision. She worked for Deloitte Consulting in their Strategy & Operations group and most recently, for Williams, as a project manager and risk manager. Deborah has a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems along with the Project Management Professional (PMP) credential from the Project Management Institute. She’s the author of The Volunteer Management Toolkit (Church Edition) and you can find her articles on sites such as Pastors.com, XPastor.org, WorshipFacilities.com, and via The Church Network.
    Contact Deborah Ike: deborah@velocityministrymanagement.com ·  View More by Deborah Ike

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