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
Once you have a budget your team supports, review it with the parties responsible for approving it (an elder board, etc.).
Step #6: Monitor budget vs. actuals on a monthly basis
Establishing a budget is great, however, it’s not worth much unless you monitor how you’re actually doing compared to the budget.
- Review a financial report each month that shows the budget vs. actuals. You’ll also want the same report broken down by ministry area.
- Provide the report by ministry area to the respective leader and ask him/her to provide you with an explanation of any variances (where the amount budget is over/under the actual amount). Then review that information with each leader.
- Review the overall budget with elders, board, or other governing body.
Step #7: Report out to your congregation
There are two key reasons why I recommend providing your congregation with at least an annual update on the church’s finances.
Letting your congregation know how their tithes were spent builds and maintains trust. Unfortunately, we’ve all seen news stories of church or ministry leaders who’ve mismanaged church funds. Trust is a key component for anyone considering giving money to a church. They need to trust that you and your team will be excellent stewards of the money they’re tithing.
This sharing of information also lets your congregation know how the church is impacting your community, caring for its members in-need, and fulfilling the vision of the church.
Budgeting doesn’t have to be a painful process. With diligent planning and attention, this can be an effort that truly advances and supports the vision of your church.
Deborah Ike (formerly Wipf) is the President & Founder of Velocity Ministry Management; a company dedicated to vision implementation for church leaders.
In addition to serving in ministry, Deborah has worked in the corporate arena to discover how to leverage business principles for ministry vision. She worked for an international consulting firm and a Fortune 500 company doing consulting, project management, and risk management.
Deborah is certified as a Project Management Professional (PMP) through 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 WorshipFacilities.com, Pastors.com, XPastor.org, and via The Church Network.