Besides the ushering in of a brand new year, it’s that time when we enter into the budgeting process. For those of you who are responsible for submitting or overseeing a part of the church’s budget, I wanted to take a moment to present some criteria that I hope will be helpful.
Budgets can be a daunting process and without some guidelines, can lead to frustration. Here are some things to consider as you work through your requests for 2013-2014.
1. Does it align with one or more components of our Vision Statement?
As a church, we are attempting to be purposeful and intentional with the resources entrusted to us. As part of that intentionality, take time to assess how your requests align with the vision of the church. Here they are again for your reference:
a. Reaching more people for Christ – lots of them, both near and far.
b. Developing leaders – emerging and thriving.
c. Creating a more seamless children and youth ministry – effective and fun
d. Growing deeper in Christ – not just wider.
e. Becoming more generous – in all areas of life.
f. Having a greater online presence – creative and accessible.
2. Don’t look at what you got last year and either repeat it or add a percentage for this year.
This is very tempting, no doubt. But try to resist this tendency. Think carefully of what you really need and don’t think that you need to protect your budget line at all costs.
3. Consider the big picture.
Think through what your part contributes to the whole. This is the consideration that the leadership has to make when it comes to matching budget requests with the reality of our giving.
4. What are your goals for the year?
How is the money you are asking for going to assist you in financing the goals you have for the ministry? How are you going to advance your area for greater ministry effectiveness and impact?
5. Have you prayed about it and would Jesus approve?
Okay, some of you might take exception to this but here is the reality. What we attempt for the Kingdom should have Kingdom fingerprints all over it.
Two final thoughts to conclude:
First, pray and be mindful of the Finance Team and Board members who have the task of taking all the requests and creating from all those dream sheets a plausible and workable budget.
This is no easy exercise, especially when difficult decisions have to be made. They have to keep the overall good of the church in mind and their trimming of a particular budget line should not be seen as a slight of your passions or interests.
Secondly, if in the course of the year some opportunity comes along that is not part of your budget requests, don’t think its a closed case. The leadership is always open to great opportunities that make a difference and though it may be a challenge, we will do our best to find a way to fund it. This is not a promise, but it is something we want to acknowledge.