IT’S TIME TO PLAN YOUR ANNUAL CHURCH BUDGET
For many churches, fall is an exciting time! There are a host of programs, ministries, and outreach events that are happening. Many people return to church after a summer of travel and family events, regular programs restart after the summer break, and there’s a sense of energy and excitement about a new season and slightly cooler temperatures.
However, for pastors and church leaders, this season can also bring a sense of overwhelm. Because while everyone else is reconnecting and enjoying a return to routine events and programs, church leaders are (or should be) behind the scenes planning the annual budget for the next year.
With it being such a busy season, it can be difficult to find the time to actually cast vision and create a plan for your church budget. But taking the time to plan and build a vision-centered budget will truly make a difference in the life of your church.
WHY YOU NEED A VISION-CENTERED CHURCH BUDGET
Without a vision and a plan, you hinder your church’s ability to grow. In churches, it’s easy to spend money. There are many “good” ministry activities to support. But how do you know the money you’re spending is the BEST use of funds? The only way is to budget for expenses based off your vision.
HOW TO BUILD A HEALTHY CHURCH BUDGET
Here are three vision-casting budget hacks to help shape your budget conversations and get the most out of your meetings.
1. AIM FOR ALIGNMENT
Your budget should reflect the overall mission, vision, and values of your church. This goes for each and every department. Think of alignment as a filter you lay over the budget. As you examine each line item, ask the question, “Are we using our resources to help us advance the goals of our church?”
2. TRANSPARENCY IS CRITICAL
Asking your church to affirm and support the annual budget requires trust. Take time to evaluate how you can grow in your communication and transparency. A few simple ways to accomplish this could be by sending out a survey or holding a dinner for a group of trusted members so that they can provide feedback.
3. BUDGETS NEED DREAMERS
Budget reviews and planning meetings can go negative in a hurry. And while it’s important to be practical and realistic about the numbers, don’t forget to dream. Remind your finance team that God has big plans in this next year. Leave room in your budget for God to show up.
These budget hacks may not solve everything, but they will guide your conversations in a God-honoring direction. In the end, that should be the goal of every church budget.
NEED A LITTLE MORE HELP?
Your church budget should be a blueprint for financial health and ministry effectiveness. It should simplify decisions and fund the growth-engines of your church.
But, more often than not, that’s not the case.
Sometimes it’s because you struggle to know how to do it well. If that’s you, then Church Budget Blueprint can help.
Other times it’s because your team isn’t aligned. Perhaps you have a finance committee that doesn’t see eye to eye, or a volunteer bookkeeper who insists on doing things the same way they’ve always been done.
We’ve seen it happen over and over again. That’s why we’re hosting a free training later this month: The Elephant in the Room: How to Have Difficult Conversations About Church Finances.
You’ll learn why a healthy church budget is so vitally important to the life of your church, and how to navigate challenging conversations about finances and the church budget with wisdom and grace.
Make sure you’re on our email list so you can be the first to get the details on this free training.
We’ve seen too many churches struggle with this exact situation. And we want to offer a better path forward.
With a well-prepared, vision-centered budget and the tools to navigate these conversations, you can reduce the overwhelm you currently feel, and be confident that you are stewarding the resources of your church well.