If your church is about to start the budgeting process, help it go more smoothly with these four tips. Remember—a budget serves to help you achieve your mission.
Don't Get Lost in the Numbers
It's easy to become overly involved with the mechanical aspects of budget construction and lose sight of the fact that budgets are for a church, a voluntary group of members sharing common religious beliefs, rather than for a corporation. Unless the budgeting effort considers human relationships, even the most precise efforts will be for naught if met with resistance, skepticism, or indifference.
Unanticipated Events May Occur and That's Okay
Many churches overemphasize the use of budgets to control expenditures. A budget is not carved in stone. A few changes in the annual operating budget or any other budget during the year might have to be made because of unanticipated events. These changes do not damage the planning and budgeting process. They simply reflect the difficulty of accurately forecasting the future.
Get Leadership Support
Church leaders must thoroughly support the planning and budgeting processes or the entire resource allocation exercise will be a lesson in futility.
Though planning and budgeting are crucial to a church's financial well-being, they cannot replace effective week-to-week management. Plans and budgets cannot by themselves change the course of a faltering church. They are but tools to be used by skillful leaders.
For more information on budgeting, check out Church Finance: The Complete Guide to Managing Ministry Resources.
Related article: Finding the Best Approach to a Budget Calendar
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