Several years ago, members of the Bridge Church in Fresno, California, committed millions of dollars to a special capital campaign to upgrade facilities and expand parking lots.
But the church didn't make a plan to set aside the future funds needed to keep its facilities running well.
"There had been pretty serious deferred maintenance for a while prior to that date," recalled Dave Cowin, who serves as chairman of the church's elder board.
When Cowin joined the elder board of Bridge Church in 2012, he proposed creating a capital reserve fund as part of the church's annual budgeting process. The board chose to go with Cowin's proposal. It was a wise decision that safeguarded the church's resources and saved thousands of dollars for other ministry priorities just a few years later.
Like Bridge Church, many churches spend valuable time, energy, and money getting buildings, but then neglect to plan—and budget—for the expenses needed to keep those buildings operating.