We’ve established that the church budget should . . .
Once the budget is completed and approved, we move into the next stage of functioning within that budget. This part becomes even more challenging. What do we do if giving is down and we don’t have the income to match expenses? What do we do with giving that goes beyond the budget? What do we do if we have unexpected needs not covered in the budget?
We gain little if we establish a budget based on the above mentioned realities but forget all of it in the application of the church budget. We need to continue to move through the fiscal year with the same ministry mind-set. We need God’s heart for the church.
If giving is down or you have unexpected expenses not covered in the budget:
- You might consider appealing to the congregation. How do you do that without laying a guilt trip on them?
- You might consider fund raising. How do you do that without being manipulative?
- You might consider cutting some expenses. How do you discern where to make the cuts?
If giving is over:
- You might decide to put it into a savings account in case giving decreases in the future. How do you decide when saving simply becomes hoarding or a lack of trust in God?
- You might decide to put it against debt (i.e., mortgage) to help pay it off early and thereby save money. What do you do if everyone isn’t on board with this because they feel their ministry areas could use extra funding?
- You might decide to put it into a discretionary fund to invest in non-budgeted items or ministry. How do you determine where the money gets allocated?
Christ-likeness Needed in Dealing with Church Finances
Whatever you do, remember that the process matters. No matter what the issue is, make sure you do the following:
- Seek after God in prayer about what would be the best course based on His purpose for your church.
- Bring others into the process.
- Handle it with transparency and integrity.
- Communicate with the Body about what is being done.
The principle in Romans 14:16 could apply —
Do not let what you know is good be spoken of as evil.