God designed the Church to function as a Body in an interdependent and unified way wherein everybody is a valuable and needed part.
Why should the budget be placed outside of His design?
In some churches an elite few, or even just one person, work on the budget and then present to the congregation to merely accept what has been deemed as best for the Body. Is it then any wonder voting on the proposed budget sometimes leads to bickering and disgruntled parishioners? Is it any wonder giving does not match up to the budget?
God designed the Church to function as a Body because it works. When people’s input is requested, valued and seriously considered in developing the budget, they tend to be more supportive of the end result even if it isn’t completely in congruence with their thoughts. Ownership has been secured and they tend to be more willing to give, even sacrificially, to something they have been a part of.
Emphasize the budget process over the end result.
You need a workable budget that provides for the needs of the various ministry areas, a budget with ministry in mind. When the process matters most in developing a budget, it becomes more than merely balancing figures on a piece of paper. Rather, it becomes about:
1) Pursuing God’s Purposes
If seeking to line up with God’s purposes when developing a budget, prayer becomes an integral part of the process … before, during and after. Just as a physical body gets its directions from the brain, so the Body of Christ looks to the Head of the Church. You can’t function as a Body without the Head leading the way.
2) Putting People First
Getting people from the various ministries involved helps to keep the focus on ministry. Leaders, and even a budget committee, can sometimes be too far removed from the real needs of the different ministries so it is important team leaders have a platform for sharing their perceptions about what is needed to accomplish God’s purposes in their ministry areas.
Remember, when a budget is based on “OUR” goals born out of prayer, people have more of a tendency to support it and make sure it is met.
The Steering the Church Toward Body Life Leadership Guide helps you think through how much budgeting is a process of Body Life in your church by asking some strategic questions about your practices.