8 Things To Keep In Mind When Budgeting by Brian Jones
Recently a Senior Pastor friend of mine attempting to lead his church of 180 in growth asked if I had any thoughts I could share with his governing board about crafting an effective budget for their church.
Since I know this is something many of you are thinking about right now, I thought you might appreciate listening in on the conversation.
Dear Governing Board,
I appreciate you asking my advice.
Here are eight things to keep in mind when budgeting for the growth of your church:
1. Growing churches always budget to last year’s income.
That means if you took in $168,000 last year, then that’s the total amount you budget for the following year. Increases in giving are placed in reserves.
2. Growing churches under 400 always hire part-time worship and part-time children’s staff before they hire a secretary.
We were 320 as a church before we had our first paid part-time secretary. I’d suggest splitting your $9000 a year salary for your secretary and hiring a very part-time worship minister for $4500 a year and a very part-time children’s staff member for the same. Both will fuel growth. As I say to guys I coach, “Never underestimate the power of $50 a week to motivate a gifted college kid or stay-at-home mom to deliver a superior performance.” I have 12 full-time people on my ministry staff and most started this way.
3. Growing churches keep expenses low but put together aggressive plans for income growth.
I would suggest reading my article on increasing giving. If you encouraged your Minister to lead the charge in implementing some of these changes (particularly online giving – we at CCV receive 50% of our giving through online giving) you will experience at least a 10–15% income growth by year’s end. That’s no exaggeration.
4. Growing churches budget 5% of their overall budget for marketing and outreach events.
Skip this at your own peril.
5. Growing churches run back-to-back Capital Campaigns that bring in an additional 1-3x’s the annual budget over three years.
Given the excellent facilities you already have in place (light-years ahead of other churches), a few key investments in your website, sign, exterior signage, branding, and way-finding graphics would completely transform your campus and make it the inviting place on the outside that you know and love on the inside. So, for instance, if you ran a Capital Campaign you could net an additional $170,000 to $300,000 over three years. Not knowing the depth of the giving units at your church I’d tend to guess on the lower end, near $170,000.
Brian Jones is the founding Senior Pastor at Christ’s Church of the Valley, a church that has grown from 0 to 2,000+ people in the northwest suburbs of Philadelphia. His personal passion is to encourage and coach fellow Senior Pastors in the trenches. He is the author of several books including Second Guessing God and Hell is Real (But I Hate to Admit It). Connect with Brian at seniorpastorcentral.com or on Twitter @brianjonesblog.