Here are some thoughts concerning a church’s budget. These thoughts are in no particular order of relevance or importance.
- A budget communicates what is important to a church. Suffice it to say, if you, as a pastor speak about the great lostness around the world but there is a minimal amount of your budget allocated towards that burden than you and your church are not really burdened, at least not to the point where money is doing any talking. And we all know money talks.
- A budget is a highly spiritual document. Of course I don’t mean in any inspirational sense like that of the Scriptures but I do mean that even line-items such as “general operating expenses” are a stewardship issue. No such dichotomy of sacred and secular exists. All of life is sacred, even the infamous budget planning meetings (or whatever your church calls them).
- Pastors should seek to influence the planning of a church’s budget. If you’re in a position to exert influence in the development and presentation of your church’s budget and you’re simply not engaged in any capacity you’re squandering an opportunity to cast influence in leading the church to embrace certain values and priorities.
- Not exerting influence over a church’s budget is an abdication in some capacity of pastoral leadership. Yes, I am fully aware that it takes more time at some churches than it does others to exert influence, but my point is that a pastor should at the very least be attempting to wield influence in this area rather than abdicate it. Why? Because a church’s budget is more than a bunch of numbers. A church budget communicates what’s important to that church.
- Planning and implementing a budget is very much a discipleship issue. Discipleship can happen in instances other than the one-on-one meeting with another brother or sister whereby you teach them about the Scriptures and point them to Jesus. It can and should happen as you walk through line-item after line-item with your stewardship team (or whatever your church calls it) and explain why you’re doing this or not doing that, while grounding it in the word.
Hopefully your church continues to increase its financial intentionality of making much of Jesus because He deserves the very best in every area of our church-life, even a bunch of numbers that comprise a budget.