For many, the thought of budgeting for the upcoming year is dreadful. For some of us, when we think of “Budget Time,” we think of Excel Spreadsheets, number crunching, calculators (if you’re awesome, you’ll use the calculator APP on your iPad,) THE meeting, THE vote, the recalculating of the budget, and so on and so forth. I love this time of the year, but not for the busy work aspect of it. I love it for the opportunity I have to utilize our resources to reach and equip students here in RDU. Let me share with you some thoughts I have on budgeting for your ministry.
1. The Budget backs the Vision: (Or the Vision DRIVES the budget!) Don’t just throw money into certain line items because they’ve “always been that way.” Work with your staff and the Elders/Deacons at your church to align your budget as much as possible to your vision. Remember, vision should drive the budget.
2. Dream Big: When the budget proposals start rolling in, the dreams start flowing. When you turn in your budget proposal to your staff, you’re turning in your vision. Numbers are just numbers if there’s no vision to drive it.
3. Don’t Complain, Use what You’ve Got! Let’s face it, most of us out there aren’t going to go from having a Student Ministry budget of $10,000 one year to having $45,000 the next. Most likely, your massive budget request in most churches will come back MUCH SMALLER than you had hoped.In my first student ministry position, my budget was, well, less than desirable. One of the leaders in the church encouraged me with some old school advice that God used to convict me and challenge me. He simply looked me in the eyes and said “Quit complaining and use what you’ve got to reach students for the the Kingdom of God.” Reality Check. I’ve used the line so many times. But this time it was real. We got creative, and stretched that budget as far as it would go. It was also one the most fruitful year of ministry we had during my time there. God is faithful. Plan and simple.