A Simple budget is a summary of your probable income and expenditure over a specified period of time, usually a year. It enables you to set expectations for the incoming funds and helps you optimize their use.
A reasonable budget is the ministry's lifeblood. According to a study, some churches today take a "use it or lose it" view on money in the name of serving God to bless more when it's needed. Although we are aware that God will bless us, we need to have a proper plan! Proverbs 27:23 reminds us to know the state of our flocks and to put our hearts into caring for our herds.
To create a healthy church budget, take time to read this useful guide that will surely provide you an insight on how to start.
1. Review the Church's Income
Reviewing your church's income is important to start your budget plan. Gather all the expenses statements available and evaluate if there are significant changes. Try to assess and analyze why the church's income increased or decreased over the past years. Also, see what are the sources of your income if it's coming from a donation, offerings, trust funds, and etc. In this way, you gain knowledge on how to allocate budget to certain needs.
2. Set Your Budget's Expenses
After you thoroughly review your church's income, you may now set a budget for your expenses. Some expenditures are fixed, such as rent, credit payments, and etc. Consider making a rational assessment of different expenditures. It would be safer to overestimate the expenses in accordance with the prudence principle. Also, note any vacation and urgent expenses. In this way, you may also set up an emergency fund.
3. Record Spending and Track Progress
To keep you on track with the church's expenses, record everything is it small or big. For instance, your church is planning for the construction of another church or deciding to organize a youth fellowship event. Things like this must be present on the record to avoid a mismatch of your estimated budget. In this way, you can also track the progress of where and how the money was allocated.
4. Align it with the Church's Mission or Goal
The proposed church budget must align with the church's mission. Review the church's monthly financial budget report to see the current financial situation and what are the things you need to accomplish in the next month or in the upcoming years. You must be wise in setting a budget for specific goals. There's a need to regulate the senseless outgoing of the money. Be accountable for the money that God has bestowed upon your ministry.
5. Be Transparent
Along with financial matters, transparency is the ministry's core. As a person entrusted to your church's finance department, it is your responsibility to let everyone involved and be aware of the entire process. By doing this, your churchmates will begin to know and understand better the church's needs and how their giving affects the church's improvement.