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How to Set a Good Church Budget

How to Set a Good Church Budget

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How to Set a Good Church Budget

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  1. How to Set a Good Church Budget

  2. The Lord’s Plan for Church Finance • “The Lord’s perfect plan of church finance does indeed have a twofold purpose: to assist every Christian in growing in the likeness of Christ by liberal giving and to enable the grandest work on earth to be accomplished in an orderly and sane way” (Mac Layton, How to Build a Great Church, Searcy, AR: Resource Publication, 1987, p. 284).

  3. The Church Budget • It is a goal, a vision of the future. • It is a plan, a blueprint of the work. • It is a map that points out the best road. • It is a picture for all to see and know. • It is a ladder for higher stewardship. • It is an operation cutting out bad schemes. • It is a satisfaction where each can have a part. • It is an opportunity for knowledge of the work. • Layton, pp. 284-285.

  4. Important Truths to Remember • Most Christians are willing to do more than they are being taught and challenged to do today. • Christians are lost so often, not because they are asked to do and give too much, but because they are asked to do too little. • Christians will gladly receive the whole counsel of God on giving if we will teach it. • Layton, p. 285.

  5. Elders Must Watch for Souls • Hebrews 13:17 “Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.”

  6. Things the Church Must Know • The entire church must be informed about the pure and good intent of its leaders. • When it is made clear that giving is in response to the will of God, that it is a grace that makes us more like Christ, and that we must practice it faithfully to have treasures in heaven, the church will give. • Layton, p. 285.

  7. Be Careful Not to Discourage Giving • Congregations have discouraged liberal giving by presenting the idea that the church only needed so much to do the work it was doing, just enough to pay the bills, and that was it. • There was no vision, no giving by ability, no challenge to do more for Christ in such a budget. • Layton, p. 285.

  8. Be Careful Not to Discourage Giving • The system most churches use to set their budgets is the “guesswork” system. • They “guess” what the budget should be, probably a little above last year’s, or maybe a lower since some families moved away. • The figure usually is just “pulled out of the hat” with absolutely no idea if it reflects ability or responsibility to give. • Layton, p. 285.

  9. Be Careful Not to Discourage Giving • The main concern of the budget of the church must be in building men and women in the image of Christ. • Philippians 2:5-8 • If the church budget is set too low, it is a stumbling block that encourages covetousness; if it is set too high, it is unrealistic. • Layton, p. 286.

  10. God Expects Each to Give • The great question for church leaders is: • What does the Lord want in the matter of a church budget? How do we go about arriving at a figure that is scriptural, intelligent, and effective? (Layton, 286). • Each should give as he is prospered. • 1 Corinthians 16:1-2 “Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also: On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come.”

  11. God Expects Each to Give • A budget needs to be set based on the purpose the members have for their giving for the coming year. • Each should give as he purposes in his heart • 2 Corinthians 9:7a “So let each one give as he purposes in his heart,…” • Each should give cheerfully • 2 Corinthians 9:7b “…not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.”

  12. Giving with a Purpose • Elders do not have the right to ask anything more than giving as one is prospered. • However, elders should not ask for any less either. • If elders, then, could discover what every Christian purposes to give of their prosperity in the coming year and add it together they would have the perfect budget.

  13. A Budget with No Pre-Set Figures • In this budget, the church sets the budget. • Every year, the elders begin at zero. • On the first Sunday of December, all members join together to set the budget with their purpose. • Elders are saying, “We are depending on you.” • Elders are concerned that each has a right relationship with God in his/her giving and the budget represents the Lord’s will and the abilities of his people to give.

  14. The Framework • Six weeks before the first Sunday in December, Purpose Sunday is announced and bulletin articles begin on the grace of giving and stewardship. • Brief, one-minute announcements are made by the elders encouraging everyone to be present and ready to purpose. Beginning four weeks out, first class letters are sent each week to every family with a good tract on giving or vision enclosed.

  15. The Framework • Emphasis is placed on 100% participation. • The entire adult and teen population of the church have an opportunity to declare their dreams and wishes regarding the work of the church for the coming year. • The planning sheet is mailed to each member the week before. • Layton, pp. 289-290.

  16. Planning Day • Planning Day is held during the Sunday morning Bible School period. • The elders are forbidden to express their opinions. • No gripes or complaints are allowed during the meeting, with members being urged to take these directly to the elders. • This is an invaluable tool of communication.

  17. Planning Sheet for the New Year This Sunday morning during the Bible School period, all adults and teens will meet to offer suggestions, plans, and good ideas for the work of the Lord in the New Year just ahead. Please use this sheet to write in your ideas, then come to share them this Sunday morning. Come to the auditorium first, and assignments will be made as to which group you will be in, with an elder serving as discussion leader.

  18. Planning Sheet for the New Year • Here is what I would like to see us do in soul-winning, outreach in the new year: • Here is what I would like to see us do in our Bible School, education work: • Here is what I would like to see us do in our youth work: • Here is what I would like to see us do in benevolence, helping the needy:

  19. Planning Sheet for the New Year Here is what I would like to see us do in missions, at home and away: Here are things I would like to see to improve our love and fellowship: Here is what I would like to see us do in special training, meetings: Here is what I would like to see us do to help strengthen our homes and marriages:

  20. Planning Sheet for the New Year Here is what I would like to see us do in improving and expanding our building facilities, auditorium, classrooms, etc.: Here is what I would like to see us do in new fields of work and service: Here is what I need for my own spiritual enrichment and service: You can count on me to help make this New Year the best ever in our service to Christ: Signed

  21. Purpose Day • During the worship hour, a stunning slide presentation with pictures of the past year’s work is presented. • During the presentation, a superb recording of various staff members describing the work is playing. • Special emphasis is placed on new things the elders plan to do in the coming year.

  22. Preaching and Teaching

  23. Taft to Eisenhower Group Trip

  24. Training Future Leaders

  25. Youth Day

  26. Vacation Bible School

  27. Mission Work in Honduras

  28. Mission Work in Honduras

  29. Ernesto Rigor – Philippines

  30. Brett Rutherford – Tasmania, Australia

  31. Kerry Sword – Ukraine

  32. Don Iverson – India

  33. Purpose Day • Purpose cards are handed out at the end of the presentation. • Even children are encouraged to purpose so they can learn to plan to give. • Once the cards are handed in, the elders total them and destroy the cards. • The total is announced that night. • Those who were not present receive a letter signed by the elders and a purpose card so the final total can be announced the next Lord’s day evening.

  34. Budget Sunday • The elders get to work with the total purposed and the budgetary needs of the deacons. • One night is set aside to bring it all together, taking into consideration the suggestions of the members. • The first Sunday of the new year is used to present the new budget.

  35. Great Values of the Plan to the Lord’s Work • A great spirit of confidence is generated. • There is a sure demonstration of faith. • Beginning at zero and basing the budget on the member’s purpose shows faith in them. • A great sense of loyalty is created (95-100%). • The purpose card is easily filled in because each only commits as he/she is able to give. • There is a broad sense of participation. • There is joy and satisfaction.