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It’s December which means it’s budget time for many student and kids pastors. Time to crunch the numbers and figure out how much money you need for 2012 to pull off the ministry you lead. Budget time doesn’t have to be a drag, it can be a time to look ahead and dream. Budgets help us think through and plan for the ministry we want to pull off tomorrow. They actually can give you a map to help guide you through the upcoming year even if you need more money than what you have been given. Budget time gives us a chance to cast vision and many times step out in faith as we talk to leaders in our church about where we believe the ministry needs to go. The next 2 weeks I am finishing up several budget areas in our church and here are a few questions I am asking…

  • What if I had no budget money? What would I do? // This is an annoying question but it’s a good starting point every budget year. What if we had no money in the budget? What would be the most important things we would do? It also helps to foster a grateful heart when working with the resources we have.
  • What do I need to kill? // Every year there are things we really need to stop doing. When you stop doing things you create ministry dollars for other areas that need funding. Trust me, there are some “good” things in your ministry that need to stop so you can do something that is “great.”
  • What do I need to improve? // If you see an area that is needed but lacking energy you might need to direct some of your budget to fix the issue. Budgets should be shaped to help your ministry get better not just stay the same.
  • What is going to be new? // Every year you need to be able to identify what is going to be new! New brings energy. New fosters change. New inspires. Your budget should help you clearly shape what will be new.
  • What can wait? // This is hard. There are always things you can put off for a year in order to improve and institute new ideas in your ministry. Sometimes waiting is the best call and the best way to set up for the next year. You will never be able to pull off every great idea every year.