Here’s a question for you as a youth pastor or youth leader – What is one of the best way you can gain respect from the pastors, boards, parents, and other adults of your church? In a word…budget. Your budget, like it or not, allows you to gain respect from others in the church. Both developing and maintaining a budget builds integrity, accountability, and trust into your ministry. It can be that powerful. So that being said, what are some tips to make this budget thing happen…
- Start Early. Budgeting for the next year should not start in the last week of December. It should be a year-long consideration. As you go throughout the year, make notes for the coming year of budget needs and decreases. For example, if your senior class next year is increasing significantly, then you will need to increase your senior gift budget. If your junior high class is a small one, then adjust your junior high budget accordingly.
- Additions. What a blessing to add ministry budget lines. Just recently, we began a dedicated junior high ministry. With a vision to continue to expand this ministry, it now became time to consider adding this as a separate line item.
- Subtractions. It’s life. Programs do not always work or need to be retooled. Don’t leave “Boogie Fever” night from the 70’s on your budget line 30 years later. It’s time to retire the bell bottoms and delete that line item.
- Keep Track. Keep a log of all your expense throughout the year and keep a conversation going with your budget administrator. Again, a budget builds trust equity, and if you are way over budget and do not realize it, it does not build trust.
- Reflect Your Vision. Your budget should reflect your philosophy of ministry and your vision. If your vision is to reach the lost, then your budget should prioritize outreach. If your vision includes spiritual growth, then your budget may need to have an increase in curriculum or resources. Sure there is balance, but there also needs to be purpose to your budget.