Tag Archives: Budget

5 Tips for One of the Most Important Jobs of a Youth Leader – Budgeting

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…

  1. 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.
  2. budgeting-tips.pngAdditions.  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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.


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Youth Curriculum Review Series (Cont.) – 2013-14 Edition

Curriculum Review:  Generation Change by Dave Ramsey, featuring Rachel Cruzegenchange_home_product

The Good:

The practicality is through the roof with this series. What teenager can’t use a lesson on finances, especially with a Biblical foundation? Seriously, some of these students had no clue how to manage money. If they practice the principles in this series, we are talking about saving them some major heartache.

The Biblical foundation was the best “good” of this curriculum. Without it, you could find these principles on a book in Barnes & Noble. But with the Biblical lessons and Scriptural backing for each point, it gave the material authority and reason for life changes, specifically in the area of money.

Dave Ramsey’s daughter Rachel Cruze was the main speaker on the DVD’s. Her youth served her well in the sense of relevance. She was able to speak the language of the teens well, and tune into what they were thinking throughout the series. Rachel easily held the attention of the room, and did a great job presenting the material.

A word that comes to mind for this series is “sharp”. I would call this sharp material. What I mean is the leader guide was well-designed; the DVD’s were dynamic and engaging, including an artistic presentation in each DVD that was incredible. The overall package was impressive

The Bad:

The price may seem like it should go in the bad category, but when you see the price of the adult material, you will be thankful. However, one bad in purchasing all 3 sets in the series, was there was some material that was repeated. Since these DVD sets could stand alone in a study, I’m guessing that is why the material found itself repeating on occasion.

Another bad, more a slightly bad, would be the Biblical study required a little more prep on the leader’s part. There was definitely material as a foundation, but there were time when it lacked depth. Maybe my standards are high, but I was thirsty for more.

Lastly, there was some advice that was a little “shoot for the moon”. No debt from college? Pay for your 1st house with cash? Now I’m all for not getting into debt and living within your means, but there were statements like these that raised my eyebrows. With the income levels of my students, some debt management statements in my opinion were a little unrealistic.

The Grade: A-

If the students review was any indication of its worth, then it immediately should be considered in the “A” category. When I asked the students what they thought of the series, several of them said it was their favorite one they have studied. That’s a big statement. So, do these students just like talking about money or did this series truly have a spiritual impact? I’m going to go with yes.

Extras:  YouTube Videos: http://youtu.be/1DUYlHZsZfc & http://youtu.be/eGVpKaxnuBU

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Top 10 Youth or Student Ministry Books

Here are a few that I would recommend (put in order of my favorites):

  1. Family Based Youth Ministryby Mark DeVries (My youth pastor growing up had me read this.  It redefined for me the role of the youth pastor, and my philosophy was forever changed.)
  2. The Greenhouse Projectby Mel Walker & Mike Calhoun (A collection of writings from some of my favorite people in youth ministry)
  3. Youth Ministry Management Tools (This book is awesome as a resource.  Not for simple reading, but will help you with administration – planning events, budget, team-building, etc.)
  4. Purpose Driven Youth Ministryby Doug Fields (Classic that reshaped youth ministry to what it is today, in a good way)
  5. Shaping the Spiritual Life of Studentsby Richard Dunn (One of the first youth ministry books I read, and loved the insight of walking along students in their lives)
  6. Pushing the Limitsby Mel Walker
  7. Sustainable Youth Ministryby Mark DeVries (One of my prayers is longevity in ministry, this book will help)
  8. ReThinkby Steve Wright
  9. Controlled Chaosby Kurt Johnston (Jr. High ministry, could you tell by the title?)
  10. 4 Hour Youth Ministryby Timothy Eldred (Want to get more efficient, or your teens more involved, here ya go)

Honorary Mention:  You Lost Me by David Kinnaman; Already Gone by Ken Ham

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