Ironicschmoozer’s Weblog

March 18, 2012, 5:27 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Our figures do not quite match the range she provides for expense categories, depending on if she counts “program” as including staff salaries for those programs (e.g., music and religious education). Also, if we were to fully fund our denominational and district dues, it would be 5% of our total budget. We do have our stewardship campaign before the Board finishes the budget proposal for the congregation. Smaller churches often do a budget first, but as you can see she does not recommend this. We are off to a great start in the current stewardship campaign, in terms of increased pledges and good energy. Yet, as usual, we are still waiting on half of our households to turn in a pledge form. The Board meets to work on the budget next week, so I’m getting nervous!

Congregations must be as creative and diligent as ever in their stewardship efforts as we navigate the long and winding road to economic recovery.

Our annual funding is the fuel that fills the tank of the vehicle we call the annual operating budget. And despite our efforts at fuel efficiency, it seems like the costs keep on increasing!

Annual operating budgets are one way congregations estimate and track their income and expenditures from one year to the next. At best, budgets are road maps that guide the congregation on its financial journey, aligning its priorities, core values, and mission. Budgets provide a framework for organizing and viewing the congregation’s financial picture. Budgets tell our story and teach us about our shared mission, values, and identity as a faith community. Good budget planning and financial management procedures are essential aspects of effective stewardship and healthy congregations.

However, as many experienced stewardship…

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