Isaac: We should not have any reserve funds…I want all money coming in going
directly to ministry.
Me: Hmmm, great thought Isaac. However, if we miss the offering budget
number even one week then you don’t get paid if we don’t have enough.
Isaac: I don’t care.
Me: Your family will.
Isaac: Good point.
It’s hard to talk about saving/spending and God’s plan for the church. How much should you save? How much should you spend? Should you buy a $1000 microphone? How about a $100 one?
Here is what we do at Summit Church. This may help or it may solidify in your mind that we are crazy. Either way that may be helpful!?
-Each year Isaac prays that God will show him what “faithful” looks like for our congregation. He prays, looks at current numbers of regular giving units, then multiplies that by 10% of $40,000 (a tithe on an average salary of $40k). That is the number he starts with. That is the number that usually makes its way to our target number for the year. We make expenses fit that number. We say God asks for people to be faithful, why would we ask for less?
-We buy the best where it matters, and don’t where it doesn’t. Our downstairs where all the people come and go each week was renovated (about $2 million) to look nice. Upstairs where the offices are we have spent about $5 to make look nice. The goal is to have nothing be a distraction from the worship of God. No one should stay because of what we own, but no one should leave because of it either.
-We (our operations team) finally decided, after a conversation like the one above, that we would make it a goal to have 90 days cash on hand for a reserve fund. Granted, we are not there yet. However, that is the goal. We decided it was necessary to be able to have 6 months worth of ability to operate if offerings were cut in half due to unforeseen circumstances.
We have yet to miss budget for the year after 6 years in existence. God is faithful.
There it is in 400 words. Budget. Spend. Save. Buy a $1000 microphone if it means that someone can worship without distraction because of the voice it magnifies.