Last week, in my continued discussion on church economics, I shared thought number two on managing jingle in ministry. First challenge was to Manage church resources with the same care you manage your home’s resources. And last week, I challenged leaders to spend less than you receive in giving.
Because we live by a new Kingdom with a new set of values, we should live in front of our people a new and better way to manage resources. One that rejects the common practice of our culture which is to spend more than you make.
To spend less than we receive in giving, I suggested having a plan for spending freezes. For example, when giving was consistently below our budget we issued a soft-freeze to staff, which meant that the only allowed expenses were those that kept the current level of ministry.
Another learning for us was to start an equipment/project budget in each department each year. This is the amount allotted for new initiatives or new equipment (such as a new mission partnership, a move to HD, a new projector in the kids department). By having this account in each department, we are able to do two things:
(1) We are able to hold spending on those accounts across the board if giving is not meeting budget. If giving is meeting budget, go for it.
(2) We are able to zero that account out each year. This helps us do fresh planning and thinking each year instead of simply carrying over old budget amounts to a new year that may not be justified by a direction God is leading us. In other words, if the worship department budgets for a sound upgrade one year, that amount is not automatically in their budget the following year because a major upgrade may not be on the horizon for the new ministry season. In other words, just because an amount was placed in a department’s budget one year does not mean it is there again the following year because the inflated amount may have been for a project that is now complete.
If you hold to this same value “spend less than you receive in giving,” I would like to hear some ways you execute this principle. I shared to have a plan for spending freezes and utilize a project/equipment line item in each department. What would you add to that list?