Creating a church budget

Fall quarter is budget time. If creating a budget overwhelms you, consider breaking it down into phases.

Phase 1: Meet with your senior leadership in October or November to pray about the coming year’s mission and vision. Ask questions such as:

  1. Where is God leading us in the next year?
  2. What is our church uniquely positioned to do?
  3. Where is the greatest need in our community?
  4. What areas of ministry do we see growing?

Phase 2: Meet with your ministry heads and administration to convey the vision for the coming year. Ask them to submit budget requests to support the vision and planned activities for the coming year.

Phase 3: Compile the budget into an Excel spreadsheet for presentation to the council.

Phase 4: Meet with the council to consider the budget proposal. Prayerfully consider the tithe offering projections for the coming year and plan accordingly.

Learn more about church budgeting.

Budgeting Percentages

Building a solid budget requires balancing fixed costs (e.g., mortgage, payroll, tithe), variable expenses and savings. Fixed costs that exceed 75 percent do not leave much room in the budget for ministry or savings. All of these categories are important, but must be balanced for a healthy budget.

  • 75 percent Fixed Expenses: 40 percent Compensation (Payroll, Benefits, Outside Contract Labor), Mortgage, Utilities, Repairs and Maintenance, Foursquare Extension Tithe, etc.
  • 15 percent Variable Expenses (Ministry Expenses, Office Administration, Conferences, Meals and Meeting Expenses)
  • 10 percent Savings

Learn more about how to budget effectively in changing times.

If creating a budget overwhelms you, consider breaking it down into phases.

Annual Meeting

Once your budget has been approved by the church council, plan to present your vision, budget and last year’s financials to your church. Inspire your congregation with the ways you made an impact on your community last year by reporting on what you accomplished throughout the year both spiritually and financially.

  • How did you see lives changed this year?
  • How did you uniquely minister to your congregation during the pandemic?
  • How did you help others in the church and community?
  • What percentage of your budget was given to those outside the church?

What are your plans for this year?

  • How do you plan to reach the community?
  • How can your congregation be involved?
  • How has God uniquely positioned you to invest in your community this year?

Watch this video series to learn about the biblical principles and core competencies critical to the business side of pastoral leadership.

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