Some of you know that I love my work with the finances of our church. I love numbers and spreadsheets generally, and I love seeing how our ministries thrive when resources are available. The tool that we use to guide our spending is our operating budget.
The Budget Team is a dedicated group of elders, deacons, and staff. We have been meeting over the past several months to develop the 2019-20 operating budget.
Starting each fall, the budget team meets monthly and hears reports of giving and expenses, and projects how the current fiscal year will end. Over the fall, we also discuss things that we know will be occurring during the upcoming year, including ministry opportunities as well as needs of our infrastructure (such as facilities and grounds).
The first meeting of the new year has a goal to set the budget total for the upcoming year and present it to the Board of Deacons. In addition, we take that total and divide it among the major segments of the operating budget: personnel costs, missions, facilities and operations, mortgage, and ministry programs. The deacons act on that recommendation and direct the ministry leaders to budget toward those segment totals.
Over the course of the next two or three months, the ministry leaders work on the details of their budget planning, and the deacons receive all of that information from them in late March. At the April deacon meeting, the whole budget is available to the deacons, and they approve it as a proposal for the membership to vote on at the annual meeting.
The next few weeks after that are filled with writing the documents that will contain the budget proposal. Then, three weeks or so before the annual meeting, the proposed budget summary is made available to the members via webpage in preparation for the vote. You can peruse this proposed budget here.
We hope you’ll agree that the result is a wise and effective allocation of financial resources to propel our ministry forward into the next year!
If you have any questions about this process, or about any details of our financial status as a church, please feel free to ask! I love to listen to your thoughts and share with you how things work in our financial realm.