Budgeting Basics: Cutting Your Budget

Churches today are struggling financially.

Oh, I know that's not true of ALL of them.

But I know it's true of a lot of them.

As a result, it's entirely possible for you to do the hard work of crafting a budget proposal only to be told, “We'd love to fund everything you proposed but we just can't. The money is just not there so you need to cut your proposed budget by 10% (or 30% or 50%).” What do you do then?

First, let me tell you what not to do.

Don't compare. It doesn't matter how well-funded (or not) the music, children's, or outreach ministries in your church are. You won't win friends by whining about why another ministry gets more money than yours does. Instead, remember that you're ALL part of the same team. You're all necessary and good parts of God's kingdom work.

With that in mind, let's get to the tough work of cutting your budget.

Before you cut anything, consider: What's your ministry's mission?

Knowing your answer to that question will help you make difficult cuts. Instead of cutting the most or least expensive thing from your ministry's budget, think instead about how each line item impacts your ministry's mission. The more crucial a line item is to fulfilling your ministry's mission, the less likely you should be to cut that line item.

With that as a guiding principle, there are two approaches you can take to cutting your budget.

Read the rest of this article here. 

Jen Bradbury on Youth Ministry

Jen serves as the Minister of Youth and Family at Atonement Lutheran Church in Barrington, Illinois. A veteran youth worker, Jen holds an MA in Youth Ministry Leadership from Huntington University. Jen is the author of The Jesus Gap: What Teens Actually Believe about Jesus (The Youth Cartel), The Real Jesus (The Youth Cartel), Unleashing the Hidden Potential of Your Student Leaders (Abingdon), and A Mission That Matters (Abingdon). Her writing has also appeared in YouthWorker Journal, Immerse, and The Christian Century. Jen is also the Assistant Director of Arbor Research Group where she has led many national studies. When not doing ministry or research, she and her husband, Doug, and daughter, Hope, can be found traveling and enjoying life together.

More about Jen

Jen's Books

Now Available!

A Mission That Matters: How To Do Short-Term Missions Without Long-Term Harm

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Now Available!

Unleashing the Hidden Potential of your Student Leaders

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The Real Jesus

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The Jesus Gap

What Teens Actually Believe About Jesus

Based on National Research

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