At my very first youth ministry interview, I remember asking the committee if there was a youth ministry budget.
The committee said yes and I naively accepted it's answer at face value.
Shortly after accepting that job, I asked the senior pastor for a copy of my budget. In response, he questioned, “What budget?”
He assured me the youth had never needed any money before and questioned what I would do with money if I had it.
After rattling off a quick list of how I'd spend the money, the pastor told me he'd find a couple hundred dollars for me to use for the remaining five months of the year and that if I really wanted to, I could write a proposal asking our church council for money for the following year.
Using the process I've outlined throughout this series, I did just that.
After crafting my proposal, I then proceeded to meet individually with key stakeholders - people from our congregation who were, in one way or another, invested in our youth ministry.
I met with our associate pastor (my immediate supervisor) and explained my proposal, line item by line item. I did the same with key people on our church council. I shared my proposal with my adult leaders and the youth committee (largely comprised of parents) so that they, too, would have a working understanding of what I was asking for and why. I also shared my budget proposal with the students themselves because I wanted them to be conversational about the impact a budget would have on our ministry.