Budgeting Basics: Educating People About Your Budget

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.

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

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

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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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