Martin Luther once said: “The world is like a drunken peasant. If you lift him into the saddle on one side, he will fall off on the other side.” These are the chronicles, thoughts, and questions of a Lutheran pastor just struggling to stay on his theological horse, and not fall off one side or the other.
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
How to Do a Church Budget
Last night was our regularly scheduled church budget meeting. For the past number of years now, instead of trying to hash out the budget in a meeting after church when everyone is eager to go home and watch the football game, I invite the Executive Board over to my house for a dinner meeting. My wife cooks up a great feast, we enjoy some beer and wine with the meal and enjoy each other's company, and then after a wonderful dessert, get started on the budget. And you know what? It goes really smoothly! I am happy to say that our missions budget is now well over ten percent of our total budget. That is a goal I've been working toward. In the past years we have given more than ten percent because we've given away some of our budget surpluses, but this is the first year we've actually budgeted over ten percent. A lot of that is going to our seminarians, for we have both a pastoral ministry student and a deaconess student, and the seminary asks for a lot of support for each of them, but we are happy to do so. Now, we aren't the biggest church and we don't have the most complicated budget, but I never dread these meetings. They are always high on collaboration and we're all on the same page. And yes, it is a deficit budget, but less than previous years. And I applaud my leaders for not cutting missions just to make the budget balance. We just go forward in trust that the Lord will provide. He always has, and we believe He always will. So well done, Executive Board!