It is now time for you to begin your annual campaign. It is April and you need to get ready now. How can this be? Most of you have scheduled an October or November campaign. April does seem a bit early. After all, you do not have a good feel yet for what income is going to be like in 2017, so how can you project 2018? How can you construct a budget so early?
This is exactly the problem. Your budget process should not start with checking the previous year’s income or trying to guess next year’s income. Your budget process begins by answering the question, “What is God wanting us to do on His behalf going forward?” It begins with a discernment process into where God is trying to take you.
This is the month to gather your key leaders in a retreat to listen and discern God’s call for your church. What especially is He calling you to be or to go as you look ahead? What might He be calling you to leave behind? No talk of money or plan – just let God take control. This could take a couple of months. Once that is discerned, you go to step two.
Step Two – This is the step where your ministry teams and/or staff prepare the plans to accomplish God’s call upon your church. Everything must be justified off of the discerned Vision. This too could easily take two to three months.
Step Three – The plans go to the finance team to determine how to budget for them. The priorities of funding center around the Vision and are then shared with the congregation through a Missional Budget format. Set aside two more months.
The longer you wait to get started the more chance you take that Step Three will overcome Step One. This is a sure-fire way to ensure stagnation and decline.
So, go ahead…. get started on the 2018 Budget Campaign.