Through prayer, our church has laid out its 2020 Vision, and we are seeking to be a congregation that God can use to achieve that vision. Just as you can tell a person's priorities by their checkbook, our church finances should reflect our priorities. Here is a snapshot our current year budget.
Mortar includes buildings, vehicles, equipment, utilities, maintenance/repair of facilities, insurance policies, security, custodial supplies, heating/cooling/plumbing, roofing/flooring, landscaping, mowing, parking lots, and grounds.
Mission includes activities outside our church walls. This includes UMC apportionments, missionary support, off campus community partnerships (i.e. food bank and clothing ministries), mission teams, Hardly Able and other outreach ministries.
Ministry includes all activities making disciples within our walls. This includes life groups, infant, children, youth, college, and adult programs, along with all worship services and special events.
Admin includes finances, websites, scheduling, record-keeping, correspondence, internal and external communications, marketing, generating materials (printed and electronic), and food service.
As you can see in our 2015 budget, we are definitely focused on ministry. Dave Ramsey says you can tell what is important to a family by looking at their budget and the same is true of a church. Clearly, disciple-making ministry is valued by the Lynn Haven congregation. There are many opinions on what a church budget should look like. The Extravagant Generosity Team is in the process of reading “Change the World: Recovering the Message and Mission of Jesus” by Pastor Mike Slaughter. Mike's congregation is definitely mission-minded and effectively reaching many people for Christ. So we used their budget as a guide in developing our ideal budget. If we are to reach 2020 people for Christ in the next five years and want to continue to be a fruitful congregation for Christ beyond 2020, we propose that we work towards a 2020 budget that reflects our priorities.
It would be naive to say this will be an easy transition to make! In fact, the Extravagant Generosity Team will be working closely with the Finance Committee and staff members over the next five years (especially during each years budgeting process) to assist in adjusting the percentages of our budget going to mortar, mission, ministry, and admin.
Hopefully, you have recognized by now that we haven't mentioned dollar amounts, just percentages. Just like a family deciding to change their spending habits, we must first decide to make a change, then put a plan in place to meet our new priorities. The Extravagant Generosity Team believes adjusting the budget over the next five years is critical to achieving our 2020 Vision. If we apply a straight-line adjustment, we will decrease mortar by 1.3% each year, increase mission by 3.5% each year, decrease ministry by 1.6% each year, and decrease admin by .6% each year.
We encourage your active engagement in this process of reallocating God's resources through prayer, wisdom, and discernment. We look forward to the joy we will witness as lives are changed and disciples for Christ made by our faithful participation in God’s calling.