Budgeting ideas for the financially impaired
Every April I get an email from our Executive Pastor with the title “BUDGET TIME” in the subject memo which creates 8 weeks of proposing a budget for a new fiscal year of ministry responsibility that is never as big as the dreams I have for youth ministry. Majority of the time I’ve seen youth pastors be handed a budget with a “make it work” type statement attached to it.
A long time ago I quit griping about “my budget isn’t big enough” because I believe God isn’t worried about my budget. He is worried about the students that He loves & need Jesus intimately in their life. Money can’t stop Jesus from impacting lives-
So here are some ideas for those of us who feel our ministries are FINANCIALLY IMPAIRED when it comes to our budgets.
1- If you are the type of person who cannot balance your check-book, don’t pay bills on time & have no clue how to save then you should not be responsible for your youth budget. Humbly ask someone who is to help you use whatever funds you are given responsibly.
2- Fundraise, but don’t do it alone. I have seen some really smart, creative people plan & organize fundraisers that bless my ministry. Often the fundraisers we’ve done have been great for students to be an integral part, adults get chances to help & people show up to lovingly give to the ministry. Be creative & maximize the returns you’ll have from the energies put into it. We’ve done Silent Auctions, ran a Christmas tree lot, operated a fireworks booth, held Benefit Golf games, Partnered with community restaurants for % sharing nights, hired out students for labor based jobs (cleaning garages/homes, yard work, etc).
3- Ask for donations. When I’ve been around people who have said “hey let me know if you need anything to help your ministry” I am more than ok replying “I need donations, can you help me gather some?” I am always honest & open with people of where I need funds to go to be it scholarships, outreach events, youth room improvements, tech/sound gear. Also sometimes if you ask nicely local business may give your ministry some freebies for tax donations purposes.
4- Go simple & refocus your energies. Yes this is hard, but changing event ideas, altering trips & asking for parental help with supplies can create some really great youth ministry highlights. When was the last time you borrow some tents from church families and just went weekend camping with students? How about collect cereal boxes, hide them at people’s homes in the church & create a scavenger hunt for your students? Call up a veteran youth worker and ask “in the old days what events did you do that were cheap or zero cost?” Then recreate the events.
I refuse to let fiancés get in the way of healthy ministry. Ministry is about eyes, ears & heartbeats not decimal points and dollar signs.
Feel free to email me to discuss any of this in further detail.
Happy Budget talks!