SIGH - I think we set a record tonight at our annual budget meeting

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by annsni, Mar 24, 2008.

  1. annsni

    annsni
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    You know those meetings? Where you go over the budget and if anyone has questions about it? The ones that can get long and tiring - and vicious??

    Tonight's meeting - opening prayer to closing prayer - 10 minutes.

    Can anyone beat that?? :laugh:
     
  2. Joseph M. Smith

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    You certainly hooked me with your title. I thought it was going to be a weary report of nitpicking. Congratulations ... I think. Yes if it means your budget committee did a fair job of creating the budget and a clear job of presenting it, and it is challenging but reachable.

    But no orchids if this means that folks just don't care and don't intent to get behind it and support it. I have seen that about as much as I have seen the kind of meeting where (and I really did witness this) someone moved to cut the evangelism budget by $25.00 (no, the decimal is not in the wrong place) in order to "save money". So few dollars saved and so much said about souls that may not be saved!
     
  3. rbell

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    Sorry to disappoint, but...........yes. :D

    2 months ago, business meeting: 8 minutes. 5 of those minutes were reading the new members to be voted on.

    But we once were the church known for the fights. Thank God He didn't give up on us! It feels good to be in unity.
     
  4. annsni

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    Joseph - I love when I see your name. My brother, father and grandfather are/were all Joseph Smith. :D

    I've found at this church that pretty much everyone trusts the finance committee and the pastors. We have a pastor who was an accountant in his former life and he makes sure the money issues are watched carefully. Everyone knows that the staff gets new health insurance every year because of costs - by switching, we save money each year - and that we are very careful with any spending that is done. We have an independent firm audit the books yearly and that is reported to the congregation as well. I've never seen nit-picking here since I've been a member (12 years now), and I've never heard grumblings. :) It's a great blessing.
     
  5. annsni

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    But was it over finances?? LOL

    We do the new members vote in church on Sunday morning.

    This coming Sunday night will be our full church annual meeting. It's a pot luck dinner for 650 people and the business part of the meeting will literally take about 35 seconds. It's just voting on the new budget. :) Then it's dessert time! LOL!
     
  6. rbell

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    Of course, ann, when a church reaches the size yours is, they tend to become much more leadership-driven. Having a democratic decision on every detail would grind a church of thousands to an absolute halt.

    The trick is preserving the voice of the congregation on the items that are the most important.....but letting the carpet choice in the preschool be handled outside of a business meeting.
     
  7. annsni

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    So true! My IL's church had a church split over the curtains in the parlor. Seriously. For decorating at our church (and we just added 25,000 square feet to the building), it's our senior pastor, the associate pastor's wife, the senior pastor's daughter and sometimes another person or two to make decisions on what is chosen (I was involved in some of it - the baseboard color in the new kitchen, the handles on the cabinets and I helped to choose which wallpaper best matches what we currently have). That's it. :) And I have to say, everyone says "It looks so nice!" when they see it. LOL!
     
  8. SaggyWoman

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    Voting on new members. I couldn't tell you how long it has been since I have voted on new members.
     
  9. ccrobinson

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    Vote on new members? I have no idea what that means. I suppose if I grew up in a Baptist church I would know what that means, but I didn't and I don't. Would somebody please be so kind as to explain what it means?
     
  10. SaggyWoman

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    I don't have the energy or tact to explain it.
     
  11. Benjamin

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    Excuse the interuption, but I got to tell you I found that really funny. :laugh:
     
  12. annsni

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    Do other churches have issues with new members?

    In our church, most new members are part of a small group so they already have those in the church who know them. They meet with the pastors for either a 4 hour session on a Saturday or a one night a week for 4 weeks thing at the different pastors' homes to learn about the church and such. Once we get to the vote, we know whether or not they're eligible to become members - and we've never had anyone get to the vote and someone say "no" to them.

    I'm guessing in other churches it's different?
     
  13. skypair

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    anni,

    Long Island -- what budget?! :laugh:

    My wife and I visited East Hampton at the behest of a couple we met on cruise 16 years ago. Little did we know! Another "guest" was dating John Gotti's ex-girlfriend! Got her a "back door" discount on a real fur!

    Howard Stern was the "don't miss" Saturday night viewing just before Christmas (I'd never seen him before). They all crowded into the living room like Brazilians on vacation in Uraguay trying to keep up with the "soaps" back home!

    I hope (and pray) that you are reaching those folks for Christ!

    skypair
     
  14. JerryL

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    In a church that large is it ok to have a business metting that last only 10 minutes? It seems to me the Pastor has too much authority. The Church seems to have no say. Maybe that just me.
     
  15. annsni

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    LOL - That's the Hamptons - "Out East" for us. We're about an hour outside the city on the North Shore of Long Island. It's more of Rosie O'Donnel's hometown than the Hamptons. While it IS a nice area, it's certainly not the area of the rich and famous. :)

    As for reaching those for Christ? We're trying. We're trying. It's hard here. You know how there's the "Bible Belt"? Well, we're the armpit. Seriously. Everyone is "religious" but very few know God. Our particular area is predominantly Catholic - but not even religious Catholic but cultural Catholic. But God has us here for a reason. :)
     
  16. rbell

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    When a church is very large, more decisions are made by church leadership (not necessarily paid staff). A "pure democracy" would shut a church of 1,000 down.

    And some of our business meetings are longer than ten minutes; it's just that we no longer have the hour-long, unfocused, time-wasting "gripe sessions" that our particular church had become known for.

    I know you're not advocating that...it's that we had gone to the extreme the other way.

    Besides....some churches, IMO, should learn to trust their staff:

    Case in point: When I arrived at my church, there was a rule that any expenditure over $25 (!) had to be PRE-APPROVED by the finance committee. Now, that rule was not being enforced, and in fact was buried in a document unknown to me at my hiring (don't ask). Never mind that I had been doing youth ministry for 14 years at that point, and had put together events with budgets in the thousands of dollars. If I followed that rule, my ministry would grind to a halt. And the folks finally realized that and excised that insane regulation. I mean, I could take your kid across 3 states for a week....but I couldn't be trusted to spend $25.01. Eight years, several hundred people, and a ton of work later.....we are no longer that church (thank God!)>

    Accountability? Yep. Dictatorship? Nope. Common sense? Sure would be nice...
     
  17. JerryL

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    I'm all for not having the petty discussions. Our particular group leaders run their aspects of the budget, but isn't 10 minutes short? It just seems the congregation is saying yes to anything.
     
    #17 JerryL, Mar 25, 2008
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  18. rbell

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    Our church principles in this area:
    • By and large, a staff member oversees all budget line items. For instance....anything regarding the youth ministry, A/V budget, and van/transportation is my ballpark.
    • We believe in financial transparency. If a church member wants to know about our finances at church, we'll tell them. Questions don't go "ignored" or unanswered.
    • Extra-budgetary purchases, constitutional change, staff changes, purchasing land/buildings, incurring/restructuring debt, and missional/associational affiliations MUST be voted on. We also vote on candidates for membership (during business meeting; there's a process a bit too involved to go into here). For most every other issue, we inform the church, but we do not take a vote. If I want to spend $1,500 on a new projector, and the item is budgeted, then I go get it.
    • Leadership teams/committees are the decision-makers for many items (or at least the official "recommenders.") Our deacons minister to the flock, help in service, take the lead in welcoming guests and new members, and lead our congregation's prayer life. They don't "administrate."
     
  19. annsni

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    If you're talking about our meeting, it was the budget meeting. This was the meeting to present and explain the budget. That's it. The only other "meeting" that the church needs to be at is the annual dinner. The annual dinner will contain the budget vote - and passes without incident because any questions are supposed to be addressed at the budget meeting the week before. If you didn't come to the budget meeting, there's nothing for you to say at the annual meeting.

    Other than that, the church votes on deacons and new members. That's about it. There's really nothing else that the whole congregation needs to be involved in that I can think of. We have a large staff (over 40 people) who are good at what they do and a pastoral staff that seeks God for direction and wisdom on leading the church. It's worked well for the last 40 years that our senior pastor has been here! :)
     
  20. annsni

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    The budget has been passed out to anyone who wants it (it's actually been sitting at our information table for weeks), and if they had questions, they were welcome to come to the meeting and ask. But we're an open church - and most of the time, you can walk right up to the administrative pastor and say "Hey Andy - what does "Public Ministry Expense" consist of and why are we so under budget?" and he'll answer them. Most everyone knows everyone so it's pretty easy to just approach someone about it. It's also well known that we have the independent audit yearly so they know the books are checked by someone not even associated with the church.

    I guess trust comes in here.
     

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