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What are your church's budget meetings like?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by annsni, Mar 23, 2010.

  1. annsni

    annsni Administrator
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    At our church, we have a finance committee made up of some of the deacons and pastors who work together to make up the budget and to make financial decisions and the congregation is not involved in that. We then have a budget meeting once the new budget is written up and anyone can come to that to hear the budget presented, ask questions and such. Then finally, we have our annual dinner with the budget vote and while the dinner is a huge long potluck dinner with games, skits, fun and such, the vote only takes about a minute or so and in all the years I've been at this church, the budget passed quickly.

    Now what surprised me the first time I went to the budget meeting was just how anticlimactic it was! It would take about 20 minutes to present the budget and then MAYBE there was a question or two but the whole meeting would last maybe 30 minutes. I was surprised that there were no arguments, no harsh words or anything like that.

    So last night was our budget meeting. Only 4 people came who were outside of the staff/deacons and the only question was "So we're working at a deficit?" because we've been taking in less money per week than what we need to do the budget. But the answer to that was "According to the budget we are but because we don't do anything if we don't have the money, we've been cutting costs so that we're not getting to the budget limits so we're within the practical budget and below the actual budget."

    Are we the only church that has budget meetings like this? I know that we have an administrative pastor who's in charge of all of the finances and he makes sure that we're audited every year and the books are quite transparent. He's SO tight financially and is really careful with money so we know that money isn't just being tossed around willy-nilly so I think that helps but still! Our old church would argue over the toilet paper brand and here's a budget of over $2 million that had just one question??? LOL I mean the meeting was at 7:30 and I was still able to make it to Friendly's before 8 to get in on the fund raiser for Downs Syndrome. :thumbs:
     
  2. donnA

    donnA New Member

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    we have a budget team, made up of people qualifed to work with numbers, one is a cpa , they form a budget based on church needs and budget requests submitted by each ministry, at business meeting the church discusses it votes to approve it (or I guess disapprove if it were a bad budget, but have never seen that happen).
     
  3. Tom Bryant

    Tom Bryant Active Member

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    Isn't it nice when god's people do God's business with a Godly attitude!

    Ours are quite peaceful because after 12 years of transparent, open decision making, people trust the financial people. The monthly financial statements are available in the lobby, so nothing is being done in the back room.

    What also helps us is that as we present the budget, we tie it to ministry that is going on. For example, We don't just talk about how much we're spending on Bible study material, we talk about the people in the SS and small groups and what they are learning. With our cleaning supply budget, we talk about how guests view the buildings. We try to tie everything to what God is doing in the church.

    Like your church, we are not currently meeting our budgeted needs, but we don't spend money if it is not there.
     
  4. rbell

    rbell Active Member

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    Ann, we're similar.

    Honestly, our budget meetings are boring. In a good way. Drama-free.

    I hope I never return to the days of stupid arguments, and (destructive) agenda-driven business meetings. It's nice seeing God's folks get along.
     
  5. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus Well-Known Member
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    mercifully brief
     
  6. Amy.G

    Amy.G New Member

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    Boring. Thank the Lord.
     
  7. John Toppass

    John Toppass Active Member
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    We are an Elder led church and our financial committee consists of anyone who wants to roll up their sleeves and work on it. We have quarterly business meetings with the budget made previously available and then discussed and voted on in the October meeting. So far all business meetings are linked with some kind of potluck dinner. It is hard to argue with your mouth full. :thumbs:
     
  8. Timsings

    Timsings Member
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    We have a Stewardship Committee appointed by the church. They work with the staff to prepare a budget. It is presented to the deacons first, and then to the congregation in a regularly scheduled monthly business meeting where questions, discussion, and, occasionally, amendments, are allowed. The vote for the budget is held on Sunday morning where no changes or discussion is allowed. Again, as with others, the transparency of the process makes it go smoothly.

    Tim Reynolds
     
  9. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler New Member

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    Sounds like my church's budget business meeting.
     
  10. HAMel

    HAMel Well-Known Member
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    My wife and I attended a SBC a few years ago. When it was time to present the proposed budget to the congregation it was like a war zone! Unbelievable!

    Things finally got so bad in that church that some in that "circle of agitators" started dying. I'm not kidding you! People started dying!

    We left the church.

    I don't know how they ever survived but the church, under a new pastorate, rocks & rolls every Sunday Morning. We all know that music is a great motivator so apparently they all stopped fighting and got caught up in the beat. Who knows?
     
  11. annsni

    annsni Administrator
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    HUH? So rock and roll made them all get along? That's the first time I ever heard THAT reasoning.
     
  12. SaggyWoman

    SaggyWoman Active Member

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    Argh. Gone are the days of any church I attend where the budget meetings...and church business meetings/church conferences are infested with bickering and complaining.

    One church which I have been involved with has the staff and lead team working through all the budget stuff. They keep a pretty good check on it.

    Another church which I have been involved with has a committee that collects proposals from each of the areas that has a line item(s) in the budget and then mashes it all together and adjusts to present to the church. They have several meeting times (in a room, not at the floor of the church) where people can come in and discuss. Then they take it to the floor for a vote only.
     
  13. SaggyWoman

    SaggyWoman Active Member

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    I beleive you. I attended a church once which was a continual war zone. One agitator got all his toes cut off once with illness. I think it was due to being an agitator.
     
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