Our congregation’s essential identity and vision for its future are made real through its ministries, programs, facilities, and outreach. Its mission, values, and priorities are reflected in the congregation’s budget.
Does your congregation’s budget proclaim to the world know what you stand for and what its people care most about?
Does your congregation’s budget allow for the expansion of programs, facilities, and staffing as involvement increases and membership grows?
The recent Faith Communities Today report Holy Toll: The Impact of the 2008 Recession on American Congregations found that congregations experiencing financial difficulty in the ten years prior to the 2008 economic recession suffered more and have bounced back more slowly than those that were in better financial health for the preceding ten years. Though, at first glance, this seems an obvious conclusion, we must look at the underlying factors of financial health and general wellbeing that foster resilience in congregations to weather economic and other crises.
Congregation budgets provide the clues that help us to understand what levels of income, sources of funding, priorities, and proportions and categories of expenditures must be in place for greater financial health and resiliency.
I am currently researching the components of healthy, robust budgeting for growth, health, and resiliency of congregations. You are invited to participate in the latest Giving Speaks poll and to track the results. A follow-up summary of findings and recommendations from our other research will be shared in a future post.
Thank you for your interest and your engagement with this important aspect of congregational stewardship and religious life.
Holy Toll: The Impact of the 2008 Recession on American Congregations, by David A. Roozen, American Congregations 2010. www.FaithCommunitiesToday.org