Some of my best friends are budget people, but I get this.
Think of all the congregational committee meetings you’ve attended during which this conversation has happened:
Church Leader #1: If we don’t make our nursery safe and clean, young families will not want to leave their children there during worship.
Church Leader #2: We can’t afford to replace the carpet and paint in there.
Church Leader #3: We need to reach out to the immigrants who’ve just moved into the neighborhood.
Church Leader #4: We don’t have the money to support any new programs.
In the words of Professor Rich Honack: Strategy says “Do it or die.” Budget says, “We can’t do that.”
Honack suggests that – when a nonprofit organization is engaged in strategic planning – we should leave the budget people outside. It’s not that we don’t want to be fiscally responsible. It’s just that funding our ministry is not where we start. We cast a vision first and then we figure out how to pay for it.
All you pastors in the throes of Stewardship Season: what do you think about this?
Image from an art project by a group of Presbyterians interested in social justice.