Successful budgeting for children’s ministry


I am sure at the time of this writing many of you are going through what i am going through, the budget process. Even if you are not going through it at the time of reading this I would recommend sending this to your Evernote web clipper account for future use.

Here is one way of budgeting but it has brought my team and I great success for the next year of ministry.

We create what we call a success map. This is a document of 5-7 BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goals) that will need all the children’s ministries to tackle in the new year for success to be had. I am the one who puts those 5-7 goals out there but they mostly show the big goals my pastor has for our church. The main difference is that I will convert what I get from him into language that my teams can take on.

A. My pastor wants to create new ways to reach into our community.
B. I will translate into – Each cm department will create at least 1 new way to reach new families in our community that will equal a 5% gain of your current attendance.

After I have heard my pastor’s heart, set the children’s ministries 5-7 BHAG’s, given this to all my coordinators they go away and answer how each of their departments will help in accomplishing the BHAG’s. They will also add in some of their own ministry goals for their teams as well, and break these goals into quarters through the year. Some BHAG’s can not be accomplished in just one attempt and so many of them will continually be chipped at throughout the year, but at the end it can be said if they accomplished it or not.

The purpose of breaking everything into quarters is so all the coordinators can keep one another accountable for progress through the year.

Budgeting comes easy now that we know what we want to do, because we just go back in and assign dollar amounts to the quarterly goals. Using the example from above:
BHAG Goal:

1. Each cm department will create at least 1 new way to reach new families in our community that will equal a 5% gain of your current attendance.

Event/Place: Safe Place event. (Parents can drop their kids off for babysitting with our trained volunteers for free so they can go on a date, work late, catch up on whatever etc. from 4pm-7pm 1st Saturday each month).

Cost: Pizza to feed kids. 200 kids x $2.00 each child = $400.00 x 3 1st Saturdays = $1200.00

Hopefully you get the idea. You would keep pricing out all your goals and assign dollar amounts and at the end you will know what you want to do, the amount you will need etc. This is not the format we use with our success maps, that you will need to decide what is best for you. This is the formula we use though for successful budgeting in our children’s ministry. It also helps to see ahead of time what months are going to be more expensive than others if we need to make any adjustments.

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