Congrats to anyone continuing to read after seeing the headline. Few people like to talk about budgets. Often people who hear the first quote above feel ashamed, guilty, or embarrassed. It is the people who resonate with the second quote that feel motivated, determined, and have a sense of pride.
Why the difference? One is focused on what you cannot have while the other is focused on what you can have – the Have nots and the Haves. “I can’t have that.” verses “I can have this.”
Do you know what helps transform a person from a “Have not” to a “Have?”
Living the promise, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” – Acts 20:35c
There was a time in our life when we were living beyond our means, due to a number of unforeseen circumstances that unfolded. Nancy and I were newly married. We bought our first home, thankfully only taking out a mortgage that, if necessary, one of us could pay for if needed. What caught us off guard was that the home had some unknown necessary repairs. If you ever saw the movie “Money Pit”, that is what we were living. Roof, pipes, carpenter and mouse infestation, to name a few. The extent of the repairs were not fully known for a number of years. As they kept appearing, I asked Nancy if I should quit seminary until we were in a better financial situation. Instead Nancy took on a second job, of all things doing bill collections. When a client said they didn’t have the money, she would reply, “Then get a second job; that’s why I’m calling you.” More came to light after things had settled down, Nancy finally told me that her mom was purchasing diapers and other necessities for us.
Fast forward to today. Nancy is only working one job. I will be celebrating my 24th anniversary of my seminary graduation. We have a child in college. And most recently we now have four drivers.
We are debt free, except for our mortgage - that is our greatest expense. The second largest payment we make is my tithe and our offerings. As a pastor I am called to tithe, giving a tenth of what I receive from the church (Numbers 18:26). I had grown to a tithe of my income, but upon arriving at St. Luke’s it was pointed out that my entire compensation including benefits comes from the church, so a full tithe is to also give 10% of all I receive.
I’ve been asked, “How do you do that?” It’s Budgeting 101. Nancy and I are grateful for our blessings we receive and in turn joyfully give them with thanks to God.
Each year when doing our taxes I recalculate what we anticipate to receive and adjust our giving accordingly, starting with a tithe and then determining our additional offerings. This includes gifts to other organizations including supporting two children overseas, the least we could do with God blessing us with two of our own children.
Church Budgeting 101
How does the church budget?
Pledges + History of Giving = Guestimation of Income
Building + Programming + Mission + Staff = Planned Expenses
St. Luke’s is required to propose a balanced budget to be voted on at the annual meeting. It comes down to Budgeting 101, “Spend less than we will receive.” or “Receive more than we spend.” Here’s the difficulty in doing so, we can at best guestimate how much St. Luke’s will receive. Everything is dependent on what members give and keeping expenses below that number.
You are invited to come and learn more about St. Luke’s finances.
St. Luke’s holds two budget meetings the two Sundays prior to our annual meeting. The second budget meeting is this coming Sunday, January 23 at 9:30 AM. The Annual Meeting with be Sunday, January 30 at 11:15 AM. Please make plans to join either or both.
You are also invited to learn more about Budgeting 101 in your personal life. I love helping people forgive their debt, first and foremost spiritually, but also financially. Please contact me if interested.
Ongoing prayers and blessings, Rob
firstname.lastname@example.org / 952-881-5801 ext. 103