(Updated from the previous post on 1/18/2022)
St. Luke’s is facing a steep year end deficit, $70,000, which is $15,000 more than we anticipated being at this point in the year. The church budget is only balanced two days a year, December 31st and January 1st. During the year there are peaks and valleys. And December tends to always be a valley. Read below to learn more about Church Budgeting.
Thank you to those who have faithfully given their tithes and offerings throughout the year. Thank you to those who are planning to give a year-end gift. However, more importantly prayers for those who personally find themselves in a financial valley. Costs have increased considerably this year; although as I write this some prices are starting to trend down.
It all comes down to: “Spend less than you earn.” or “Earn more than you spend.”
Congrats to anyone continuing to read. 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?
The first is focused on what you cannot have while the latter 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 Nancy and I 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 ants and mouse infestations, 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 what I’m doing 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 25th 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 includes the benefits that comes from the church, so a full tithe is to 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 share them giving 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.
Financial Peace University – New Year’s Resolution: Learn how to budget faithfully.
This is how I learned how to do our household budgeting. It is more than numbers on a page. It looks at your understanding of money, how to best payoff bills, how to build savings, necessary insurance, and in the end learning how to live a generous life.
There are so far three households interested in this nine week class. It will begin in January on the day and time that works best for all who are interested. To learn more about Financial Peace University, follow the link HERE and then when you’re ready contact me: email@example.com / 952-881-5801 ext. 103.
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. Currently spending is below projections, so much thanks to the Council and Staff for being diligent in spending. Also, thank you to a few members have made anonymous gifts for expenses not planned in the budget.
Thank you to those who have shared their 2023 pledge. If you have not, please do so by Tuesday, December 15 to help the Council make the best decisions possible for year ahead. (Click here for the pledge form.
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.
Sundays, January 15 and 22, 2023 at 9:30 AM. Please make plans to join either or both.
The Annual Meeting with be Sunday, January 29, 2023 at 11:15 AM.
And one last reminder – 2022 Budget ends on December 31, 2022.
Year-end gifts must be received in the office or postmarked on or before December 31. A gift of stock needs to be in process prior to December 31. Questions contact, Heather Kambeitz, Minister of Finance; firstname.lastname@example.org / 952-881-5801, ext. 106.
Ongoing prayers and blessings, Rob
email@example.com / 952-881-5801 ext. 103