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Implementing the Narrative Budget in Your Church

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Presentation on theme: "Implementing the Narrative Budget in Your Church"— Presentation transcript:

1 Implementing the Narrative Budget in Your Church
Adapted from work done by the Anglican Diocese of Niagara - The Reverend David M. Ponting

2 What is the Narrative Budget?
It is the sacred story of church ministry One of the most important ways we can effect on-going stewardship education Narrative Budgeting is an essential element in educating your congregation about how money is being utilized to support the ministry of the church

3 An Important Insight of the Narrative Budget
Givers don’t give money TO the church… they give THROUGH the church to touch the lives of other people. People will give generously when they feel what they are giving is having an impact

4 Sacred Story… Much of Scripture is the sacred story of God’s care for His people. ie. Exodus 16 and the manna from heaven. Just as individuals have sacred stories of God’s providential care for them… a narrative budget is the sacred story of our church’s ministry and how people are giving through their church to touch the lives of other people.

5 We Have a Theological Starting Point…
That starting point is that we are NOT a secular institution. Our faith calls us to view the deployment of money much differently than secular institutions

6 We Must Overcome Years of Faulty Theology
…and begin to view money from the perspective of a faith community rather than a secular perspective This has a serious implication…

7 We need a whole new way of thinking about the line item budget in the local church!!

8 A New Way of Thinking Line item budgets are an accounting tool
Narrative budgets are used for education and vision We need both but we must be more intentional in how we use both

9 Line Item Budgets Have Limitations
They do not show how money is being invested in ministry They do not show how servant time and talent are impacting church life Worst of all – they do not inspire!

10 The Narrative Budget Clearly shows how money is being invested in the various components of church life Helps givers to re-frame what the church is all about Inspires givers and helps them see their giving is really making a difference Is a proven tool for increasing financial commitment to the ministry of the church

11 The Narrative Budget Recognizes that church goers are not inspired at the prospect of funding administrative costs, postage, heat, water, cleaning supplies, photocopying, etc. Helps givers see their church ministry investments in a different light.

12 So how does the Narrative Budget work?

13 Several Key Components to Church Ministry…
Your church’s ministry areas might easily be segmented into something like this: Pastoral Care Education Worship Evangelism/Hospitality Missions/Outreach In-reach and Fellowship

14 All Church Expenditures Can Be Assigned to One of These Six Areas!
Pastoral Care Education Worship Evangelism/Hospitality Missions/Outreach In-reach and Fellowship

15 Experience Shows Four to Six Categories to be Optimum
This means you will have to make decisions about what categories are right for your church. Some churches like a youth ministry category. They find it easier to fit both Youth Ministry & Stewardship Education into the ‘Christian Education’ category However, you could place Youth Ministry in the ‘Outreach’ or ‘Evangelism’ category if that makes more sense for your church.

16 What Category is NOT Included in a Narrative Budget?
Pastoral Care Education Worship Evangelism/Hospitality Missions/Outreach In-reach and Fellowship Do you see ADMINISTRATION anywhere on this list?

17 Using ADMINISTRATION as a Category in Your Narrative Budget Will…
DEFEAT the entire purpose of your Narrative Budget!!! I BEG you. Don’t go there!

18 Putting a Team Together
Start by getting your full time staff to assess the time they spend for a month. They can also review day planners for previous month overviews Allocate their time among the six areas of ministry Treat that as directional for how other expenditures in the line item budget should be allocated among the areas of ministry Some line items in your budget will be easy to allocate (i.e. Sunday School supplies to Christian Education)

19 The Formula After evaluating the staff time distribution, you will have an allocation formula For example the pastor might spend the following amount of time: 15% on Christian Education 10% on Outreach 30% on Worship & Preparation 10% on In-reach and Fellowship 15% on Evangelism and Hospitality and 20% on Pastoral Care We then take this formula and use it as a blueprint for line items that are difficult to allocate

20 Don’t Get Caught in a Trap
Many churches implementing a Narrative Budget for the first time miss a big point – they get too caught up on accuracy and don’t give themselves permission to treat the Narrative Budget as directional. We don’t deliberately try to be inaccurate, we try to be as accurate as possible. But, we recognize that, used as an educational tool, it is more important to help reframe minds and encourage givers to think about how their giving is used instead of how accurate we are.

21 Sample Line Items in a Church Budget…
Examples… Sample Line Items in a Church Budget…

22 Allocated Via the Six Categories of Ministry

23 These calculations are fed into an excel spreadsheet to create this pie chart.

24 The budget can also be expressed in percentages.

25 Or look at individual slices of the pie…

26 The Understanding We Want Givers to Have is This:
14 cents of every dollar I give goes to Pastoral Care 34 cents of every dollar I give goes to Outreach, etc.

27 And the Good News? The whole process is simple!
Contact The United Methodist Foundation of New England for samples & templates x106 (Bonnie) Materials to be posted on the website shortly

28 You tell the story of the individual slices of the church ministry pie
There is a narrative for Outreach, a narrative for Evangelism, a narrative for Pastoral Care, etc. We funnel the story from the macro story to the micro story

29 The Pastoral Care Narrative
The ministry of Pastoral Care at UMC involves the following services: taking of home communion to three local nursing homes each month on call at two local funeral homes and follow up with the mourners from 30 funerals in 2012 frequent visiting at three local hospitals to care for parishioners recovering from illness or surgery

30 More Pastoral Care Ministries
counseling services to couples and individuals in marital crisis care of students in crisis due to stress-related pressures of school self help group set up to care for unemployed in the area bereaved families support group, etc.

31 The Sacred Stories Kristen is a first year student in Biology. Its her first time away from home and her family is in Lumsden, Saskatchewan. She has been having a difficult time with her classes and her marks have slipped dramatically since high school. Her mother was badly hurt in a car accident last month and Kristen is not coping well. She walked in off the street last Wednesday morning and all her pain came gushing out in the pastor’s office. She and the pastor connected and she has showed up in church the last few Sundays feeling like she has found a “family” to care for her.

32 Real People – Real Stories
Tell a few stories for each category of ministry Givers begin to get a better sense of the impact the ministry of the church is having on peoples’ lives Experience shows they become inspired and take a much greater ownership of the many ministries of the church

33 Get the Story Out… Church Newsletter Bulletin Inserts Church Website
Stewardship Mailings Narrative Budgeting Booklets Personal Contact Include in Intercessory Prayers

34 Use Sunday Worship Put a bulletin insert out each week for six weeks highlighting a different category of ministry Pray for that ministry Tell a specific story of a person being touched by that ministry

35 Add a Time and Talent Option
Additional charts can illustrate servant hours against the six categories of ministry Parishioners get a sense of how vital and vibrant the local church is when looked at in the context of servant time

36 Let’s look at one aspect of Servant time
Narrative Budgeting is an Evolving Process Let’s look at one aspect of Servant time Sunday Morning Worship Altar guild – two people X 2 hours= 4 hours Choir – ten member X 2 hours of worship and 2 hours of practice time = 40 hours Readers, chalice bearers, server, crucifer, counters, sides- people, litergist, 10 X 1.5 hours = 15 hours Almost 70 hours of servant time in one week X 44 weeks =3,080 hours of servant time in Sunday morning worship alone

37 In an average size church
When you factor in all ministries, we estimate that 10,000 – 15,000 servant hours per year are accumulated That’s a significant impact on any local community!!

38 The Process Continues…
Each year you will improve & get better at it as you add stories, servant time & talent People will begin to think of church ministry funding in a new way

39 We must change how we view money and ministry
Money & Ministry We must change how we view money and ministry Long before Charge Conference you will have begun a job of education and awareness around the Narrative Budget

40 A Few Recommendations…
Leave the line item budget in the church office at your council meeting. Take only the Narrative Budget to your Church Council Tell those that function better with details, that there are five copies of the completed line item budget available in the church office for anyone interested. You are not compromising transparency. As a faith-based organization be determined in your desire to talk about money and ministry in a new way.

41 You Might Find… Charge Conferences will no longer be viewed as the annual BUSINESS meeting of the church, but will become the “Annual Mission & Ministry” meeting! Members get excited and start looking forward to church meetings!!

42 Givers will become engaged by the efforts we make to show them that their giving has a lasting impact on the lives of real people with real needs… Their giving doesn’t just make a difference, it can make ALL the difference!!

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