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Inspiring Faithful Financial Stewardship Implementing the Narrative Budget in Your Church Adapted from work by the Anglican Diocese of Niagara - The Reverend.

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Presentation on theme: "Inspiring Faithful Financial Stewardship Implementing the Narrative Budget in Your Church Adapted from work by the Anglican Diocese of Niagara - The Reverend."— Presentation transcript:

1 Inspiring Faithful Financial Stewardship Implementing the Narrative Budget in Your Church Adapted from work 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 for a Narrative Budget People don’t give money TO the church… they give THROUGH the church to touch the lives of other people. People 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 God’s 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 …everything is a gift from God! We are NOT a secular institution. Our faith calls us to view the deployment and stewardship 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 when talking to donors. 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 offer education and vision We need both and 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 finances are all about Inspires givers and helps them see their giving is really making a difference Is a proven tool for increasing financial resources for the ministry of the church

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

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 these categories: Worship Education Mission Fellowship Pastoral Care

14 All Church Expenditures Can Be Assigned to One of These Categories! Worship Education Mission Fellowship Pastoral Care

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 ‘Education’ category However, you could place Youth Ministry in the ‘Fellowship’ category if that makes more sense for your church.

16 What Category is NOT Included in a Narrative Budget? Worship Education Mission Fellowship Pastoral Care 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 Assigning Expenses to Categories Start by assessing the time staff spend in each category for a month. They can also review day planners for previous month overviews for a general estimate. Allocate their time among the areas of ministry starting with a rough estimate. Treat that as directional for how other expenditures in the line item budget could be allocated among the areas of ministry Some line items in your budget will be easy to allocate (i.e. Sunday School supplies to Education)

19 Category Percentages After evaluating the staff time, distribute the costs into he categories For example the pastor might spend their time in this manner:  30% on Worship  15% on Education  10% on Mission  10% on Fellowship  20% on Pastoral Care This distribution can inform how to allocate other line items. Building usage can also inform the distribution of some line items.

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. The results will have impact even when based on some generalizations.

21 Examples… Sample Line Items in a Church Budget… Worship19522 Education6000 Mission8000 Member Cultivation2000 Staff Parish Property93932 Stewardship500 Council on Ministries8000

22 Allocated Via the Categories of Ministry WorshipEducationMissionFellowshipPastoral Care Worship % Education % Mission % Member Cultivation % Staff Parish %20%15%10%20% Property %30%15%20%10% Stewardship50020% Council on Ministries800025%

23 These calculations are fed into an excel spreadsheet to create the percentages for the pie chart. WorshipEducationMissionFellowship Pastoral Care Worship Education Mission Member Staff Parish Property Stewardship Council on Min %22%23%13%12%

24 These calculations are fed into an excel spreadsheet to create the percentages for the pie chart.

25 Inspiring Faithful Financial Stewardship The Understanding We Want Givers to Have is This: 12 cents of every dollar I give goes to Pastoral Care 23 cents of every dollar I give goes to Mission Congregational self-evaluation can also result as people reflect on the ministry category percentages!

26 And the Good News? We can help you with the whole process! Contact The United Methodist Foundation of New England for samples & templates x106 Materials also available on the website

27 Next, tell the story of the ministry categories of the church ministry pie chart A creative narrative for Mission describes much more than the line item budget A narrative for Fellowship invites people to participate A narrative for Pastoral Care tell members about the ministry of the church Tell the Story

28 The Pastoral Care Narrative taking of home communion to three local nursing homes each month on call at two local funeral homes and follow up with the friends and family from 10 funerals a year frequent visiting at three local hospitals to care for parishioners recovering from illness or surgery The ministry of Pastoral Care involves the following:

29 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.

30 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.

31 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

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

33 Inspiring Faithful Financial Stewardship 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

34 Inspiring Faithful Financial Stewardship 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

35 Let’s look at one aspect of Servant time Sunday Morning Worship Greeters, Fellowship Hosts/coffee makers – four to eight persons, 8 X 1.5 hours = 12 hours Liturgists, communion servers, counters, ushers, 10 X 1.5 hours = 15 hours Choir – ten member X 2 hours of worship and 2 hours of practice time = 40 hours Almost 70 hours of servant time in one week X 52 weeks =3,640 hours of servant time in Sunday morning worship alone! Narrative Budgeting is an Evolving Process

36 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!!

37 The Process Continues… Each year you will improve and expand upon stories, servant time and talent recognition People will begin to think of church ministry funding in a new way

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

39 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.

40 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!! You Might Find…

41 Inspiring Faithful Financial Stewardship 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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