One of the loudest complaints we here from members of churches is that the presentation of the annual budget in many churches is presented with a hard line FAITH sermon or lesson to the members in an attempt to persuade them to vote YES. Why is this an issue? How does faith play out in the process and in the communication of a new budget to the members?
Important to remember in the process is a simple fact - people are not as ignorant as we may think. They know when priorities are in the right place in most situations. To hit people with a message of FAITH in expecting them to pass a budget that flawed in it's inception NEVER works in the end. There is a growing sentiment among some of the newer models of churches and leadership structures to use this approach. The end result is failure of trust and lost of respect.
Some key helpful thoughts as you work through the process and delivery:
1. Be realistic with what is ministry - to promote things that are NOT ministry as such will not work.
2. Teach Stewardship - you will accomplish more with teaching than with beating the FAITH message.
3. Live Stewardship - a staff must practice faithful stewardship. Look for ways to save money.
4. More money does not mean more ministry - don't be materialistic.
5. Keep missions and true ministry at the forefront - people will respond to these.
6. Be careful with the latest and greatest - you probably sold that last year. They remember!
7. Build trust and respect with the process - it will lead to developing stewards.
8. Vision cannot be sold - it must be shared and developed. give your people time to grow.
9. Be transparent - people are hurting. Show you care. Wastefulness says you don't.
10. Get God's heartbeat in every area - pray and search your own heart. God will approved what He orders and He will fund what He needs.
Remember that communication is key in the whole process. Share with your people as the process develops and get more than yourself involved in the sharing. Faith in the process and development will grow the faith in stewards lives.