by Rev. Paul DeVries
“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Luke 6:38
The first principle of our budget vision is Abundance. Our God is a God of abundance who wants his church and kingdom to overflow with his blessing. In accordance with this truism, we base our budget on the principle that God will provide all that we need for his Kingdom work. Maybe we won’t have all that we want, but we will have all that we need. Even in times of financial strain, God’s abundance remains.
Whereas some would look at what we don’t have and base our budget on that scarcity, we will look at what we do have and base our budget on that abundance.
Unfortunately a mentality of scarcity takes over when we look to ourselves and our resources. This mentality of scarcity is a great temptation both spiritually and financially. An abundance mentality takes over when we look to God and his resources. God will abundantly provide when we step out with vision and faith. Thus, our budget is an attempt to boldly ask, “What ministry opportunities has God given to us and how will he bless us to make the vision a reality?”
The second principle of our budget vision is Balance. Our God is the God of the entire world. His Kingdom and Church are broadly based with wide ranging ministries. Still, we can’t support everything at once -- even with the blessing of divine abundance. Hard choices do need to be made, especially during these times of financial stress. Some years the focus will fall more heavily on some areas rather than others. But a healthy budget always reflects a good balance of ministry. Therefore, we seek to use our financial resources in a broad and balanced way. In other words, we like to see a healthy amount being used to support kingdom work outside of our church’s walls, while also generously funding homegrown ministries. We must support both the mundane needs of infrastructure and the mission needs of outreach, discipleship, and missionary support.
The third principle of our budget vision is Credibility. Our God is a God who demands true discipleship in all areas of life including our financial stewardship. Our discipleship must be visibly present in faithful giving to the Lord’s church. Therefore, we base our budget on the premise that all members will be prayerful, thoughtful, consistent and generous in their giving. This financial commitment is one aspect of our life that gives credence to our faith.
At the same time, the principle of credibility means that the church budget needs to reflect the financial status and capability of the congregation and community. Past patterns of giving and present capability for giving must support the proposed budget. In order to be credible, the budget must neither run too far ahead of the financial realities of our members, nor lag too far behind those realities.
These three principles form the ABC’s of our church budget. On the attached pages you will find some preliminary numbers to help you understand how we hope to spend the money with which God blesses us. Please take the time over the next several weeks to read, pray over, and consider your financial participation in the ministry of our church.