I’m not a money guy. Meaning I don’t enjoy the budgetary side of youth ministry. Spending the money isn’t a problem, it’s the funding part that drives me crazy. I know what I want; however, I know I won’t always get what I want. That’s part of the challenge of building a budget it doesn’t feel like you have 100% control over it, right?
If you want to increase the funding in your ministry then it means taking the time to make your finances a priority. That could mean changing a few disciplines like:
- Tracking What You Have Already: No one will give you money if you aren’t responsible with what you’ve been given. Make sure you are keeping a budget by putting it in your schedule. People will want to know your record. If you are missing receipts or showing signs of careless spending you are showing that you might not be trustworthy. Track your spending so you can show how much your ministry costs and why it might need to increase.
- Clearly Communicating What You Need: No one knows what your ministry needs as much as you do. When submitting a budget make sure you know why you need what you need. If you need something big or unusual make sure you do the research. If you are funding an event or a part-time volunteer begin the conversation early. This will allow those who make the decision plenty of heads up to see if they can help you out.
- Casting Vision: If your ministry does not have a vision it will be hard to convince others why it matters. Get to know people of influence and share why your youth ministry is important. Spread word to the larger congregation what your youth ministry is hoping to accomplish. If people love what they are seeing they’ll ask, “How can I help it grow?” and get behind the funding.
- Raising Givers: Instead of focusing on fund raising look at raising givers. This is a huge step and a long term approach; however, it’s a major component of a healthy church. Start teaching your teenagers the importance of tithing and build in an offertory to your youth programs. While you might not get enough to pay for your ministry what you are doing is planting seeds that will affect the larger church. Sacrificial giving means trusting God with your finances and investing in His kingdom.
Brush up on how you manage money and you’ll see people are more willing to trust you with their finances. Honor God with how you are managing money and he’ll continue to bless your ministry. A ministry that is lead by a good steward is a ministry that grows healthy.
How are you funding your youth ministry?