Implementing Narrative Budgeting in your church

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What is Narrative Budgeting? . It is the sacred story of the ministry of the churchOne of the most important ways we can effect on-going stewardship educationNarrative Budgeting is an essential element in educating your congregation about how money is being utilized to support the ministry of th

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Implementing Narrative Budgeting in your church

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1. Implementing Narrative Budgeting in your church adapted from work done by the Anglican Diocese of Niagara The Reverend David M. Ponting

2. What is Narrative Budgeting? It is the sacred story of the ministry of the church 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 is the backbone of Narrative Budgeting… 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 the people of God. ie. Exodus 16 and 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… …and 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 an educational and visioning tool 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. And helps givers see their investment in the ministry of the church in a different light.

12. The Narrative Budget So how does Narrative Budgeting work?

13. Each church has several key components to their ministry… Your church’s ministry might easily be segmented into these six components: Pastoral Care Christian Education Worship Evangelism and Hospitality Outreach In-reach and Fellowship

14. All Church Expenditures can be assigned to one of these six areas! Pastoral Care Christian Education Worship Evangelism and Hospitality Outreach In-reach and Fellowship

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

16. Notice what category is NOT included in a Narrative Budget Pastoral Care Christian Education Worship Evangelism and Hospitality Outreach In-reach and Fellowship Do you see the ADMINISTRATION category on this list??

17. If you use ADMINISTRATION as a category in your Narrative Budget You will be defeating the entire purpose of Narrative Budgeting!!! I BEG you. Don’t go there!

18. A small team can put together your church’s Narrative Budget Start by getting your full time staff to diarize how they spend their time for a month. They can also review their day planners for the previous month Allocate their time amongst the six areas of ministry Treat that as directional for how other expenditures in the line item budget should be allocated amongst the six areas of ministry Some line items in your budget will be easy to allocate (Sunday school supplies to Christian education for example)

19. So after a month of diarizing by the full time staff you will have an allocation formula For example the pastor might spend 15% of his/her time on Christian Education; 10% on Outreach; 30% on Worship and Worship preparation; 10% on In-reach and Fellowship; and 15% on Evangelism and Hospitality and the remaining 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 Narrative Budgeting for the first time miss a big point – they get too caught up on delivering accuracy and don’t give themselves permission to treat the Narrative Budget as directional. Its not that we deliberately try to be inaccurate. We try to be as accurate as possible but we also recognize that, as an educational tool, helping reframe minds and getting givers to think about how their giving is used is more important than accuracy

21. Here’s what you will have when you are done your first Narrative Budget…

22. Sample line items in a church budget…

23. …are allocated via the six categories of ministry

24. These calculations are fed into a software spreadsheet to produce the following pie chart:

25. The software also permits the budget to be expressed in percentages:

26. Or the software lets you look at individual slices of the pie…

27. The net takeaway 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.

28. And the good news is we have made the whole process very simple to do: Contact the United Methodist Foundation of New England for samples and an excel template 1-800-595-4347 x106 (Bonnie) Materials to be posted on the website shortly www.umfne.org

29. We 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

30. The Pastoral Care narrative might look something like this: The ministry of Pastoral Care at St. Paul’s 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 2003 frequent visiting at three local hospitals to care for parishioners recovering from illness or surgery

31. More pastoral care ministries counseling services to couples and individuals in marital crisis care of McMaster 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.

32. Then we get even more specific and tell the ministry sacred stories Kristen is a first year student in Biology at McMaster. 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 rector’s office. She and the rector connected and she has showed up in church the last few Sundays feeling like she has found a “family” to care for her

33. We tell the stories of the real people touched by our ministry 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

34. There are many ways we can use to get the story out Church newsletter Bulletin inserts church website Fall Stewardship mailings Narrative Budgeting booklets Personal contact Include in intercessory prayers

35. Use Sunday worship to tell the sacred stories 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

36. Adding Time and Talent You can do special charts that 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

37. 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 two hours of practice time = 40 hours Readers, chalice bearers, server, crucifer, counters, sides-people, litanist, 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

38. 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!!

39. Narrative Budgeting is an Evolving Process Each year you will get better at it as you add stories and servant time and talent It improves with each cycle People will begin to think of the funding of the ministry of the church in a new way

40. A Word about Meetings 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

41. We strongly recommend… …that you leave the line item budget in the church office at your annual meeting. Take only the Narrative Budget to your Church Council or Charge Conference

42. You can still make the line item budget available …tell the left brain accountant types in the church that there are five copies of the completed line item budget available in the church office to be signed out by 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. Don’t vacillate and fall back on the line item budget for decision-making.

43. Make a leadership decision to leave the line item budget out of your next Charge Conference …Then have the church council affirm the leaders’ decision. That way you can tell the CC the church council decided in favor of talking only about the Narrative Budget at CC and the leaders aren’t standing alone in making this decision

44. Maybe in your church… …Charge Conferences will no longer be viewed as the annual BUSINESS meeting of the church, but will become THE ANNUAL MISSION AND MINISTRY MEETING

45. You may actually find… …members get excited and start looking forward to your annual meeting!! ?

46. As givers are engaged by the efforts we make to show them… …their giving is having an impact on the lives of people in need ?

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