Telling the Stories of Jesus Through Your Narrative Budget
“Tell me the stories of Jesus, I love to hear”………The words of this hymn have spoken to the deepest desires of hearts for generations. The familiar melody resonates with those places in our souls that long for a connection to something greater than ourselves. People want to know the way lives are changed and transformed by the love of Christ, and how their own lives can be changed as well.
With a notion of a “deeper connection” in mind, consider how your annual budget is presented. Are you telling the stories of Jesus or simply presenting a balanced budget? How we present the plan that funds the missions and ministries of our churches has a direct impact on how willing our church members will be to support it. Instead of presenting a line item budget, make connections between the ministries supported and the hearts of those who fund them. By sharing the impact of your ministries, you are telling the stories of Jesus.
As you create your annual budget, of course you need to delegate resources for each line item. This assures fiscal accountability. However, as you create the narrative budget, you will need to allocate resources among three major categories such as mission, ministry, or worship. Some are obvious, such as the purchase of music for the choir or praise band goes in the worship category. Others are less clear such as personnel costs. A senior pastor will not just spend all of her/his time in worship. Instead, the senior pastor will have a presence in all three areas. Another example is building maintenance. The building serves as a mission station, worship venue, and ministry center, therefore, expenses should to be proportionally spread among the three areas. As you determine the category allocations for each line item, your narrative budget, dollar-wise, will begin to take shape.
In presenting the narrative budget, add stories of lives changed in each category. People want to know their generosity is making a difference. Linking stories of lives that are changed as a result of mission, ministry and worship will inspire increased generosity among your members.
Tell the stories of Jesus through your narrative budget. Your stories of transformation, redemption, and grace will motivate and encourage generous giving.