Financial Guardrails for a Successful Ministry

Budgeting is considered a necessary and sometimes frustrating process. Here is a seven-step plan to be more effective in creating the guardrails for your ministry.

Deborah Ike  ·  January 16, 2018

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The budgeting process probably isn’t your favorite ministry activity.  In fact, you may question my use of the word “ministry” in association with developing a budget.  However, the act of planning for your church’s financial future supports the ministry and vision of your church. 

As the chief operations manager at First Baptist Tulsa, Bobby Hart guides the staff and key volunteer leaders through their budgeting process.  He puts it this way, “

A budget provides guardrails for ministries to operate within and communicates very clearly to the church where ministry priorities lie.

Budgets create accountability between ministry leaders and the church at large, and therefore increase trust.”

We can all agree that budgeting is a necessary and helpful process, however, it can be frustrating without a plan. 

Here are seven steps to make your budgeting process more effective and less stressful:

Step #1:  Gather the facts

  • Consider what you’ve done in the past and research what other churches have had success in doing.
  • Review your church’s financials for the last 3-5 years and study the trends.
  • What did you spend money on and when for each department or ministry program?
  • How much money came in and from what sources?
  • Obtain a church staff compensation study to see if what you’re paying staff members aligns reasonably with what other churches are doing.
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Leadership · Management · Budget · Finance · Team Development · All Topics


Deborah Ike
Deborah Ike (formerly Wipf) is the President & Founder of Velocity Ministry Management; a company dedicated to vision implementation for church leaders. Over the last ten years, Deborah worked in the corporate arena to discover how to leverage business principles for ministry vision. She worked for Deloitte Consulting in their Strategy & Operations group and most recently, for Williams, as a project manager and risk manager. Deborah has a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems along with the Project Management Professional (PMP) credential from the Project Management Institute. She’s the author of The Volunteer Management Toolkit (Church Edition) and you can find her articles on sites such as Pastors.com, XPastor.org, WorshipFacilities.com, and via The Church Network.
Contact Deborah Ike: deborah@velocityministrymanagement.com ·  View More by Deborah Ike

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