Planning an Effective Church Budget: Budget Approved, Now What?

effective church budget

A guest blog from the accounting team at PSK.

4 Strategies for Following Through

1. Have a strong platform in place that includes:

+ A chart of accounts, or a list of the church’s general ledger accounts used to generate financial statements (This should be an exact replica of the church budget.)

+ Timely financial statements that include results of activities and a budget vs. actual comparison

+ A budget breakdown that incorporates the year’s giving/spending trends

+ Ideally, designated/restricted gift activity

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Cross Functional Teams

This week we hear from one of FellowshipOne’s most experienced employees, Matthew McMaster.

My name is Matthew McMaster and I have been an Implementation Manager since March of 2004.  In that time, I have implemented FellowshipOne at over 1,000 churches.  Some of them are very sophisticated in how they communicate within their ministries but most of them have a real silo issues.

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What is Return on Ministry?

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Return on Ministry is a way to think about church health and growth. Its concepts reveal the breadth of influence a ministry or event has on the congregation, community or world, as well as the depth of the significance it has on people’s lives. Are lives being touched and changed? That is, after all, why Christ said he came: that we might live an abundant life (John 10:10). Return on Ministry teaches churches to recognize and be responsive to trends. Simple stats such as attendance and monthly offering reveal no who, why or how information, and certainly nothing about future projections. Understanding trends translates into strategic leadership, rather than blind reactivity.

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Who Are Your Super Greeters?

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Ideally, everyone is part of the welcome team. Leadership must communicate clearly and regularly to the congregation that everyone is a host, not a guest. Greeters are those awesome volunteers who are quick with a smile and a handshake and can point people in the general direction of the worship center or the restroom. But high-volume events not only tax your supply of greeters, they also require a little more. They call for Super Greeters.

Do you have volunteers who fit this description? How do you support the Super Greeters you already have? Find out by downloading the resource below!

Small Groups Summer Refresh

Summer is when many ministries of your church may switch gears and do things differently. Here are a few ways that summer can be for a time to refresh your small group leaders and groups.

Break the mold

Do your group leaders tell you they feel like they’re trying to cram too much into each group meeting?  Then tell them to stop thinking of their group as a meeting! Your group is a set of relationships that just happens to meet regularly. Spend time outside of your regular gatherings catching up with each other and having those deeper conversations for which even a small group is too big. Encourage group members to have another couple over for dinner, a pool party, or even take a camping trip!

Shake things up

Maybe some leaders feel like each group gathering is too vanilla.  If the agenda is always dessert…Bible study…prayer, it may be time to shake things up and get people out of their comfort zones. Look into a service project or missions opportunity that will get people out of rote answers and into living their faith. Many community service organizations need extra volunteers over the summer.

Consider passing the baton

Volunteer burnout can be a big problem for many churches. Adult ministries don’t always benefit from the same school year rhythms that children’s and student ministries do. When this happens, group leaders may serve month-in, month-out for years and feel worn down. Summer provides an ideal window of time for several different types of leadership transitions.

First, consider having an assistant or apprentice leader system at your church, and have them lead group gatherings during the summer. The group can still keep meeting, and the leader gets a break from having to do discussion prep for a few weeks!

Another idea is to launch new groups via multiplication during the summer. If a group grows too big, then keeping up with all of the members can be tough for a leader. Taking a qualified apprentice leader and two or three other families out to start a new group can help alleviate that burden. Summer is a great time to do this because it also helps make room for new guests in the fall.

Lastly, sometimes a group leader has just run his or her course. Often those who lead small groups are very involved in other areas of the church as well. Let group leaders know that summertime is a guilt-free off ramp for group leadership. Ideally, there is an apprentice leader ready and waiting to step in and keep the group moving forward. If not, many times a group member can be found who will respond to the call for group leaders.

When is a change needed?

There are a few basic metrics that can give a snapshot of group health. Attendance is the most foundational. How many people show up as well as meeting frequency can be good indicators of how much time and effort the leader is putting into meetings. FellowshipOne GO’s reporting gives ministry leaders quick and easy access to that kind of data.

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To learn more about all of the benefits of FellowshipOne GO and the FellowshipOne GO Complete bundle, make plans to attend an upcoming webinar. Click here to register.

Have No Fear: Fellowship One Teacher is Here

What’s your nickname for the craziness commonly known as Sunday School?

With our long-awaited new feature, Fellowship One Teacher, you’ll soon be calling Sunday School management “a piece of cake.”

Taming the madness of kids’ ministry is vital not only to providing optimal learning environments, but also to protecting children in an area of heightened potential risk. As a bonus, churches that equip the valuable staff and volunteers who serve in this area with tools to excel could also reduce attrition rates.

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The Heart of the Millennial Issue

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This is the third segment in our Millennials series. (See Part 1 and Part 2)

“Millennials and the Church” research reveals a lot of interesting and conflicting ideas, but what do millennials themselves–and the pastors of dynamic churches that are actually reaching them–have to say? These 7 voices reflect variations on a theme:

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4 Shifts the Church Needs to Engage Millennials

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We’re talking about engaging millennials this month. (If you missed the first article in the series, go here.)


As we unpack the factors that are involved in this unique phenomenon of millennial flight from the church, some leaders (often parents of millennials themselves) are filled with self-blame, regret and guilt. After all, Baby Boomers started the rebellion that led to the coining of the phrase “generation gap.” And as is true with all regress, given an inch, most people will take at least a mile. Millennials may have blown that truism out of the water!

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The Top 3 Things Every Church Should Measure

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We’ve been talking about the power of church metrics for a few weeks now. The questions we received at our recent webinar show me that there’s a lot of interest in the topic, but a whopping 78% of our attendees classified themselves as either new or fairly new to the journey.

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