Creating a Ministry Budget: Fight Against Budget Zombies


I am not a big fan of zombie movies. But something I detest more than zombie movies, it is zombie budget items.

What do I mean by zombie budget items? They are those line items in the budget that continue to get funded, regardless of their alignment with resources, vision and purpose. They are the pools of money that float in our budget, sucking resources out of the other areas of ministry that might need it. They are the budget areas that have lost the people that once championed or led the ministry, but we don’t want to kill it for good because “it might happen again someday.”

So continuing our series on creating a ministry budget, time to tackle those zombies!

1. Name and claim the zombies – With the leaders of your church, go line by line (I know tedious) and name the budget lines that have funding but no longer have a place or purpose. If you need help creating a frame work to define¬†what aligns with your church’s purpose, I highly recommend Church Unique, as a guiding resource to process to gain clarity to what fits and what gets funded.

2. Make it an issue of stewardship – Not about getting rid of someone’s favorite ministry or even pruning the churches mission, this is an issue of stewardship. Every church community, even the largest in our world, can’t fund and facilitate every mission and ministry program or event. It is a matter of using your best resources to do your best ministry. God has called your community together for a purpose, anything besides that purpose is a distraction and a drain of resources.

3. Grieve – Even zombies need a funeral. For each change in a community, someone is grieving. You need to have spaces to name that grief, share in that grief, remember the lessons and history of what was and name the vision and purpose for the future. If you make change without allowing grief, all you will leave behind is scars. Even budget items cause grief.

This step maybe the hardest one because it has the past, present and future all wrapped up in a messy knot. Be gentle as you prune and untangle. Budget blessings.

Watch for the next post in this series, Creating a Ministry Budget: A Living Narrative…

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