Randy's Ramblings, February 2018

For some people, a church budget is a set of numbers that makes their eyes glaze over.

For some people, a church budget is a straight-jacket that limits what they can do.

For those reasons, some people see no reason to establish a church budget, let alone approve one. 

Fortunately, our Finance Committee sees the budget as a tool for being effective stewards of the resources available to us, a powerful method of prioritizing the work of our church, and a critical tool for making decisions that affect what we can accomplish together. 

One means of “translating” the budget into a meaningful tool is to limit the numbers in the presentation, and instead to talk about what the budget is inviting us to do before we ask your approval of the priorities it names.  The budget we are working on includes:  Ministry (the things we do at West Heights), Mission (the work we support in other places), and Mortar (the building and its upkeep).  For the past several years, we have lived within the expenses of the budget, ending the year below our target. 

Unfortunately, we ended last year with less money than we had anticipated receiving, even after the successful Fireworks Stand and Golf Tournament.  Most of the shortfall came from pledges we had received and planned on that were not paid in full. 

As we begin 2018, the Finance Committee is in a quandary.  Our pledges are significantly lower than our anticipated expenses, creating the unfortunate dilemma of not having a budget to propose – even though we are about to start the third month of the year.  The committee has been trying to find a way to resolve the dilemma without making without significant cuts on the expense side.  Unfortunately, one has not yet been found that is acceptable to all of the committee members.  There are too many wonderful and amazing things we do, things we don’t want to reduce or eliminate.  In fact, there are additional things we’d like to do! 

If you are willing to serve on a fundraising committee to explore possible revenue sources, or if you would be willing to be the primary contact person for a fundraising event such as a Fireworks Stand or a Golf Tournament, call Donna Bridges, who has agreed to help get the committee started. 

In the meantime, we will continue to do amazing things in ministry.  We will continue to make a significant difference in the lives of the people who attend here.  We will continue to explore ways to reach into our community and to reach across the globe as we support the work of others.  We will continue to be a witness of God’s light and grace in West Wichita.