August 23, 2016

A weekly communication for:

WDC Churches and Pastors

WDC Executive Board, Commission, Committee and Task Force members

Any content may be used in bulletins and newsletters and

forwarded to congregational leaders and members.

WDC Sprouts is also available at:  www.mennowdc.org (Publications)


*Presenting Your Church’s Annual Budget to Your Congregation


Presenting Your Church’s Annual Budget to Your Congregation

     by Phyllis Regier, WDC Business Manager

Fall is often the time of year when congregations are working on a budget for the coming year.  Once the budget is complete how are you going to present it to your congregation? How can you connect this budget with your mission/vision statement and the long-term goals of your congregation?

Although line-item budgets help church financial committees manage their resources, they are not effective in motivating the majority of people to give. Studies show only a small percentage of people are interested in a line-item budget and many are unable to understand these budgets. A line-item budget also provides very little connection with the mission of the church.

Some congregations have found that the narrative budget instead of a spreadsheet style budget is a more effective way to share with their members about the financial needs of the church. A narrative budget should tell the story of your church. A story of its mission and service and how the areas of your budget contribute to that specific mission and service. In fact it should connect every aspect of the budget to a ministry. Narrative budgets do a better job of speaking a language that the majority of people can understand. A narrative budget helps numbers become ministries that people want to participate in.

When you are creating a narrative budget, involve as many people as possible; committees need to develop the story of their work; members of your staff need to highlight how they spend their time in each program area; the Trustee committee, finance committee and treasurer need to provide the financial data. Allocate all expenses, even building and maintenance expenses to your ministries.

Where do you start? Below are 9 steps to forming a narrative budget from Revolutionizing Christian Stewardship for the 21st Century

  1. Review the line item budget and group budget items by ministry areas, such as worship, education, youth, missions, etc.
  2. Review the congregation’s mission statement. Creatively describe the various ministries of the congregation as they fulfill the mission statement.
  3. Consider pro-rating all salaries, building operational costs and overhead as well as program funds into specific ministry areas.
  4. Write one or two descriptive paragraphs for each ministry area. Use examples that paint a picture of the ministry. Enable readers to understand the impact the ministries have in changing lives. Use stories to illustrate the ministries’ effectiveness during the previous year. Picture new or expanded ministry needs as the rational for increased funding.
  5. Provide a positive, clear explanation of significant funding changes, whether they are proposed increases or decreases.
  6. Expand the reader’s horizons by identifying several relevant and exciting additional or future ministries that could be undertaken with funding beyond the budgetary financial projections.
  7. Consider a pie chart that uses ministry areas to depict the budget visually.
  8. Prepare the narrative budget in an attractive, inviting, readable brochure format (color and pictures are a must).
  9. Determine ways to use the narrative budget most effectively to communicate the exciting message of ministry throughout the congregation.

Read the entire article at: https://mumf.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/RM-Building-a-Narrative-Budget.pdf

People do not give to budgets. People give to other people, to needs and to causes. To things that make them feel good and happy. A narrative budget is an opportunity to focus on your core message and to celebrate God’s gifts and your opportunity and obligation to celebrate and offer in return your gifts to God.

WDC Announcements

  1. Reference Council will be held at Luz del Evangelio in Dallas Texas on October 22 from 9 am-3 pm, with storytelling, theological reflections and table conversations on the theme “Held Together in Mission: Being Church in the Urban Context”.  Lunch will be provided; contributions will be invited to help cover expenses.  Interested in carpooling from Kansas?  Let us know!  Please RSVP to WDC by October 10.
  1. Last chance for 2016 scholarships for Kansas Leadership Center! WDC still has several scholarships for the monthly You.Lead.Now seminars at Kansas Leadership Center in Wichita, KS in 2016. But seminars are filling up: Registration for Oct 11-13 , Nov 9-11, and Nov 15-17 seminars will likely close this week. To apply for a WDC scholarship, send the attached form with $100 application fee to WDC (for a seminar worth $300).  Once the application is approved, a code will be sent to participants to register directly with KLC, free of charge.  WDC pastors, congregational leaders and members are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity.  For more information on the seminars see http://kansasleadershipcenter.org/youleadnow/
  1. Palestinian Christian leader, Alex Awad, will visit central Kansas September 2-6, sponsored by WDC. See https://mennowdc.org/rev-alex-awad-palestinian-speaker-september-2-6-2016/ for a schedule of his presentations.
  1. Pastors and Bible study leaders: The WDC Resource Library now has a vertical file of notes and study guides for each book of the Bible collected by a retired pastor. Feel free to stop by and take a look.
  1. Have Courage! The Mental Health Spiritual Retreat at Camp Mennoscah will be September 4-5 with the theme of Courage in Community.  We’ll be doing all sorts of things–from a hayrack ride to worship to singing to sessions with Donna Becker.  Everyone affected by mental illness–family, community members, friends–are invited to attend.  Scholarships are available.  Register online at www.campmennoscah.org or call us at 620-297-3290 for more information.
  1. Few things are better than this! Ice cream, maybe, or a hug.  We have both ice cream and hugs at Camp Mennoscah’s Work & Play Camp, our service-oriented retreat for folks of all ages, so you can have it all.  Work & Play is September 16-20.  We have tasks for all abilities and skill levels, devotions and singing, coffee breaks for great fellowship, and incredible creation to enjoy.  Register online at www.campmennoscah.org or call us at 620-297-3290 for more information!  We can’t wait to eat ice cream with you!
  1. Everyone Invited! Camp Mennoscah’s Annual Meeting is September 18 at 5:30pm in the Dining Hall.  There will be a couple of videos from the summer plus information about the kitchen/dining hall renovations.  The meeting is part of our Work & Play Camp, so make a full day of it!  Join us for worship in the morning, lunch, and then enjoy an afternoon of free time before the annual meeting.  No cost.  Donations accepted for meals and, of course, the kitchen/dining hall renovations.  Please register if attending for the full day.  Call us at 620-297-3290 or email office@campmennoscah.org
  1. Scrapbook and Crafts Retreats coming this Fall! We’ll be cropping and crafting this fall on October 28-30 and November 4-6 at Camp Mennoscah.  Bring a friend and your just-waiting-for-a-spare-hour projects–get ready for a razzle-dazzle fun time!  Register online at campmennoscah.org or call us at 620-297-3290 for more information.  This retreats often fill up.  Don’t wait until the last minute!

Mennonite Church Announcements

  1. “Holy Land” Tour. Please contact Peter Goerzen this week if you are interested in participating in the next Bethel College tour of the Holy Land, January 3-24, 2017. The tour is a joint endeavor with Tabor College and includes: a study of the history and geography of the region with connections to Biblical texts; the present Palestinian-Israeli conflict; the religions and cultures of the region; and time for worship and reflection. Contact Peter at pgoerzen@bethelks.edu or 316-284-5356.
  1. Transitional ministry has a unique place in the mission of the church. While “interim pastors” have provided preaching and pastoral care for many years, “transitional ministry” involves training to lead congregations through a process of preparation for entering a new chapter of leadership. October 31-November 4, Amigo Centre will host a Transitional Ministry Training retreat for individuals interested in pursuing this type of ministry.  Visit http://tmt.amigocentre.org/ for additional information, or contact Amigo Centre at 269.651.2811.
  1. Register now for Deep Faith: Anabaptist Faith Formation for All Ages!  This practical event will empower Anabaptist pastors, teachers and lay leaders in the church to develop a robust understanding of life with Jesus and expand their imagination of faith formation for the 21st century.  The cost for the event, which will be held October 6-8 at Anbaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS), Elkhart, Indiana, is $125/regular, $50/student until September 14.  Keynote speakers will be John Roberto of LifelongFaith Associates; Rachel Miller Jacobs, assistant professor of congregational formationat AMBS; and Brian Quan, pastor of Toronto Chinese Mennonite Churche.  Sponsors:  AMBS, the Anabaptist Faith Formation Network, Mennonite Camping Association, Mennonite Church Eastern Canada, Mennonite Church Manitoba and Mennonite Church USA/The Gathering Place.  See http://mennoniteusa.org/deepfaith for the schedule, plenary speaker topics and 30 workshop offerings.

Western District Conference

2517 North Main, PO Box 306

North Newton KS  67117

316-283-6300; FAX:  316-283-0620

Email:  wdc@mennowdc.org

Website:  www.mennowdc.org