Thursday, July 26, 2012

Church Government

The Congregational form of government empowers the church to “execute its own rules of conduct and appoints or elects its own leaders, who act for or in behalf of the church.”[1]  In this form of government, Welch argues, “the church…will rebel at any attempt by a denomination- or leader-imposed hierarchy…administrators must become change agents rather than directors of change”[2] He goes on to discuss a pastor becomes a change agent using a small, family-led church as an example.  He instructs the change agent to “find the matriarch or patriarch of the family and change them if you want to effect change.  When the church is called to vote, then you want Grandma Hunter to raise her hand if you want all the other Hunters in church to vote.”[3]  This example is an example of why the congregational model is ineffective in administration.  This example emphasizes the congregation and places the authority of the church in the matriarch or patriarch rather than the pastor God has called to lead the flock.  To be an effective change agent, the pastor must be a visionary leader who casts vision to the membership and leads the church leadership team with authority being sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s guidance following the will of God.  The church, in turn, should follow his direction and vision.  However, the pastor cannot be allowed a free reign. [4]  This is where a modified Presbyter model is most effective.  In this model, the senior pastor can cast vision to the congregation and lead the church team.  “This approach commends a plurality of leaders among which the pastor serves as an elder and is the ‘first among equals.’”[5] The elder board has both the training and shares the vision for the church with the pastor.  This model of elder rule is part of the changing face of Southern Baptists.  “Among Southern Baptist churches today there is evidence of major erosion or overt rejection of Congregational polity in actual practice.”[6]  However, the congregation can still maintain authority in a modified Presbyter model by controlling the approval of the yearly budget and the hiring of the senior pastor. 

[1] Robert H. Welch, Church Administration, (Nashville, TN: Broadman and Holman, 2005), 67
[2] Ibid.
[3] Ibid., 68.
[4] In the congregational model, I have witnessed too many pastors fearful of losing their jobs based on the whims of the congregation.  Grandma Hunter and her family dictate the vision and direction of the church often using the pastor as the change agent for their agenda.  On the other extreme, the monarchial model of government gives too much power to one person without accountability. 
[5] Ed Stetzer, Planting New Churches in a Postmodern Age, (Nashville, TN: Broadman and Holman, 2003), 85.
[6]James Leo Garrett, Jr., Perspectives on Church Government Edited by Chad Owen Brand and R. Stanton Norman, (Nashville, TN: Broadman and Holman, 2004), 190.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Church Budget

LifePoint Church is a new work started in the Cincinnati Metro Area in Northern Kentucky.  The church is scheduled to launch in fall 2013 with core groups and small groups meetings beginning fall 2012.  The following budget is based on launch estimates for the first year of operation for the church.  The budget is based on a zero-based budget where finances are based on resource needs and estimated cost to meet these needs for each program area.[1]  The budget can be found in Appendix 1.
Sources of Contributions
The budget for the first fiscal year is $136,750.  To meet the demands for this budget a two-pronged approach will be used for the church.  First, a capital giving campaign (budget line item 102) will be undertaken to supply half of the budget, or $65,000.  Secondly, during the initial core group development phase, the small group members will be encouraged to tithe to the new work leading up to launch (budget line item 101).  It is expected that at the time of launch, all of the budget for the first year will have been collected and further giving will support the budget of the second fiscal year.  The income projection needed from percentage giving at LifePoint in 2012 is $71,750 per year.  Sources of income are designated from 100 to 199 in the accounting systems.
Average Weekly Offering Required
As described above, the budget for the first fiscal year is $136,750 with $65,000 coming from the church capital giving campaign.  The remaining budget amount is $71,750.  This corresponds to a monthly budget of $5,797.17 or a weekly budget of $1,380.  However, the goal is that the percentage giving will fully fund the budget by year two and there will not be a need for denominational or associational support.  Therefore, to fully fund the amount of $136,750 a monthly income of $11,396 or $2,630 per week must be received.
Average Number of Giving Units
A giving unit is defined by demographics as a family consisting of three people with an average family income of $69,340 who practices percentage giving in the amount of 10% of their gross income. [2]  To fund the budget amount at $71,500 annually, 10.3 giving units are needed.  For the budget to be fully funded at $136,750 annually, there must be 19.7 giving units.  It is expected that through small group multiplication that over a hundred will be in attendance at launch, which is equivalent to twenty-five giving units.  Also, it is anticipated that through discipleship, small group ministries and financial education that at least 10 typical families will become giving units before launch.  Based on the average weekly need of $2,630 per week, twenty giving units must be established by the end of the first fiscal year.
Categories of Expenses
Expenses for LifePoint are broken down into the following four categories:
1.     North American and World Missions (200 – 299)
2.     Ministry Expenses (300-299)
3.     Pastoral (400 – 499)
4.     Church Staff (500-599)
North American and World Missions (200 - 299)
This category serves as the missional, church planting, multiplication and savings categories for the church.  This category functions to set back 16% of all yearly income ($10,400) for the purpose of missional work.  During the first year, 3% of all giving will be designated for mission work and trips to support church members and staff in fulfilling the great commission reaching out for Christ.  This value equates to $1,950.  An additional 3% will be designated to help new works begin that may arise from within the church.  This amount is $1,950. Church planting is an integral strategy of the church and percentage giving will be designated to assist new works.  Multiplication will not be used during the first two years of activity because the original plan calls for multiplication to occur every ten years.  For first two years, the church will use funds to establish itself and for growth.  Finally, savings stores 10% of the tithes for future purchases and can be tapped as a pool of resources for various ministry needs and unforeseen expenses.
Ministry Expenses (300 – 399)
Ministry expenses are categorized as all the functional ministries of the church.  They are further broking down into eight sub categories, which will be described in further detail below.  The operating cost of this category is $94,500 or 69% of the budget.
1.     Administration is the department, which consists of church supplies and administrative support such as finance, secretarial, custodial, printing, and office staff (300 - 309).  The budget for this department is $2,400 or 1.8% of the budget.
2.     Connections is the department charged with connecting people form the various entry points of the church to small groups (310 - 319).  The budget for this department is $3,600 or 2.6%
3.     Outreach is the department tasked with coordinating and maintaining all of the small group outreach efforts of the church (320 - 329).  The budget for this department is $1,800 or 1.4%
4.     Small Groups is the heart of the church.  This department consists of materials and resources necessary to promote and sustain functionality within the small group network (330 - 339).  The budget for this department is $6,240 or 4.6%
5.     Training and Technology is the department that maintains records of trainings and the technology of the church including any websites and licenses (340 - 349).  The budget for this department is $2,450 or 1.8%.
6.     Worship is the department charged with leading the praise, drama and creative ministries of the church (350 - 359).  The budget for this department is $6,000 or 4.4%.  Note:  This budget does not include money for upgrades of instruments and systems.  That is a capital item that does not fall within this budget.
7.     Engineering is concerned with the physical arrangement and planning for the church.  This includes rent, utilities, insurance and liabilities (360 – 369).  The budget for this department is $69,000 or 50.5%.
8.     Youth is the department concerned with the birth through teens ministries of the church (370 – 379).  The budget for this department is $6,000 or 4.4%.
While these departments represent the church ministries, these values do not include the individual contributions that are made by the participants every day.  Their contributions to the budget cannot be calculated but help tremendously in the day-to-day operations of the church.  The volunteers at the church are our greatest asset whose worth cannot be defined by a line item or budget.
Pastoral (400 – 499)
The pastors salary will be an increasing amount to leading up to a full time salary in year three of the budget.  It is expected that the church will be sustainable with continued growth and maturity both spiritually and physically before the pastor will take a full time position.  Other pastoral staff will be added at later times to include full-time executive pastor and a pastor for each of the ministry areas described above.  The pastor’s salary for this budget consists of $3,000 to be taken as salary and $24,000 to be taken as a housing allowance.  The pastor will also given a cellphone and travel allowance in the amount of $1,800.  Altogether, the pastor’s budget will be $28,800 or 21.1%.
Staff (500 – 599)
The church will employ staff full time beginning year three.  During this budget cycle there will be no paid staff.

The budget described above is an operational budget for the first year of a church plant.  The capital budget for launch and necessary launch and infrastructure items must be procured in a separate budget for that purpose.  It is not included in this budget.  The funding for the capital budget will come from denominational, associational and church support.  The budget here is achievable with church growth, mentoring and discipleship.  However, LifePoint is God’s church and out budget and needs comes from his provision.  While these plans are necessary, our dependence and sustainment rests upon Him.  This introductory budget, while not all-inclusive contains elements that may not be used and surely does not cover many items that can never be foreseen. The greatest budget item in ministry is the Small Groups category.  Since, small groups is the ministry focus of the church, it is appropriate that the largest slice goes toward the mission and vision of the church.  It is the hope of LifePoint, that we can lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.  We believe that our ministries and programs that are budgeted here accomplish this task as we seek to serve Christ and fulfill his will in our community, country and world.


5, 10, 15 Minute Drive Time Ring Study.  Demographic and Income Profile for Alexandria, KY, 41001. Accessed 4/3/2011.

Welch, Robert H. Church Administration. Nashville, TN: Broadman and Holman Publishers. 2005.

Appendix I
LifePoint Budget
Income Projection (Last year)

101 Tithes and Offerings (Contribution Income) 
102 Captial Giving Campaign
North America and World Missions

201 Missions
202 Church Planting
203 Multiplication
204 Savings
Ministry Expenses

Administration (300-309)

300 Church Supplies (Direct Mail, Newspaper, Etc.) 
301 Advertising (Direct Mail, Newspaper, Etc.) 
310 Training 
Connections (310-319)

311 Hospitality/Fellowship Meals 
312 Community Events (Dinners, Drama, etc.) 
313 Social Events (Singles Night, Couples Night, etc.)
320 Training 
Outreach (320-329)

321 Contact Cards (Printing and Postage) 
322 Outreach Tracking 
323 Bibles
330 Training 
Small Groups (330-339)

331 Bible Study Materials 
333 Small Group Materials 
334 Small Group Supplies 
335 Small Group Outreach 
340 Training 
Training and Technology (340-349)

341 Adult Training Materials 
342 Internet/Web page 
343 Office/Computer Equipment Lease 
344 Computer Software 
345 Computer Upgrades 
346 Cell / Landline Telephone 
347 Training 

LifePoint Budget
Worship (350-359)

351 Drama
352 Praise Band 
353 Creative Ministry
360 Training 
Engineering (360-369)

361Meeting Place Rental 
362 Utilities
363 Insurances: Liability 
364 Legal Fees 
365 Contingency 
370 Training 
Youth (370-379)

371 Teens Training Materials 
372 Children’s Youth II (Books, Crafts, etc.) Materials 
373 Children’s Youth I (Books, Crafts, etc.) Materials 
380 Training 
Church Staff

Pastoral (400-499)

401 Pastor Salary 
402 Pastor Housing & Utilities 
403 Pastor Benefits (Health) 
404 Pastor Benefits (Annuity) 
405 Pastor Travel 

Staff Positions (500-599)

501 Staff Position 
502 Payroll/Workmen’s Comp/Assistant 
Total Projected Expenses 
Average Weekly Offering Needed
Amount Remaining

[1] Robert H. Welch, Church Administration, (Nashville, TN: Broadman and Holman Publishers, 2005), 159.
[2] 5, 10, 15 Minute Drive Time Ring Study.  Demographic and Income Profile for Alexandria, KY, 41001. Accessed 4/3/2011.