Our CM budget is controlled by the church

Your Question:

“How do I develop a CM budget when the entire process is controlled by the church finance director?”

The Issues:

The challenge of this situation is directly connected to the church’s perspective about financial safety and tradition.  A church that controls the budgets for all ministries has either had a bad experience with a financially disorganized person, or someone in the leadership believes that “this is how you do it.”  In order to retain some influence in the money that the CM spends, you must earn the trust of the financial director and senior pastor.  This takes time and hours of communication about the CM vision, and the potential for growth in the CM.

Scripture Foundation:

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.”  1 Peter 5:7

Short Answer:

A church that controls all spending for all ministries might be “used to” that process. You might hear someone say, “This is how we’ve always done it and it’s worked fine.”  This perspective is important when the church is just starting; but as the church ages this control can limit the growth of every ministry.  The ideal process would be for each ministry to propose budget figures to the finance director for review and approval.  The transition from “we control all spending” to “we will review your budget proposal” is very complex, and it may take years.  If your church controls all spending, the first step is to get to know the finance director.  This alone is a very complex goal.  The finance director for this type of church is more-than-likely a very private, protected person.  He or she may not welcome “getting to know you” advances.  A safe approach is to make an appointment with him or her to discuss the CM and to ask for his or her wisdom.  This approach elevates the financial director and clearly states your submission to him or her.  After a series of successful meetings of this sort, the finance director will begin to understand your vision for the CM.  He or she will be able to “see” what the Lord is doing in the CM.  Eventually, at the right time (God controls the timing), he or she may ask you, “So, how much more money do you need?”  If this happens, you are well on your way to building your own CM budget. For more help, click on the links below.

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