3 things to do this August for your church's finances.

Jul 31, 2021


Here are 3 simple things to do this August for your church's finances.

1.  Monitor your spending.

August means the end of beach vacations, long days at the pool, and kids sleeping until it's almost lunchtime. That's right, for most, August means the beginning of school. And if your church is like most in the country, it also means the beginning of a new semester and an increase in overall attendance. This is often when you start seeing families that you literally haven't seen since Easter! This is an exciting season. It's always fun to watch those seats fill in the auditorium and the energy just builds with each additional person. And for you, the XP, this is the time you've been preparing your teams to engage, connect authentically, and really invite people into lifeblood of what's going on in the life of your church.

The downside to August for you is that while we typically have more people back in church, August is often one of the lower giving months, especially the first few weeks of the month. I believe it is often impacted by younger families who have spent more than they planned on new lunch boxes, clothes that fit, and shoes that aren't two sizes too small for their kids who are headed back-to-school. I have young kids. I get it. This stuff adds up. Our suggestion to you, the executive pastor: do not let the excitement of the new semester derail your cash flow. Just like every other month, your ministries need to stick to their budget and they need to hear that from you. I'm all for a "do whatever it takes" mentality when it comes to creativity and hard work but not when it comes to spending money you don't have. August shouldn't be different than any other month when it comes to managing budgets. Only spend what has been allocated.

2. Think 'volunteers' first.

A common result with the new influx of attendees and young families in August is an abundance of kids in your kids' ministry and a gap in the number needed to oversee and lead those areas (and probably other areas too). Look, this isn't the fault of your kid-min staff as they often don't have any indicators as to what this semester may look like. They know to plan for growth but they usually just don't know how much.

As the executive pastor, you usually find out their ministry is overwhelmed half-way during a service or even the following day at the office. Because I've been there, we often overreact, bring in the children's pastor, and get buy-in to do whatever it takes to prevent this in the future. This conversation sometimes even leads to the hiring of part-time childcare workers before you ever try to engage additional volunteers. If so, you hired part-time staff you don't really need, with funds you don't really have. Don't let times of uncertainly cause knee-jerk reactions from your team or yourself. Challenge them to work within their resources and come up with a solution that doesn't start with cutting a check. Encourage them to start with volunteers and ramp up their recruiting efforts for the following week.

3. Plan for 2022.

While I don't exactly mean you should start and finish your annual planning in August, I do suggest putting a date on your calendar to begin your annual planning/strat ops. In order for your planning to not feel rushed, you need time and your team needs time. Your leadership needs time to prayerfully consider what the next season looks like. Your staff needs time to gather data, to gather their thoughts, and to crunch numbers as to what it takes to move their ministry towards the vision. You and your team need time to review and reflect on the recommendations by your staff to ultimately implement the best approaches possible to move your mission forward. So when we say it's time to start planning for January in August, we really believe it!

So if you don't already have your annual planning/strat ops/vision casting process in motion, we suggest using August to determine your meeting and decision deadline dates between now and the end-of-the-year. This will help you and your team take the time necessary to approach your next season with intentionality and momentum.



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