Budgets reveal the soul of a congregation. Allocation of the church's expenses shows the priorities that it sets. If most of the revenue covers maintenance of the church's physical plant then programs such as mission, education, pastoral care, music and youth fellowship are not emphasized or well supported.
We're in the process of making the budget for the new fiscal year. Anticipated shortfalls in pledged revenue may force the committees, the staff and the session to make some hard choices. As in any organization competing interest groups will advocate to prevent cuts in their budgets and the session will try to reconcile them.
Yet we are not just another non-profit organization in budget-crunching mode. We are the church of Jesus Christ and our budget needs to reveal a passion for bringing people to Him. Not the lukewarm attitude of the church in Laodicea.
I confess that as a former lawyer, I'm much more comfortable operating in non-profit organization mode than I am trying to evaluate my budget with the eyes of faith. But I believe that is what is needed if we are to adopt a budget that reveals our congregation has a faithful soul.