Summer is almost over and fall is just around the corner. The NFL teams are opening training camps this weekend and colleges teams are starting next week. Before you know it we will be consumed with Christmas shopping. How will your church budget end? If you are not working towards ending well you might not end like you want. Now is the time to start planning to end the year well. Here are some thoughts.
Why it is important to end well. Besides the obvious that ministry needs in the fourth quarter have to be funded there are other reasons to end well. For one thing how you end will be the platform upon which you begin the next year. End on a down note and you carry over a sense of negativity into the new year. For another thing if you are even thinking about building or renegotiating your loan it is imperative that you show solid financial growth from year to year. Ending well simply sets you up for a positive future.
Hope is not a strategy to ending well. Too many churches simply hope they will end well. Apart from what they always do, which mostly is very little, they have no plans to help hit their budget needs. What you need is a plan of action that will insure that you have the best opportunity to end the year on a high note. Good churches begin early to plan for how to end the year well. Don’t let circumstances dictate how you end. Work up a plan of action to help you meet and exceed your budget needs.
Accurately assess where you are and what your needs are for the rest of the year. Now is the time to assess where you stand and what needs are outstanding. Do not let things sneak up on you. Good assessment and planning are essential to stewardship success. One of the things we do well for our clients is a mid year giving review that allows them to know where they stand. At this point in the year they have time to develop a plan of action to close out ahead of budget. If they are behind they can make corrections to the budget or make plans to increase giving. Not knowing where you stand gives you less room for adjustment and makes it less likely to succeed at years end.
Simple yet needful steps to assure that you end well. Frankly if you do the above you will be one of the few churches that even thinks about this. I am continually amazed at how little churches think ahead on issues regarding stewardship. I have seen Mega churches fail in this as well as smaller churches. It is not rocket science but it does take some attention to detail.
While the end of the year might seem like a long ways out it will be here before you know it. The plans you make now will assure that success is much more attainable than if you do nothing. So, give some thought and time to planning now how you will end the year. It could mean all the difference in the world.
As always, we are here to help!
Founder and President
The Charis Group