Mark Brooks

What to Do When You Are Behind Budget

Are you behind budget? That was the opening question of my weekly newsletter, “The Stewardship Coach,” to my members and clients this morning. I was writing about closing the giving gap. I asked my readers this,

When giving doesn’t meet or exceed the budget, what do you do?

How do you know if you might be in trouble?  For those I coach personally, while we work to avoid gaps, we also work to eliminate them.  I am asking questions like this,

  1. Are you more than two weeks offering behind?  This question tells me the severity of the gap.
  2. Do you have a strong 4th quarter history?  This question shows me what potential giving is ahead of me.
  3. Are you having trouble paying the bills?  This question alerts me that we need to work with speed to close the gap. 

If you are reading this, I am assuming the question resonates with you. Here we are at the close of the 3rd quarter of the year, and you still have a lot of things on your plate that you want to accomplish. If giving is off, how will you? So, what do you do? Here are some thoughts.

First, don’t panic! Slowly but surely you can close any gap in giving and your budget. However, you did not get behind overnight and you will not reverse the decline overnight. By addressing the problem you can get your head above water. Just don’t panic. When you panic, it makes you look desperate, and that begs all kinds of questions.

Don’t just sit there, do something! Too often, churches do nothing to close out their giving gap. Here is what I wrote my members this morning about why closing out your giving gap is important.

  • The closer you get to “making” budget, the more confidence you build for the coming budget.  Do I have your attention?  For those of you that have a congregational vote on the budget coming up soon, you get this.  For every church, yes, your church,
  • The more fiscally responsible you are, the more likely you are to continue to see generosity thrive in your church.
  • How you end, this year is the platform you build next year upon. 

You can’t simply hope giving will increase. You need to,

Have a plan. Knowing that you have a giving gap is one thing. Knowing how to properly close that gap is imperative. What plans do you have to reverse your giving gap? One of my mantras has always been,

Get a plan and work your plan!

With a well thought out generosity plan, you can close the giving gap your church is experiencing. What is your plan?

I create plans for churches to help them increase giving. I can help you. Go back to my main page and hit the Red Button to set up a time that we could talk about how to close your giving gap.

Let’s get started on closing any giving gap you might have!

Mark Brooks – America’s Stewardship Coach