Recently, we (Metro Manila pastors) had to prepare, review, revisit and recompute budgets for different ministry departments in the church for 2011. We have a board that reviews, checks, evaluates and keeps everything in line to make sure we adhere to the highest standards of integrity and biblical stewardship.
As I’ve learned from our pastors and leaders through the years, here are a few guiding principles I work with regarding ministry budgeting.
1. PRINCIPLE OF OWNERSHIP.
God owns it all. If everything is His, how much of it is ours? Absolutely NONE. We are merely stewards of what we have been entrusted with. It is an awesome responsibility that is to be handled with ‘fear and trembling.’
2. PRINCIPLE OF GENEROSITY.
God blesses us to be a blessing. This has resonated in my heart since I was a new Christian. That is why in my personal budgeting, I have no qualms with ‘belt-tightening’ because that would result in many avenues to bless others.
Even as a church, we ‘tithe’, give offerings, bless and help others (individuals and ministries).
3. PRINCIPLE OF RESPONSIBILITY.
I remember Pastor Steve asked me this question one time when I was still in charge of Kids Ministry at Fort Bonifacio, “Will you spend what you’re spending on in this particular church activity if it was coming from your own wallet?”
We have a responsibility, not to forget an accountability, to steward the finances we’ve been entrusted with.
4. PRINCIPLE OF GRACE.
There’s absolutely nothing that we deserve. We are here because of the grace of God. We cannot start thinking that because I’ve been in this for a long time, then I deserve something in return.
You and I deserve HELL, PUNISHMENT and ETERNAL SEPARATION from God. That’s what we deserve.
One of the things we need to watch out for is the attitude of entitlement. You don’t want to go there. You can’t afford to and you shouldn’t.