Very often, we act as if the goal of a church budget lies in what it can accomplish. If someone were to ask, “Why are we giving all this money?” you might point to the list of items in the budget. “People give money to pay the pastor, build the playground, save those children, start that church.”
But that accomplishment-focused mentality doesn’t square with the fact that God is not wanting for money, and his purposes are much bigger than merely what your church’s budget can accomplish. His purpose for your church’s budget is that in your church’s faithfulness—that is, in your risk-taking obedience—you show off and reveal how amazing he is.
That’s a tall order, I realize. But a church budget can do this in at least three ways:
- As we give money to the church, our faithfulness as individuals proclaims God as better than our money and his command to give as more delightful than our desire to get.
- As you invest your church’s money in God’s work, your congregation deliberates about which investments best align with the values God gives us in Scripture, often making investments the world says are foolhardy. Once again, you’re showing off how good and trustworthy God is.
- As God chooses to bless those investments, he shows himself to be a God of power, of mercy, and a God who keeps his promises.
Risky giving, value-based investing, and God’s blessing are three main ways a budget can show off the glory of God. The first two of these engage our responsibility to be faithful. In the third, God brings glory to himself as he makes our work fruitful.
Now I’ll be honest, the more time I spend around churches, the more amazed (and appalled) I am at what kinds of things get done with “the glory of God” stamped on as justification. So think practically about what this means for your church. By looking at your church (who you are, what you do), people should be amazed at how good and excellent God is.
That’s what it means for God to get glory through your church.
Taken from Budgeting for a Healthy Church: Aligning Finances with Biblical Priorities for Ministry by Jamie Dunlop. Copyright © 2019 by Jamie Dunlop. Used by permission of Zondervan. www.zondervan.com.