Why Do a Narrative Budget?

Many churches have found the narrative budget to be a useful tool for connecting money with ministry as well as talking about the future needs of the congregation. As its name implies, the narrative budget tells a story: the story of how specific components of the church's budget contribute to the life of the church as a community of faith and assist it with fulfilling its mission. Rather than simply seeing a line item dollar amount for electricity, for example, the narrative budget shows what that amount means in terms of ministry; it divides the expense into areas such as worship and congregational care.

As we discuss the differences between why the various generations are charitable, we hear again and again that people in their 20's and 30's want to be inspired to give; they want to see how their contribution is going to be used and what it will support. A narrative budget is an excellent way to communicate with every member of the church, but especially with those in Generation X and the Millenials as it explains why their gift matters. They see their pastor's salary being allocated to missions, youth ministry, and Christian education, for example.

We hope you will make 2014 the year you utilize a narrative budget and we hope you'll let us help. Please contact Chi-Chi Messsick, MMFA Vice President for more information on how to get started.