Budgeting for Creativity

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Well, it’s that time of year again…time to start looking at the ’08 “artsy” budget. Some people dread this time of year, but I absolutely love it. It’s through this process that God begins to give a glimpse into what He wants to accomplish in the next year. I don’t claim to be a budgeting expert by any means, but here are a few things that have worked well for me…

1. Pray: If you haven’t started already, hit your knees. Don’t make a step or sign a budget form until you’ve connected with God…You’ll totally miss the mark otherwise. Remember prayer IS a 2 way conversation. Don’t do all the talking…dial in and listen.

2. Create 2 lists: list #1 is the “need list” – these are things you’ve absolutely got to have in order to be effective creatively. List #2 is the “wish list” – these are the things that would help you go to the next level in your ministry (i.e. better projectors, new software etc…)

3. Include your volunteers: Your volunteers work hard for you…include them in the process. What do they see as a need? What kinds of tools would help them do what they do? Give them a voice and listen to what they have to say.

4. Shoot for the moon: Don’t be greedy, but don’t budget on the low end because you’re afraid you’ll look like you’re asking for too much. I’d much rather not get everything I requested than get a complete approval on a budget that could have been higher and accomplished more.

5. Be Gracious: Questions are going to come your way…Why do you need this and what are you going to do with that??? Be prepared to support your request and do so graciously and with a great deal of patience. Remember you are accountable to God and to your church for how you handle your budget…they have every right to ask questions.

Happy budgeting!

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