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Tag Archives | budget

POLL: Christmas Bonus Time?

I’ll be honest, I don’t get a Christmas bonus! In the distant past I would get a small check from a love offering at my first church during pastor appreciation month. I got an email from a youth worker who was frustrated this week because his bonus was cut in the downturn economy and it was one of the few perks this time of year. Made me think … and wonder … do YOU get a Christmas bonus? If so, how much? If not, you’re in good company! Hahahha


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POLL: When Does Your Church Fiscal Year End?

Was talking this week to a friend who’s youth group budget (he’s fortunate enough to even have one!) is about to run out Dec 31st. The church where I serve now uses a June 30th fiscal year ending, and did some research into when most church’s fiscal year ends. Thought I should also throw it out there and see when yours ends, and if there’s an advantage either way. Vote now!


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POLL: How much out of pocket do you spend on students each month?

Was just at lunch yesterday with a student and spent $18 of my own money and it triggered the poll question of the week! What does the average youth worker spends out of pocket on their students each month for relational ministry. I realize some have budgets, some don’t – but all of us give financially in some way for sure, too. Vote now!


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How to Get Your Church Leadership to Increase the Youth Ministry Budget

Want to get more money in your youth ministry budget? Want to get a budget at all? To be honest, there is no simple, clear sure-fire way to get your deacon board to cough up cash to fund your next overnight. In fact, budgets are a fickle beast often times driven by political interests and tradition. But not all hope is lost! Here are a few ways to get your church leadership to help fund youth ministry at your church:

Show the leadership a plan
There’s a direct connection between planning and funding. If you’ve ever been denied funds, it is a strong possibility that there wasn’t enough of a plan there to warrant the green light. Perhaps a less important ministry (all of them except youth ministry hahahaha) showed up with a plan that got some attention and some funds. The next time there is money on the table, put a plan on it, too!

Be happy with whatever you get
Often times when I hear youth workers talk about money it is often followed by murmuring and grumbling. Shoot … I think I did the same thing myself when our fiscal year turned over, too! But a quick way to cut off funds is to be unhappy with what you’ve been given.

Be faithful in the small to demonstrate you’re ready for more
In Luke Jesus challeneged us to be faithful with whatever we have been given as a test to be given more. Are you being faithful with the budget you’ve been given? Are you a good steward of the tithe money of your church? A great way to get more is to have lots of show for what little you started with!


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3 Ways to Stretch Your Youth Ministry Budget

Do you have a youth ministry budget? Be thankful for what you’ve got – but also be a good steward of it. Inexperienced and optimistic youth workers often make some key mistakes and waste the church’s money and the precious resources dedicated to the youth ministry. Here’s are some ways to make sure you make every dollar count:

Order it in advance!
Chances are if you’re buying something at the last minute, you are going to pay a premium price. Avoid those costly fees, rush charges and sticker shock by taking some time to prepare well for your event.

Always “guesstimate” low
There’s a certain science that goes into youth ministry formulas – here’s one rule of thumb that will pay you back almost every time: most often a camp or hotel will be thrilled to take on some extra people, and will be strict to meet your contracted minimums. Which means you should guesstimate low and call them the day before to add a few more heads. Call them a few days before with a few short and expect to pay a penalty or get stuck with a bill at the end of the week.

Beg, borrow and steal
A great way to stretch your dollars is to not spend any at all! When you plan your next event ask for some space in the church bulletin to list out a few items someone may have. Maybe start a Facebook group that you ping whenever you need coolers or an EZ-up. Chances are what you need is already owned by someone in your church! The key is making the connection to it!

What other ways do you work to keep youth ministry costs low?


PS: One way to stretch your youth ministry budget is by picking up a DYM Membership, too!

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POLL: Living Paycheck-to-Paycheck

Interesting report out today showing that the vast majority of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck, and it made me wonder the same thing about youth workers.


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Budget vs Volunteers: What would you rather have more of and why?

I think when it comes to this topic, I think in an ideal world of perfect ministry we would have a huge budget AND have as many of the best volunteers to have running anything you want who are so passionate about youth ministry as you are. I think it is safe to say, that never is the case. I have had the opportunity to have had worked in both situations: a ministry where we have had more volunteers than we knew what to do with and in a position where the budget is generous. Both are amazing, both are valuable, both would be ideal for having in ministry.

Why budget?

Because you can get any resource you need. You can pull off any event that you can think of and do it well. You can put in anything that will help students experience Jesus through these elements you buy and use. Where I work, I look at everything we put into it is to direct the student to a closer relationship with Jesus. Whether it was through an event we put on, a video we make, a funny and entertaining game, or a sermon illustration, we will program it into our service to help enhance the atmosphere for the student to experience Jesus in a way they ever thought of before. I cannot tell you what a fun aspect of ministry to think of doing something and then having the budget to pull it off.

Why Volunteers?

Let’s be honest, they run the show! There is nothing like a solid volunteer who is sold out for the ministry. Volunteers are the ones who are in the real trenches. They are there at your services, without being paid but just for the love of loving on students. They are out hanging and talking with students, running sound, lights, leading small groups, doing anything that you cant. They are un-replaceable.

What would I choose?

One of the cool parts about my job is that I get to meet, hang out, and talk with a ton of visiting pastors. One of the most asked questions I have gotten when it comes to running the services is, “If you were to strip everything you have down, what would be the top things to running a successful service?”

After having a gracious budget and after having so many gracious volunteers, my answer is always: quality volunteer leaders.

Great leaders make great programs. Real, fruitful, authentic, intentional ministry comes from the relationships in which forms between you and your volunteers and the volunteers and the students. You build a solid, quality team of leaders you will have a solid, and quality atmosphere around your service that no amount of budget will ever be able to buy. I work with an amazing team of sold out volunteers but we are constantly wanting more because we realize the value they bring to the table when it comes to the relationships they are building with our students.

“Man, Im definitely coming back to this church because of how much money they can spend on events!” said no student ever. 99% of the time, students really come back because of the relationship that is formed with a volunteer leader at the event.

Budgets have a limit, volunteers are priceless.

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