What Is a Church Budget?

A church budget is an official roadmap used for planning church-driven expenses. Thus, it serves as your church’s official financial statement to calculate, track, or manage the church’s finances daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly. Indeed, most churches agree on the use-it-or-lose-it practice for their money since they trust God to offer more when necessary. But, it is best to be realistic by ensuring expenses are spent for the right reasons and that there is still money left for other church goals.

Based on a 2010 report, 2.1 billion individuals identified themselves as Christians, which covers nearly one-third of the global population.

Why Are Church Budgets Important?

Churches mostly handle their budget for fund accounting instead of focusing on profiting. But, there are also different underlying reasons why a church needs to budget. And you may find out what your focus is from the reasons why a church budget is important on this list below.

Business Continuity: Church ministries can continue their work and services since budgeting promotes business continuity. Hence, a church budget serves as protection so a church can last for many years.Expense Tracker: Just like expense sheets, you can track or monitor every money spent, earned, or used through church budgets. That way, there is no need to question where the money goes since tracking is made easier.Transparency: One of the best benefits of a church budget is its transparency. The church budget’s document already contains the facts and information about how finances were used by church members or leaders. Also, that helps the organization trust each other and form a better relationship.Basis for Financial Strategies: On another note, the financial statement of your church budget is useful for reference when you need to create financial strategies and objectives. For example, you might have noticed financial losses. Thus, you use that reference to form a financial plan or solution so the church benefits the money for their services.

How to Create a Smart Church Budget

Since you are fully introduced to what a church budget is and why it is essential, learn to apply your knowledge by making an excellent church budget yourself. Rest assured, you won’t have to struggle when using those sample church budgets given above. Simply select a template to use until you can edit, write, and design its content. More so, you ensure your church budget is effective by following these steps:

Step 1: Identify the Church’s Goals

What are your church’s proposed goals and objectives? Reviewing them is helpful to be reminded about the main purposes for making the church budget in the first place. So do you want to make your ministry long-lasting? To propose a church project? Or maybe to set new duties that require a budget? Whatever it is, recognize them individually.

Step 2: Review the Sources of Income

What are the sources of income that your church receives? List them down one by one from every donation, stakeholder, investment, facility or utility rental, offering, and more. With that report, you can set realistic expectations about how much you receive on a daily or annual basis. Also, it helps you adjust your budgeting goals.

Step 3: List All Expenses

Using your chosen sample church budget, don’t forget to write all the expenses used by the church. It could be the money spent, saved, and allocated. The same goes for expenses from previous transactions, the present amount, and the planned budget for future circumstances. And besides church-driven activities, other concerns involve the church’s maintenance fees, debts, etc.

Step 4: Use Tables, Graphs, and Others to Compare Expenses

A church budget sheet isn’t complete without grouping your expenses. And its basic purpose is to come up with an organized list of your expenses. For example, you create categories through tables, graphs, charts, and other ways for comparing the expenses. Also, don’t forget to adjust the amount regularly when money comes and goes. Lastly, ensure that the document is easy to use so it won’t be a hassle to work with it.


What are the common categories of a church budget?

Expect your church budget to contain the following categories:

  • Personnel (salary and benefits)
  • Administration (expenses in operations)
  • Direct ministry
  • Outreach (mission, social events, and more)
  • Facilities (utilities, equipment, property insurance, etc.)
  • Debt
  • Church expansion budget

How much is a pastor’s salary in a small church?

As reported by Indeed.com, a small church pastor’s average salary in America is within $40,992 a year.

What are the four types of budgets?

Budgets can be categorized as incremental, zero-based, activity-based, and value proposition budgets.

Studies show that one out of two churches in the US is in debt. So no matter what size your ministry is, be sure to construct a solid financial plan to avoid those debts and continue church operations efficiently. Hence, use sample church budgets as your comprehensive tools to budgeting church-related expenses in the most effective way possible. Download now!