When most of us think about church finances, we think of the operating budget. That is the day-to-day finances that must be planned for and executed.
But a congregation that is financially healthy actually has five such “financial pillars”. Leaders who would also be good stewards always have these five pillars in mind when planning for the future and when exercising due diligence as stewards of church resources.
1.) The Operating Budget. This pays the day- to-day bills. Allocated funds are designated for staff compensation and operating expenses. It may include payments into other funds. Operating funds are not “fair game” to pay other requirements.
2.) The Operating Reserve. At any given time cash flow for the operating budget could be disrupted. This rarely happens; when it does, may be only for a short period, but timely payment of salaries, workman’s compensation, etc. could be at risk. An emergency operating reserve, perhaps equal to a month’s operating expenses, ensures employees have no worries and that other time sensitive payment are not at risk. Funds are not to be used whenever someone sees another need.