It is the responsibility of session members to create and adopt a budget for the mission and ministry of the congregation. While the Book of Order clearly describes the budget-building responsibilities of the session, how that responsibility is carried out can differ greatly. In this study, session members will have an opportunity to discuss their responsibility related to the congregation's budget development, reflect together on how the budget process has played out in the past, and consider a different approach to building the congregation's budget. Specifically, they'll learn how to take a "mission-driven" approach to setting a budget based on a "theology of abundance," moving from a competitive model toward a more cooperative model of allocating funds within a congregation.
Although many parts of a spending plan for congregations are not exciting (like repairing the roof, fixing the air conditioner, and cleaning the facilities), in some churches the budgeting process has led to real turmoil. The mission-based budget process proposes a different, more inviting approach to setting financial priorities based on the identified mission priorities of the congregation. A mission-based budget is a clearer reflection of the total mission and ministry direction of a congregation. It provides a more substantive basis for committee members to make faithful decisions regarding the use of church funds and helps identify and reinforce connections between the work of committees and the vision and mission of the congregation.